Insanity by Cameron Jace is one of the craziest books I have ever read, which is a lot to say considering the books I tend to read more often than not have wizards, vampires or private eye detectives in them. This is the first book in the Mad in Wonderland series. Cameron Jace re-imagines Alice in Wonderland characters in a ludicrous modern day setting with perfectly vague and frabjous (a word used in the book a LOT) results.
“One of the privileges of not knowing who you are is that you can pretend to be anyone you like.”
Alice is a teenager in this version. She supposedly has killed a bus full of her classmates, including her boyfriend. She has no memory of the incident because of shock therapy. Yes, she is in Radcliffe asylum under treatment.
An unexpected resourceful ally takes a keen interest in her. The caterpillar reincarnation; the Pillar, as he is fondly addressed, is a killer. Given to flights of fantasy, rhymes without reasons and cryptic remarks, the Pillar hires Alice to find a greater evil of the Wonderland.
I once thought that it was hope that saved the day, not sanity
Enter Cheshire. Remember that grinning cat in Alice in wonderland? He is a maniacal psycho killer in this instalment. What’s worse is he has been paid off by a queen to turn assassin. He knows everything and turns up in unexpected places. He kidnaps and tortures with equal relish. What can one mad girl do against such an adversary?
There is also a weird love story in play. A boy has a crush on Alice and pops up at unexpected moments. He flirts. He fights. He has a sense of humour. Is he a hero in the making? We don’t know yet. And all this suspense has me rushing to read book 2 in the series.
“There are two ways to live our lives, Alice. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I like the ‘everything’ part.”
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
There are lots and lots of references to the original Alice in Wonderland tales and also Lewis Caroll, which will make this a must read for any Alice in Wonderland book lover. The places and people related to Lewis are expertly woven into the narration, and fact and fiction merges with stunning results. Add to that, a general disregard of being polite while writing about mad people and you get a book that’s a complete laugh riot even if there are some hard to digest coincidences. After all, one can hardly find fault when the original book itself had all these insane traits. Insanity just picks off from the wonderland already crafted with loving care.
[irp posts=”4246″ name=”The Eyre Affair”]
Banged your head after reading Insanity? Waiting to hear all about it.