Lost in Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave #1) by Nicky Peacock
Published: April 14th 2016 by Evernight Teen
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder…
Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…
Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.
“You used to be much more…muchier. You’ve neglected your muchness, Mouse”
For a book that is only 124 pages, it sure did contain a lot of information and action. Instead of being in the world of Wonderland, it is set in the United States and Wonderland is their organization to help the families who have lost loved ones. This is definitely the most interesting Alice in Wonderland retelling that I have read this year alone. Which is saying something since this seems to be the year for retelling Lewis Carroll’s book.
Kayla, aka Mouse, is our main protagonist who has a constant fear of being lost. She had a very tough childhood that has made her a little bitter towards her brother and a normal way of life. So how does she deal with all of that? She becomes a Wonderland operative and baits serial killers into taking her so that she can end their lives. When her brother comes back to try to save her, she just gets angry at him and blames him for most of her problems.
“‘No rest for the wicked,’ Cheshire says with a grin.”
Throughout the entire book is references to the original Alice in Wonderland and it just helped the book become curiouser and curiouser. I thought it helped show that just about everyone is a little mad to be able to chase down serial killers and dispose of them. The only problem I saw in this book, was that it wasn’t longer. I wish the author dragged out finding the killer in the end. For an event that shaped Kayla and Shilo’s (her brother) life, it was over in one day. Kayla could have singled out the murderer after two days or at the very least gone into more than one store.
In the end though, Shilo still told Kayla that the real monster is still out there and Kayla just doesn’t believes him. So what does she do? Drops him off back at the insane asylum. It’s not until she is leaving and has an encounter of her own that she realizes her brother might not be as crazy as everyone thinks he is. Which sets the series up perfectly for the next installment.
“‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,” I say. “Oh, you can’t help that. We’re all mad here. I’m mad, you’re mad.'”
If you need a short fast read, I definitely suggest picking this book up! You won’t be disappointed in it.