Books, Coffee, Fantasy, YA

[Book Review] Insanity By Cameron Jace & Alice Coffee Alice’s Blend

Insanity By Cameron JaceTitle: Insanity (Mad In Wonderland)
Series/Universe: Mad In Wonderland, Insanity #1
Author: Cameron Jace
Publisher: Cameron Jace
Publication date: December 19th 2013
Page Count: 247 pages
Age Rating: YA & Up (blood, death, and violence)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
Publisher’s page: Insanity (Mad In Wonderland)

Hannibal meets Alice in Wonderland. After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

My Review

Set in modern day, Insanity opens with the discovery of a dead body – a girl whose face has been sewn up into a disturbing grin. The girl is the latest victim of the serial killer known as the Cheshire Cat. Back at Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum, Professor Carter Pillar, a hookah-smoking philosophy professor turned serial killer himself (known as Pillar The Killer), has a plan to stop the Cheshire Cat and ropes fellow patient Alice Wonder, a nineteen-year-old girl with no memories who was institutionalized after killing a bus-load of her peers, into helping.

And it just dissolves into madness from there.

In this series, Alice In Wonderland is not just a book, it’s a glimpse into another, very real, world, and Lewis Carroll was not just its author, he was a genius, hero, and inventor who saved the world from Wonderland Monsters and left clues behind to help future generations.

My advice for enjoying this book is to leave logic at the door. This book is illogical and delights in presenting the sane as insane and insanity as sanity. The beginning and the end are more or less grounded in reality with only hints of the madness within the pages, but the middle pretty much spirals into a fantastical tale of mad little Alice trying to out mad a madman with her only ally being another madman (mad enough for you yet?). The mad journey is made even more dizzying as little tidbits about the real-life Lewis Carroll are used as clues and mixed in within fantasy until it’s quite hard to tell which end is up and what’s real anymore.

To tell the truth, I came out of this book feeling a bit mad myself.

If you can find beauty and joy in the illogical and the insane, and can suspend your belief and need for logic, I recommend this book. If you’re a fan of Alice In Wonderland and Lewis Carroll, then it’s pretty much a must read. As for myself, while I ultimately enjoyed Insanity, I’m on the fence about reading the next book in the series – I just don’t know if my psyche can handle another trip down this particular rabbit hole.

In Insanity, Alice doesn’t feel mad, but she must be because looking at where she is and the things she sees and the events around her – these are not the circumstances of a sane girl. The way Alice Wonder was written completely reminded me of the spirit of the original Alice, so for this I’m recommending Alice Coffee Alice’s Blend – a sweet, rich coffee with notes of chocolate and caramel and a bit of a fruity after taste.

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