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Curiouser and Curiouser: Steampunk Alice in Wonderland

Steampunk Fairy Tales
Narrated by: Lesley Parkin
Length: 5 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

To save the Hatter, Alice must work with the one man she despises so much that she might still love him.

Alice thought she'd turned over a new leaf. No more working for Jabberwocky. No more making deals with the ruthless Queen of Hearts. No more hanging around The Mushroom with tinkers, tarts, scoundrels, and thieves in London's criminal underbelly. But she'd been bonkers to dream.

Hatter's reckless behavior leads Alice back to the one person she never wanted to see again, Caterpillar. Pulled into Caterpillar's mad schemes, Alice must steal a very big diamond from a very royal lady. The heist is no problem for this Bandersnatch. But protecting her heart from the man she once loved? Impossible.

Sometimes love is mad.

©2017 Clockpunk Press (P)2017 Clockpunk Press

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

this book is a masterpiece in itself

Retelling the classic Alice in Wonderland for adults and with a steampunk vibe, this book is a masterpiece in itself, and I have no shame in saying that I enjoyed it a lot more than the original. This Alice is older, probably in her twenties, and has a younger sister with fragile health, who is in love with Henry the hatter. The Caterpillar here is called William and is someone very important to Alice. He needs to complete a job for the Queen of Hearts, and Alice, despite having left behind her life as a petty thief, will join forces with William in order to save him and also maybe save her soul.

It could be due to how famous Alice in Wonderland has become, that I felt a bit underwhelmed when I read it, but this did not happen with Curiouser and Curiouser. I found it compelling from the very beginning, with interesting characters and amazing events. The book doesn't follow the same storyline as the original, it's more like a shuffle and mix, but it felt quite exquisite. There are some flashbacks to Alice's past, which gives us some background about her. These flashbacks appear alternating with the main story, creating a complex and rich weave that makes for a really polished book.

I expected the steampunk to be my favorite aspect of the book, but I think what I liked best was how dark this story is. If Alice in Wonderland is a children's book, this is quite the opposite. The first scene where we see the Queen of Hearts was an impressive one, and I don't consider myself easily impressed by horror in books, but it was so vivid, so dark, and so unexpected, that I felt touched by it. I could almost smell the stench and feel the horror Alice felt.

And if all that was not enough, the book is beautifully written, with rich and elaborate prose, characters who feel real, and Alice... Alice is simply charming. There is also love in this book, but not the sappy one that we see in many romance books. This one is real, painful, and deep; and it complements the story perfectly.

Lesley Parkin's narration was perfect for this story. She delivered great characters' interpretations and transmitted their emotions in a powerful way. I was able to recognize every character and follow conversations without any issues. I just notice once or twice that a small part of the narration sounded like the last character talking, but it was barely noticeable.

I would recommend this book to everybody: whether they enjoyed or not the original book, and whether they are or not into steampunk. It's simply a very well told story with some powerful scenes.

Audiobook was provided for review the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fantastically Fun!!!

I really enjoyed this Audiobook. I honestly binge listened to it and finished it very quickly. I loved all of the Alice in Wonderland references. The characters were extremely likeable and Lesley Parkin did a superb job at bringing the characters and story to life. I look forward to for from this Author and narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely Loved It!

Alice thought she'd left the seedy underworld of crime behind, but she can't forget the skills she learned on the streets. An orphan with quick fingers and quick wits, she made her living lifting valuables with Caterpillar by her side. When he asks for her help with a difficult theft, Alice has no choice but to accept.

This was my first steampunk story, and I absolutely loved it! The author brought Victorian England to life with her beautiful descriptions, and imagined a world where carriages are drawn by clockwork horses and airships fly the skies. The story had a bit of everything, and it all worked. I guess you could call it a steampunk fairy tale retelling with a bit of romance, heist, and the occult! It's a clean read with a few dark descriptions, I'd recommend it for teens or adults.

This was an imaginative retelling with sly references to the original, like the twist on the theft of the Queen's tarts. There were nods to the original Alice in Wonderland in the dialogue and the characters, but in a brand new setting. I usually pick up books for the characters alone, but the author really nailed the plot, setting, writing, and the characters. Alice was the perfect heroine, strong, smart, and skilled. I really hope a sequel is in the works!

The narration was just perfect. Lesley Parkin's performance was wonderful, her voice for Alice was exactly like I imagined. Her accent made the entire listen a pleasure. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TU
  • 10-26-17

Great Steampunk Fairy Tale!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I really liked this alternative, steampunk-take on the Alice in Wonderland story. I especially liked that Alice was an adult and it was more like the characters from the original tale are nicknames. This was definitely a much darker tale and doesn't really follow the original story. It's not the feel-good fairy tale you expect with you think of Alice in Wonderland. It's set in the London underworld of the 19th century. The author does a brilliant job of paying homage to the original Lewis Carroll tale, and the narrator has a brilliant South London accent. I think this one is definitely worth a credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Steampunk Twist On Alice In Wonderland!!!

First I want to start off by saying I was given a copy of this audio book by the author at my request and am voluntarily leaving this review with my true and honest opinion.
Alice In Wonderland is one of my favorite story's and have come to enjoy the different retellings. Curiouser and Curiouser is no different I have fallen in love. In this steampunk version we are in London's criminal underbelly. That's all you'll get out me because I don't want to ruin this amazing book so pick up your copy today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Whole New Alice!

I wasn't sure what to expect with this. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite stories and i adore retellings of it. This brings a whole new twist.
This is set in London with all sorts of new things, in a steam punk era. I love how each character is a person with the nicknames of the original characters. Alice is in love/hate with William (the Caterpillar) I usually find I can multitask while listening to a book but I couldn't with this one because if you don't pay attention to everything you will be lost in a matter of moments!
This was a quick paced retelling and only took me a day to finish it. I love how Melanie also brought in some great quotes from the original story-line.
The Red Queen was probably my favorite retelling part in this whole story. This I never expected and as a lover of horror stories and lore, I LOVED this twist!! I never saw it coming and brings a whole new meaning to The Red Queen/The Queen of Hearts! She may have been evil but she was my favorite character in the book because of how shockingly wonderful this was for the story. I can't wait to read more of Melanie's stories.
As for the reader, Lesley, I loved her esp for this retelling! Her accent really brought the story to life and her pace was perfect!
I was given this free review copy Audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review with my honest opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great!

Wonderful, imaginative story with fantastic narration!!!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire
  • United States
  • 10-01-17

Alice in the Underland!

This story is fantastic! I loved the way Melanie interjected so many of the sayings and characters from one of my favorite stories! Very clever.

Alice, who has fallen on hard times and exists in London's underworld of thieves and opium dens, is in her 20s and is still in love with Caterpillar (AKA William). He's in a scrape and the two are thrown together again in a heist, set in the famous Crystal Palace. What happens? You'll have to listen for yourself.

Lesley Parkin, the narrator, is outstanding! She has a wonderful mix of character voices and draws the listener into the book. I have listened to other books performed by Lesley and love her voice. She paces the story well and has a great tone to her voice, which is easy to listen to.

An all around must listen! I can't wait to hear other books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fun “Alice” steampunk retelling.

My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.25; Narration 4.25.

Alice and her sweet sister were orphans struggling in a London workhouse when they were ‘rescued’ by Jabberwocky. He took them to his wealthy home where Bess cares for his elderly mother and he gave Alice, aka Bandersnatch, tasks that used her nimble fingers. Alice wasn’t thrilled with the work but she would do what she had to in order to care for her frail sister.

Another child who came to work for Jabberwocky was William aka Caterpillar. Alice and William work many jobs together and eventually something goes wrong. Alice and William were to take over the ‘business’ when Jabberwocky dies. Even though it means leaving William behind, Alice takes the chance to walk away from the life of crime.

Alice and Bess are living simply while Alice works in an honest position for a Lord. Bess is being wooed by the Mad Hatter, Henry, but Henry has a serious gambling problem. His actions result in Alice being called back to help William on a dangerous heist. In addition to working with William, which threatens her heart, Alice has to face the Red Queen which threatens her life.

The story is told in present situation with alternating flashbacks to fill in the backstory. I especially enjoyed the characters and phrases recognized from Alice in Wonderland. There is even a Rabbit and a Cheshire Cat. I liked the craft of the Mad Hatter and enjoyed the steampunk elements. The story is a bit dark but balanced by fun characters and struggling romance.I liked the “Alice” references in this fun steampunk retelling. I plan to pick up more of the retellings by Melanie Karsak. I recommend this imaginative story to fans of fairy tale retellings and steampunk.

Audio Notes: Lesley Parkin does a nice job with the narration. She gives the characters their own voices and even captures the arrogant ugliness of the Red Queen. The narration gives good energy and enhanced the story for me.

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Entertaining

I liked the clever way the original details of the the story are worked in. The book was very well narrated and entertaining.
It was a fair distraction for my commute.
I would recommend this for anyone who is looking to be purely entertained rather than educated or moved by reading. It’s a confection, not a hearty meal.

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  • Lolah
  • 02-09-18

An excellent narrator brings a real sparkle to this diamond of a book

This intriguing new steampunk twist on Alice in Wonderland made for very interesting reading and listening. I won't go into the story itself as you can get the outline above and I don't want to give any spoilers, but what I found most fun was seeing the ways that the author has woven the characters, locations, events, and even some phrases ("the difference between a raven and a writing desk" for example) from the original book into a whole new story. This is an excellent story, well-written and with lively characters, and that means that it's ideal for all new readers and listeners in its own right - the added original Wonderland elements are just the icing on the cake.
The audiobook of the story brought a whole new dimension to it. Narrated by Lesley Parkin, it really brings the story to life and draws you into the steampunk London world of the story (thank you for using an author with a British (London) accent rather than a US one - it really grounded the story!) keeping you hooked from beginning to end. Lesley is an excellent storyteller, giving individual life to the characters and flair to the story that gave a real sparkle to this diamond of a book. Highly recommended to all fairytale retelling lovers, and anyone who enjoys a bit of madcap adventure in a steampunk world. Can't wait for more!
NB I received a complimentary copy of this book and audiobook, but I always give an HONEST review based wholly on my own opinions

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Layla
  • 11-07-17

Darker version of Alice in Wonderland variation

I liked this version of Alice in Wonderland. I loved how the author mixed a fairy tale with steampunk. I thought it was intersesting and different. It might not be to everyone's taste but I really liked it.

The narrator I thought did not suit this story. I didn't like the cockney accent she did for Alice's character, I felt it was stiff and not fluid at times. I found she did the Queen of hearts really well and some of the other characters as well but because Alice is the main character it put me off. She is not bad but I don't think she is ideal for this book. I noticed the other reviewers liked her, so it could be just me.

I received a review copy at my request and voluntarily reviewed.