I feel like a fell into a rabbit hole every single day when I drive into work. Only, when I get there, it's not so wacky, no one's having a tea party and we don't even get to play croquet, just forget about the flamingos. It is no wonder I identify with Alice and her adventures in wonderland.
Sometimes, though, I think I should have taken the blue pill.
This is actually one of the books we had around my house when I was a child. We didn't have a lot of books and even back then, if I found I book I really loved, I'd read it over and over again. I had memorized The Jabberwocky and The Walrus and the Carpenter and could recite them. Often did at parties. Not that I remember all the words now. It's been a while.
So when I saw a manga version of Alice's story, I had to jump on it!
Publication Date: June 5, 2012 | Series: Alice in the Country of Clover
The fantastic sequel to New York Times bestselling manga Alice in the Country of Hearts
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are the "Bloody Twins", amorous and affable killers who are able to transform themselves into adorable children or suavely handsome adults. As the gatekeepers to the Hatter Mansion, they tried to kill Alice once. Now they are hopelessly in love with her. Will either Dee or Dum win Alice’s affections, and more importantly...will she survive their screwball courtship?
I made one error in choosing to read this book at this time. This is a sequel. The original story arc is Alice in the Country of Hearts. It was being published by Tokyo Pop, but since they closed down their publishing house, the final volumes were never released by them. Yen Publishing now has the rights to the series and released the series in omnibus format, three volumes, on June 26. Since I didn't know where my last Tokyo Pop volume ended, I did not pick up any of the collected volumes yet. But I figured, how different can it be? So, there are some gaps.
Well, in the sequel series, Wonderland has shifted and where Alice was staying in the Country of Hearts, she is now in the Country of Clover. It's the same cast of characters, but the scenery has changed and things aren't there that used to be. For instance, there is a character named Gowland who runs the amusement park, but the amusement park is gone and there is a forest instead.
In this new arc, Alice is living with The Hatter, Blood Dupre, who is the head of a crime syndicate. Elliot March is still Blood's right hand man and still has his rabbit ears which Alice can't resist stroking. The Bloody Twins still work for Blood as well and they are the focus of this volume.
Boris who is the Cheshire Cat makes an appearance as does Vivaldi, the Queen of Hearts. Then we have Ace, the assassin, coming back as well as Peter White who is, you guessed it, the white rabbit and the bane of Alice's existence. He is the one who brought her to Wonderland, he is totally obsessed with her and is bordering on stalkerish.
So, as I said the focus of the volume is the Bloody Twins, Dee and Dum. They look to be about 13 or perhaps a bit younger, but they carry big axes, guard the gates of Hatter mansion and call Alice "Big Sis". They also sleep in the same bed with Alice and cling to her day and night. This volume opens up with her waking up to find the twins have transformed into adult bodies. It is apparently one of the perks of the magic that allows the land to change. The twins can morph into adult bodies any time they want.
Alice seems to be getting a little hot and bothered by this. They make her heart pound when in adult form and she blushes a lot just thinking about them in their adult forms. She tries to talk herself down by telling herself they'll leave her one day when they grow up for real and find someone else they care about more. So there was a lot of this inner monologue of Alice's in an attempt to distance herself from them so she won't get more hurt when she loses them in the future.
Oh sure, there was some other stuff going on, some battles in town with the twins in the center and a monthly gathering of all the leaders of Wonderland where they are forbidden to try to kill one another, but it all took a back seat to the triangle between Alice, Dee and Dum.
I found this a bit disturbing. First, although Alice is young, she is still a teenager and older than the twins. At her age, the gap in maturity is too great to get past. Once they're all into their 20's, the age difference wouldn't bother me, but this kind of did. I kept wondering what happened at the end of the first story arc to bring her to this point in time. Where's Julius who she had been staying with and why is she crushing on the twins when there is a lot of older hotties surrounding her daily?
I need to put the pieces together so I am going to have to go back and get the collections to catch up and then maybe it will make sense. There was much about this volume that had the creep factor. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but it is not one of my favorites. But I think I need to read it in context with the overall story and not as a stand alone volume. As a note, there are some chapters in the back that are about other characters, so it's not just an entire volume of the twins.
My recommendation, though, is to start with the three omnibus volumes of Alice in the Country of Hearts and then pick this one up or much of what is going on will not make sense.
Coming up next is:
Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz - Vol 1 out 07/03/12, Vol 2 out 09/04/12 and Vol 3 out 11/13/12.
Alice in the Country of Hearts: My Fanatic Rabbit - Vol 1 out 12/11/12 and Vol 2 out 04/23/13
Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar's Game Vol 1 out 02/05/13.