Book Review – Alice in the Country of Hearts: White Rabbit and Some Afternoon Tea Part 1 by QuinRose

Title: Alice in the Country of Hearts:  White Rabbit and Some Afternoon Tea Part 1

Author: QuinRose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published: 2015

 

After pushing through the monstrosity that was last weeks book that shall not be named, I opted to read something light and fun this week.  Yes, another Alice manga.  For those who have been reading this blog for a while you know that this is my obsession.  I don’t know why but I love the story, the idea of an independent Alice who is not looking for love and yet surrounded by it (and gun fights) just intrigues me.  This story had by attention from the start and I love the infinite possibilities that branch from the story.  What if Alice chooses not to love?  What if she falls in love with the March Hare?  What about the Cheshire Cat?  What if instead of falling in love in the Country of Hearts she doesn’t fall in love till the Country of Joker?  There are an infinite number of ways things could go and I love it.  I also love how the love when it is chosen develops.  It also doesn’t hurt that the characters are attractively drawn and are very vibrant.  I am after all a sucker for a good story and great characters make for a good story.

 

Anyway, with my obsession with Alice in the Country of Heart series I always wondered what it would be like to have a story where Alice might actually fall in love with Peter White the White Rabbit.  It is a difficult story of course, because he was the one who kidnapped her away to Wonderland and he can be a ‘little’ over the top with his affection.  Honestly in almost every story there is a hate that resides with Alice towards Peter.  Honestly one can’t really blame her for that.   Still the idea has always intrigued me and as I’ve learned more about the character Peter White the more curious I got.  Such as Peter being her “Sunday Afternoon”, always there, always loving, and only wanting what is best for her.  It is clear in most manga and in this one in particular that Alice’s safety and happiness is all Peter wants.  While he would love to be with her romantically speaking he will settle for her being there in Wonderland and happy.

 

This story honestly has done a masterful job of exhibiting the relationship between Alice and Peter and helped push things beyond physical attraction or a sudden change of character personality.  In the story there are many occasions where Alice over hears conversations that show her more of Peter’s character and his love for her beyond the apparent crazy obsession he has for her.  Honestly with out any kissing and hardly any hand holding the romance in this story was impeccable.  The soft quiet moments between Alice and Peter though rare and few were swoon worthy and the suspense in the story didn’t feel like a trope (classic Alice getting dragged into mafia wars or kidnapped.)  Okay so you could call what happened as a kidnapping but it wasn’t a classic kidnapping and that made the story all the more real.

 

Honestly, I loved everything about this manga.  There is not a single thing I would change, it had me laughing, sitting on the edge of my seat and swooning.  It was impeccable despite the fact that my two favorite characters Mad Hatter (aka Blood Dupree) and March Hare (aka Eliot) did not exactly feature in this book.  I think over all I am actually going to give this book a rare 5 out of 5 because I enjoyed the read that much and had no complaints about anything including the art as that was done my the original artist of the series.    With my high rating I will notate that this isn’t ‘the’ book to start with if you are looking to jump in on this Alice series but at the same time it isn’t the worst either as it will give you a clear picture of everything that is going on and you do not need to have past experiences with the story to derive enjoyment out of the story.

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Book Review – Alice Love Fables by Quin Rose

Title: Alice Love Fables: Toy Box

Author: Quin Rose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published: 2013

Now that I have nearly caught up with all off the Alice themed books at my library I am slowly waiting for them to get in the latest releases of Alice books. I know this book was released in 2013 but it took until now for my library to get the book in and I admit I was excited. I knew by reading about the book that it would have some short stories that weren’t Alice themed in it but I was not expecting over half the book to not be Alice.   I felt a little jipped that a book about Alice based on the tile was only half Alice.

The portion of the stories I read were decent. They were all very short and very quick so I felt suddenly cut off and the story didn’t give much, such as the one focused on the Bloody Twins. Then the Story with Gray Ringmark was cute and good and even better than the book Lizard’s Aid (which I did not review). I just wish the story had gone further.

In the stories that I read there were some laugh out loud moments that were rather cute that I enjoyed. Then the best two stories in my opinion was the story focused on Peter White. I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like if Alice could get past the fact that Peter stole her away and forced her to stay in Wonderland. This is why I’m looking forward to the Peter centric book that should eventually come to my library. The next best story was of course the Mad Hatter story which if you’ve read any other Alice review you know that is one of my favorite pairs but you should note that this says something when the March Hare story didn’t even register as comment worthy. The Mad Hatter story was unexpected and adorable and quiet honestly then end of it had me giggling with happiness as it was super cute and not something I expected to read for Alice and Blood Dupree.

Over all despite the joys I had with some of the stories that were in the book not only did I feel cut that more than half the book was not Alice, but I also felt cut because I had expected stores from characters that I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting a few times such as Sydney Black or Jericho Bermuda and they were not there. Of course, the latter issue was a fault of my own rather than the book, but that disappointment coupled with the other disappointments I would only give this book a 2 out of 5 page review because it wasn’t much, cute, but not much. It is worth a read for a fan, but not really worth going out to purchase unless you are a fan of the other stories such as Crimson Empire which is one of the stories and has been featured in preview form in a number of the Alice books.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Clover Nightmare by QuinRose

Title: Alice in the Country of Clover Nightmare

Authors: Quin Rose

Illustrator: Job

Format: Paperback

Published:  2014

 

Yes, back to back Nightmare stories.  After reading the Country of Joker story with Nightmare I was all for picking up a story that happened earlier so to speak.  The drawings are still a little odd and get more and more odd as you delve into the book and hit the bonus stories.  But the story was still decent and I liked the main story even if it was short.  It was rather cute and funny.

 

In this story, Alice advises Nightmare to take a new kind of medicine that tastes good as Nightmare refuses to take poor tasting medicine for his health and it cures him of his ails but inhibits him from reading thoughts and cause him to be rather focused on work which was something he was loath to do.  Some of the comedic moments in this story are great and enjoyable.  Yet before the end Nightmare shows more of his swoon worthiness as he takes on a whole group of bad guys by jumping in and out of dreams and just being handsome and amazing as he is spurred to great things for Alice to keep her safe and alive.  This simple act alone make my heart melt and goes to prove that I am a bit of a girly girl.

 

The side stories I will admit I don’t remember well and did not like because of the art.  The art in the main story was off from what I was used to but it wasn’t so bad to distract from the story the later art that tells a story of Ace, Peter White and Alice and then one of Alice and the Bloody Twins was soo off that I only remember the art and not so much the story.

 

Aside from the main story which I enjoyed and found enjoyable I think my favorite part of the book are the bonus strips as they very much made me giggle.  There is one on the inside cover, one at the end of the main story, that happens just after it and the one on the back cover.  They are cute comedic and show a lighter side of Nightmare that makes me adore him more beyond his swoon worthiness.

 

For the Nightmare story that was maybe ½ of the book itself I would give it a 4 out of 5 page review (and this includes the bonus strips as they are Nightmare centric.  But the book as a whole loses a whole page making it a 3 out of 5 page book for the poor art work and about ¼ of the book being a preview for a new manga series.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Joker The Nightmare Trilogy ~Dream Before Dawn~

Title: Alice in the Country of Joker The Nightmare Trilogy ~Dream Before Dawn~

Authors: Quin Rose

Illustrator: Job

Format: Paperback

Published:  2014

 

Though Nightmare has appeared in various Manga’s that I have read and reviewed already this particular book was my first introduction to Nightmare the character.  I admit when he was first described to me I wasn’t sure about him as a romantic character as he is rather sickly and coughs up blood. I also wasn’t sure about the whole thing of him reading thoughts as it got confusing at first what were thoughts and what was spoke aloud.  Eventually it gets figured out and Nightmare comes into his own in this story as he tries to prove himself as not as pathetic as he appears to be.

They go on a survival scavenger hunt where Alice has to take better care of Nightmare than he does of her at the start but eventually when things get dire Nightmare is perfection and practically swoon worthy in my books.  Then of course there is the fact that he can play the violin very well and the image that is invoked is very attractive.  The story shows a nice slow growing romance and it shows how Alice cares for Nightmare and hates how everyone fears him.  It is a powerful story in my opinion as Alice tries to change Nightmare some to keep him from being feared.  The out some and the story are sweet and I look forward to the next book in the series despite the fact that the drawings at times are odd and almost childlike at moments – not to say I could draw half as well because I can’t but Job is not one of my favored illustrators but it’s not at a point where I don’t want to read more of the story which is quite good.

 

I would give this book another 4 out of 5 pages and say this is a worthy read even though it does not present any of the plot that is found in the Circus of Liars story arch.  This book has a bit of the joker and has the seasons but aside from that the country serves as a back drop as I said in a previous review.

Book Reivew – Alice in the Country of Hearts The Mad Hatter’s Late Night Tea Party

Title: Alice in the Country of Hearts The Mad Hatter’s Late Night Tea Party

Authors: Quin Rose

Illustrator: Riko Sakura

Format: Paperback

Published:  2013

 

This is my second Country of Hearts Book where it focuses on a person that Alice picks and I’m not so sure I am liking the Country of Hearts stories.  This story focuses more Alice and the Mad Hatter aka Blood Dupre.  I have always had a sort of fascination with Blood, I kind of enjoy how he can be crass at times and I think he’s attractively drawn and there is just something about a particularly bad boy that I can’t help but enjoy in my fiction.  Not that I’m all about the bad boy’s mind you but really what isn’t to love about a handsome mafia boss?

 

Any way the story was more exposition about how Alice got to know Blood staring with hate and avoidance to the point of living at his mansion and working there.  Any ‘romance’ came from Nightmare telling Alice how if she is in a dream she can do whatever she wants because after all it is a dream and anything can happen in a dream.  To spoil the rest of the story Alice and Blood end up sleeping together to Alice discovering Blood spending time with the Queen of Hearts and thinking that she is nothing but a good time and nothing special to Blood when in truth she is more to him.  Of course I know what the relationship between the Queen of Hearts and Vivaldi is but I won’t reveal it, but there is a reason why he is sneaking around with her to say the least.

 

Any way I give this book a 3 out of 5 pages as I did not enjoy the story at all and it was a little more crass than I would have liked it to be.  Of course I notice now as I finish this review that this is the first in a series and I’m more okay with things not being explained and the relationship between Alice and Blood being strained as this story carries on to more books which I might read to see if they can redeem this story any but my rating still stands.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Hearts Love Labyrinth of Thorns

Title: Alice in the Country of Hearts Love Labyrinth of Thorns

Authors: Quin Rose

Illustrator: Aoi Kurihara

Format: Paperback

Published:  2014

 

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of Julius and Alice as in the Original series Alice in the Country of hearts Julius’ clock tower is where Alice had chosen to spend a lot of her time as it was neutral territory and Julius didn’t really force himself on her.  Really in the stories from before this one Julius acted as if he didn’t care about Alice at all but then there would be small soft moments where you could tell he cared.  I know I’ve said in a previous review that Boris is probably one of the more sane characters of those found in Wonderland, I would say Julius would out rank him as he doesn’t really wield a gun unless he has to and he is very busy and focused on his work repairing clocks which are the ‘hearts’ and souls of those in Wonderland.

 

This story is about how Alice and Julius become a couple and it is drawn by a different artist than the one who normally does these Alice stories.  I will start off and say that the drawings are pretty decent and close to the original at times but there is something off about them the lines are more round and soft in some areas and more angular in others, and the shading at times is wrong for certain hair colors.  Still it was decently well done and my focus is always the story.  Unfortunately the story is kind of right there with the art work, just a little off.  Alice’s character doesn’t seem quite right to me and she seems almost rushed and forced into being with Julius.  Of course part of that might be because getting them to admit their feelings for one another was through a concocted devious plan by Nightmare who stole Alice away into a tower with her door blocked by thorns which were the thorns around her heart.  Julius was told of her danger and went to rescue her.  Really over all the story was over the top a bit and rushed.  Of course trying to get a love story in, in one short book is a challenge I’ll admit, but really as a fan of the Alice in the Country series I think I would give this book a 2 out of 3.  This story didn’t capture or rapture me away and is something that I could easily do without in my collection of reading Alice stories.  If there were a sequel I would not be reading it.  Fortunately there isn’t and there are many other fun Alice stories to read.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Joker Circus and Liar’s Game

Title: Alice in the Country of Joker Circus and Liar’s Game

Authors: Quin Rose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published:  2012

Alice in the Country of Joke has been out and around for few years and I was always hesitant to pick anything from that country up because I wanted to finish the Country of Hearts story but eventually I figured out that the stories don’t entirely flow one right after the other and the Country of Hearts story didn’t seem to progress any just a bunch of smaller stories where Alice ends up picking one person or another in the country of Clover.  Though that repertoire has expanded to some of these stories being in the Country of Hearts and at least one in the Country of Joker.  For the love stories where Alice picks a person the country serves for little more than a back drop so to speak.  This book however is not about Alice picking a person it is more plot heavy and is about Alice being in Wonderland and how she shall remain there.

 

The idea of the Country of Joker is that there are seasons, something that is not there in the other stories and each land has a season and the main season is April season the season of lies ruled by the bothersome Joker.  In this story it is revealed that Alice had forgotten some things such as the fact that people who had been missing in the Country of Clover are returned she thinks they have always been there and doesn’t question how the Clock Tower and the Tower of Clover now the same place.  Everyone is concerned by this on some level and wants her to remember things because it could be bad if she doesn’t.  Additionally there is pressure for Alice to pick a land to spend all of her time in because once the seasons settle; she’ll be locked in at that place unless she gets express permission from the joker to move between lands.  It is clear that there is evil intents for Alice from the Joker and his circus but nothing more is revealed and it has left me very curious for what will happen next and where Alice will choose to live.  The love and romance aspect of the story still lives only it is toned down as Alice hasn’t picked a person that she wants to be with.

 

Over all I would give this story another 4 out of 5 pages and an excellent story.  I would advise this story if you want less romance and more intrigue as this is what this is.  If you expect nothing but the romance you may be disappointed but don’t shun the book because of it, the story holds very well and is something I would recommend reading.  Particularly for the ever hilarious bonus panels of  “If Alice was small” it was quite cute!

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