Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Wendy from Peter Pan, and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz have all had a rough go of it after their adventures in the stories. And the stories we were told were not their only adventures. No, these girls have grown up a bit and have spent more time in their respective other worlds. Alice is bitter and angry, Wendy always carries a knife, and Dorothy has been subject to electroshock therapy, but that last bit is cannon, I think. They have all been told that they’re crazy, and they are now in a special boarding school with just the three of them as students.
A lot of people tend to skip the Preface of a book, but I’m glad I didn’t on this one. First of all, I learned that Andy Weir wrote (writes?) fanfiction, so good on him! I also learned that he made a webcomic that’s still up, and is pretty good! Cheshire Crossing was also originally a webcomic, and as Andy himself says, the art was crap. (You can see for yourself here: Luckily, Sarah Anderson (from Sarah’s Scribbles!) agreed to redo the art, and now it isn’t crap! (Everything is the same, though, other than decrapifying the art.) (Actually, there are some parts where I like the original art a bit better – Andy’s Mad Hatter is adorable, as are some of the other characters!) Andy also tells the reader that he wanted the girls to be a bit older than children, so they could be clever and make better choices.
There was a conscious decision to not white-wash these characters. Dorothy is the most obvious move from popular perception as she is not white. Alice is a brunette, which is actually closer to the inspiration for the character than the blonde in the books. Wendy is a redhead with a pixie cut. The Wicked Witch, on the other hand, does have white skin, but it was never green in the books. Captain Hook also has dark skin, as do other characters. So, good job in diversifying!
As for the plot, I wasn’t completely in love with it. The initial set up is good, but there’s a lot of bouncing around, and sometimes things just feel awkward. Alice seems far too modern for 1910, both with her language and her ideas. I mean, I know she grew up on a farm, but still… The character of Peter Pan is a bit cringy, but then again, he always was. (Oh, fun fact – Miss Poole is who you think she is, but they had to change the name for copyright!) I’m wondering if Andy and Sarah team up from the start, they can create something better for the next one (if there is one.) There’s already a movie in the works, and the audiobook they have of this sounds like a radio drama, so that’s kind of fun!
This fulfills the CBR12 Bingo square of “Cannonballer Says!” Thanks, Ale!