Ever wondered what would it would be like if someone wrote a steampunk version of Alice in Wonderland? Well, wonder no more, for Jason G. Anderson’s Gears of Wonderland is here to show you!
James Riggs has a lousy girlfriend and a lousy job. But, as he soon discovers, things can get so much worse.
He witnesses his oldest friend murdered at the hands of a hulking assailant and narrowly avoids becoming the next victim when a mysterious man in white pushes him down a hole. He ends up in a strange Victorian city and is informed by a gun-toting woman named Kara that it’s actually Wonderland.
He thought it was just a book, but it’s all too real.
Unfortunately, the place has kinda gone to hell since Alice visited.
The queen has been assassinated and her evil son Lahire has seen fit to become king and enforce his own vision of a perfect Wonderland by any means necessary. James must join up with the resistance in order to depose Lahire, get the girl and fulfill his destiny.
I really liked Gears of Wonderland. It has a gripping plot and compelling characters. Steampunk and Wonderland might seem like an unlikely pairing, but Anderson pulls it off and makes it look easy.
While there are typos here and there, Anderson makes up for it by building upon Wonderland lore and literally humanizing the characters (Caterpillar and White Rabbit are now people). He presents a fleshed-out world you’d actually want to visit (after Lahire is gone, natch).