Curiouser and curiouser
With each volume of “Alice in the Country of Hearts” I find myself getting further and further drawn into the story. There are mysteries here, and some interesting characters that are deepening with each volume.
This issue starts with Alice still residing at the house of the Clockmaker Julius Monrey, where she is fascinated by Julius’s job of repairing the broken clocks that serve as the ticking hearts to the people of Wonderland. As violent as the fantasy world is, so long as the clock has not been broken Julius can bring them back to life and send them out again. But a peaceful respite is not in Alice’s future, as Peter the White Rabbit comes a’calling, and this time he has a trick up his sleeve that Alice will not be able to resist. From there, she is whisked off to the castle of Vivaldi the Queen of Hearts where she hears something of the nature of Wonderland and the Queen’s past.
I liked the character-focus of volume three of “Alice in the Country of Hearts.” In stead of the usual march of characters, Alice spent some private time with just a few characters allowing for development of both character and story. Peter White’s transformation into a cute anthropomorphic rabbit was funny, as was Alice’s acceptance of Peter in that form. The Mad Hatter Blood Dupre continues to want Alice and yet simultaneously hate her for the feelings she pulls out of him. There is one scene that is particularly intense, and reminds the reader that Dupre is a bad guy, not matter how smooth he might look. The Queen’s revelation about her past, and her role and the nature of The Game was interesting, as was Alice’s slow acceptance of Wonderland. Obviously each of the characters is compelled to desire something from Alice, but what each of them desires is not so obvious.
I thought the translation for volume three was a lot smoother as well, and I am even becoming used to Peter White’s rhyming speak. Pulling off a rhyming character is very difficult, and it looks like the translator is getting more comfortable with it as well as with other character’s dialog.
“Alice in the Country of Hearts” moved up a notch with volume three from “good but not great” to “something I am eagerly looking forward to the next release.” I hope the continuing volumes follow this trend of character development over action, as that seems to be a real strength of the series.