Saturday, December 29, 2012

Manga Review: Alice in the Country of Hearts, Omnibus Volume 2 (#3-4), by QuinRose and Soumei Hoshino

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5 (can be upped to a four)
Publisher: Yen Press (Previously by Tokyopop)
Volumes: 6; Omnibus: 3

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kidnapped by a handsome man with rabbit ears, Alice Liddell finds herself abandoned in an odd place called Wonderland and thrust into a "game," the rules of which she has yet to learn. Alice, ever the plucky tomboy, sets off to explore and get the lay of this strange land, intent on finding her rude kidnapper and giving him a piece of her mind (and her fist). But little does she know that she's wandered right into the middle of a dangerous power struggle involving just about all of Wonderland's attractive, weapon-happy denizens. And the only way for Alice to return home is to get acquainted with the lot of them?! How in the world will she manage that and still manage to stay alive?!

Available on Amazon.


I am really liking this series. It’s not like a five star, ohmygod this is the most amazing, well written, book I have ever read, but at the moment I would rate it at a very solid, high 3.5, but it’s a very good, very enjoyable 3.5.
Oh, before I really get into this review, I want to say that there will most likely be more spoilers than there were in the first books’ review. In that one, since it was the first in the series, I was trying to be vague; in this one, not as much. I don’t know how detailed I will be, since there is just so much to go over, as so much happens in each book, with two volumes, and I’m not going to go over every little detail; I’m going to keep some of it open and vague, so there’s still the experience of reading the book to look forward to. Also, I do plan on going into detail of each character, especially the love interests.
A lot of this book, much like the first, was just scenes of Alice getting closer to all of the men in Wonderland. And I’m a bit frustrated to say that I kind of really like all of the men. In the first book, I liked some of them and found others cute, but now I’m kind of a fan of almost all of them, and I don’t know what to think of that. I haven’t really read a book before where I actually liked all of the love candidates and could see the heroine with each of them.
In the first book, I found Peter White, the rabbit, to be a bit annoying, and wanted him to back off of Alice, even if some of it was humorous. But then, almost immediately into this book, I saw more of him, and found that his desperate love for Alice was really adorable, and then he turned into his bunny form ‘cause Alice wanted him to, and I just kind of almost love him now. He’s still a bit too pushy for my taste, but he’s adorable.
Then there’s Julius, who I just liked in a simple way in the first book, but now I see is actually a love interest. I like him, and there was one really sweet moment between him and Alice in this book, but I still don’t really think of him as a huge love interest. I mean, I guess it could work, but I see them more as platonic friends, in the way that she could go to him for help, that he’s there for her if she needs him and she would repay the efforts, but not so much in a romantic way. Although, now that I think about it…
Next there’s the hatter, Blood Dupre. He’s not really crazy like I think the hatter should be, but he does seem dangerous and I don’t think I’m a huge fan of him at the moment. Plus, there was this one big moment between him and Alice in this book that was not good, but that I won’t spoil. And then he has this thing with the Queen… So, I’m a tiny bit intrigued, but not too big a fan of him at the moment. I do suspect him to become a bigger contender, though, or something to be revealed about him that is supposed to make me like him in the last book, so we’ll see.
Oh, Elliot March. I like Elliot, he’s sweet and cute, kind of an innocent contender even if he knows how to shoot a gun. I don’t see him as a big romantic interest, either, but I guess it could work. I do like him, and find him rather adorable.
A bit like Elliot and Julius, I actually see even less potential in Gowland. He just doesn’t strike romance, or any kind of heat, in me, and I don’t really think there’s been anything to cause it between him and Alice either. So, I don’t think he’s very big in the competition, so maybe they’re just going to be friendly with each other?
Ah, Ace. In the first book, I really liked him and found him interesting, and was expecting him to become a bigger love interest, to fall for him even more. That is not what happened. Instead, he took a rather dark turn in this book, and now I’m feeling very wary of him. He’s dangerous, and quite crazy, and there’s something very off about him, and I don’t like it. Dangerous in a way that, one wrong move, and he’ll kill you, not even joking. I don’t like it, and I don’t like that I don’t like it. I was actually even expecting something very bad to happen to him in this book, but it didn’t. We’ll see if he gets any better, or worse, in the last book, I guess.
Lastly (kind of), Boris. I love Boris. I found him to be adorable when I first met him, and then there was just something about him that I liked, and those feelings grew by a lot in this book. He is just so freakin’ sweet and adorable and I love him. I want more of him. He is probably my favorite of the group at the moment, even if I doubt he’s even in one of the top spots realistically for who Alice is going to choose.
Now, onto the characters that aren’t in the main guy group. Dee and Dum. Those two are cute little boys, but they are rather dangerous. I like them, but I’m also a bit wary of them, especially after a certain scene between them and Alice in this book that I won’t spoil.
The Queen, Vivaldi. We got to know her a bit more in this book, and I’m kind of ‘eh’y about her. I don’t really mind her, I don’t find her to be too dangerous at the moment (although that could always change), I don’t dislike her, I feel a tiny bit of sympathy and interest toward her. I’m just ‘eh’ about her, mostly. One thing I do like about her, is the way she calls herself ‘we’. I usually find those little eccentricities interesting, and I find it especially works here. I mean, it shows that she holds herself in high regard, but it’s also just a neat tick of hers, and it fits.
And, Nightmare. He, I guess, love Alice as well. He’s not really in the competition, we don’t see very much of him, and I honestly don’t really have much to say about him. I’m pretty sure he’s sick or something, as he’s always coughing up blood, but I don’t know why. Maybe if I got to know him more…
We found out in this book that, I’m assuming, everyone in town gets to dream and speak to Nightmare. Particularly, we see Peter and Julius talking to him, conversing about their wanting Alice and what they want for her in particular, and we see that they all openly know that the other guys are falling for her. Apparently because only someone who everyone would love is able to enter Wonderland? I wasn’t too sure on that, but the whole thing is interesting to me and I hope to find out more.
A lot happened in this book, and it was good, but I’m not going to spoil too much. This book did end off with an invitation to a ball the Queen is hosting, and everyone in town is required to go as part of the Game. Not much more development happened with the Game, though. Mostly the book focused on the characters and some almost-killings, we didn’t get to see how much more filled Alice’s glass is, and she keeps thinking about home while everyone tries distracting her from it, and she keeps telling everyone that she is set on going home, even if that’s maybe not true anymore?
These books are really good, they’re entertaining and also a bit dark, but I feel like the dark element of them should be expanded upon. It just seems like it’s giving us glimpses of the darkness lying in each person, but not fully expanding on it or showing us it, that it’s downplaying it by a lot, when it could be a lot creepier. I wish that it were more creeper, but I am enjoying it nonetheless.
I’m excited to read the next, and last, book, and I’m sure it’ll be good, hopefully even better than the first two, but I am wary. I just don’t see how everything can get cleared up in one(two) volume(s), that doesn’t seem like enough space.
Oh, there was an extra chapter at the end from Alice in the Country of Joker. Mostly, I just don’t see why it was there. It was interesting and all, it did make me intrigued to read the rest of it, given that it ended with Alice agreeing to play a Game with the Joker, but why show us this when we haven’t even finished this series yet? I mean, I know there are a shit ton of spin-off’s of this series (and, yea, I’m already debating which ones I want to read) but you should at least let us finish the original series first.

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