Gears in Wonderland: a book review

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by Tim Burdick on 21 July, 2014

Gears in Wonderland (by Jason Anderson) is a steam punk fantasy adventure. A timid milk toast, James, is pushed around by his boss, and harassed by his finance. But, after witnessing his friend’s murder, James is tackled by a man in a white suit and falls into Wonderland. There, he discovers the truth about himself as he tries to find a way home. 

Gears isn’t your typical childhood Wonderland. This fantasy world has become an older version of Victorian England, a steam punk universe of great machines- flying ships, blimps, and strange gadgets. Readers won’t discover an upside down place with characters speaking utter nonsense. Instead, they will encounter fighting pirates, flesh eating flowers, and yes, even a crazy Cheshire cat. It is great fun meeting the old characters again in dirty cities, dangerous forests, and polluted skies.

These reinvented versions of the White Rabbit, Prince of knaves, the Caterpillar, and the Mad Hatter are strong hooks into these new kingdoms of playing cards and chess pieces, but there also are plenty of new ones as well. This book is for young adult readers (or anyone) who enjoyed falling down the rabbit hole with Alice long long ago.

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