Review: 'The Wonderland Effect' by Robert Arrington

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Wonderland Effect
Robert Arrington

Alice Littleton, gifted with the powers of Wonderland, draws a catastrophe down on herself when she tries to use them in aid of a kidnapped child. Now, she and her father are being pursued by a relentless paranormal intent on recruiting other supers- or eliminating potential competition. She finds her way to Prometheus Academy, a new school with a truly empowered student body. When the school comes under attack, Alice must decide whether to run again, or take a stand against the forces threatening her and her new friends. 

Note: I got this as a Read-For-Review from the author. 

Here Be the Players

With so many characters, it's hard to mention all of them. I'll focus on the one character who was constantly repeated.
Alice was an okay character. She had a lot of different powers under her belt. She had the gliding power. The shrinking and growing power. She had many things. And she was kind. She did kind things for strangers. Helping out Billy for example. She didn't have to do it, but it did it anyways. She risked her life for this little kid. What did he do for her? Nothing really. Alice was loyal. She would do anything for her friends. She wanted to risk her life to help her family, even her mother who hated her powers and shunned her family. She was a good person. Not the most interesting character. Not the deepest one either. She was just so-so.

The Adventure Begins (And Ends)

The plot was quite interesting. It started off a bit boring and a bit confusing. It had two sides. The Prometheus Academy. Alice. Two sides. The fighting powered. And Alice surviving and fighting on her own. (Which is an amazing feat.) There was a bit of action, but enough of the beginning is mostly people just fooling around. Not a lot of happening.
The middle was pretty cool. It was filled with action. It had a lot of interesting twists. The Oglethorpe twist? The Boojum? It was interesting. And Alice going to the school? Cool. And she met so many interesting people. Min Ki. Sarah. Scott. Things happened in the middle. We meet people and determine if they're friend or foe. We find out secrets. Secrets about people that can cause damage. The plot seems a bit long. We don't need the dances and whatnot. (Seriously? Was that just to let Sarah show her power off?)

The Swoon-Gasp-Swoon Factor


Ka-Pow Power

The action was great. The scenes with fighting were cool. Action-y. Fast-paced. They were interesting. The powers called for different moves. Different ways to attack. And with the wide range of powers, anything could happen. The action surprised me with how interesting it was.
I wanted more of this action. You had many good fight scenes. People used martial arts. Levitation. Telekinesis. Lighting. Fire. They used these powers to fight others, and it was fascinating.

Kiss Kiss Fall in Love

The romance was uncalled for, though. It didn't have much of a purpose. It didn't carry the story along. The relationships could have just been friendships, and the story would be the same. Alice was loyal to her friends and loved ones. She would have worried about Scott and Sarah just because of their strong bond to her. The romance didn't help anyone. Not Min Ki. Not Miranda.
And it seemed like people were pairing off. Kasie and Regis. Alice and Scott. People met and kissed and fell in love. Blegh. It was uncalled for. These people didn't need to be paired off. Almost all the main characters had a person to date. Or someone they would date. Even the side characters. It was annoying since the romance didn't enhance the story.

Special Effects

The powers are awesome to say the least. Scott's awesome sound power? The power to copy abilities? The telekinesis? Teleportation? That was cool. Really cool. They were unique. The power to change how people perceive you was different. I don't think I've ever read a power like that before. And the I'm-super-lucky power was strange. I felt like that was just crazy luck. Unbelievably crazy good luck. It was an oddball. (Then again, all these characters are oddballs.) Alice's powers were odd too. The Wonderland creatures was one thing. The talking to animals was another. Gliding power. And more. Alice had a backpack full of powers to her disposal. The others had one or two things. Esme had one. Julio had one. Andrew had one. Alice had many. Oglethorpe had many. (And you don't have a limit? You're a power sucker not a copier.) I think Alice had too much power. A bit of a goddess really.

The End

The ending suited the story. It was happy and satisfying. It seemed a bit rushed, though. Just...bam. Few weeks later. What happened? Lots but the story didn't think it was important to add in cool world-jumping scenes. I would have loved that. Maybe a short story can carry it on.
The ending didn't raise any questions. Except for one. Where is Elaine? That's all I wanted to know when I finished. I may never know, and I'm okay with that. I didn't care for Elaine anyways. She wasn't the best villain after all.
It was simply that. The ending. Nothing else. It was good and gave the characters closure.



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  3. Really? It actually seems exactly like the type of book I would read...oh well, everyone has their own reading styles. Great review by the way!