Publication Date/Version: January 2010/Paperback
Publisher: Beach Books
Publisher: Beach Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Other Shelf Tours (Thanks!)
When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes. Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is. Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Struths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.
Professor Random has somehow managed to misplace Alice. Yes, that one. Now poor Henry Witherspoon (I've been reading a lot of books that involve that name Witherspoon!) has to go off in search of her. When he gets to this new world, he meets Winnie Flapjack, a doodle-witch. Along their quest they brave numerous indescribable creatures and people, all while forming a quirky connection.
First off, I did not think I was going to be able to make it through this book at all. Based on the first 40 pages-ish, I was so ready to quit. But I made myself go on because it was for a tour. I'm so glad I did! The rest of the book was fun and completely, totally crazy!
Once you got past the rough beginning, it was nothing but a whirlwind of odd characters and wonky puzzles. Describing this book is really making me stretch my adjectives! Henry and Winnie are looking for Alice, though they get incredibly sidetracked along the way. Not sidetracked, I supposed, but it is a very long journey with a ton of twists. Here's how I felt: Okay, we're off to find Alice. Oh, but first let's look at this tree. Step over this fern. Ah, what do we have here? A fire horse? Let's ride that and see where we go! Alice? Oh right! Alice! You get the idea. ;] It wasn't a problem for me, as I felt that all of these random events were eventually leading to the discovery of Alice, which indeed they did. Some people may be irked by the constant stop-and-go, however.
Henry and Winnie were both very entertaining characters. Henry was a bit more dull, but I found his sense of humor to be quite funny. Winnie, the leader of this little expedition, had a knack for being overly curious. It did lead to some entertaining situations though. The two didn't have an intense romantic connection, but their attraction to each by the end of the book was inevitable. When you risk life and limb with someone, how could you not appreciate them?
Random Magic could have used a bit more editing. There was a great story in there, but it was hidden under a bit of grime. A fewer twists, more focus.
Note: I found that this book smelled like salt. Weird, since it's published by Beach Books. Just thought I'd point that out.
Overall: Completely quirky, insane, and original. Random Magic will appeal to those looking for something way out of the normal. Don't go in expecting a perfect plot, only a good time. You won't be disappointed.
My Advice: Borrow this. I really do recommend it, but I realize that it definitely won't be for everyone.
Cover: I'm basically the only one, but I really like it! I think it looks better in person actually. So yeah, it's obviously Nicole Kidman. And people have said it's too crazy and doesn't fit the story. But honestly, with a story like this? The cover could have been an orange elephant swimming in a pool of jello with a werewolf, all painted Picasso style, and it still would have fit. Anything goes.
*This was read as a part of the 100+ Reading Challenge