Dark urban fantasy version of Alice in Wonderland. Sounds great to me, right in my wheelhouse. Nice touch opening it in an insane asylum. If only it lived up to my expectations.
Other than the character names, this bears no resemblance to the source material. Characters have no personality, nothing even close to the original which is packed with weird, colorful characters. There is very little humor to be found, which is certainly one of things I loved best about the original.
But, let's say I forget about comparing it to the source material and think of it as a book on its own merits. Alice seems like an outline with dialogue, nothing is developed. The two main characters, Alice and Hatcher (who I assume is the Mad Hatter) have conveniently lost their memories, therefore the author doesn't have to develop character motivation. When convenient, suddenly they will remember part of their backstory to serve the plot. Hatcher and Alice know what to do based on dreams and visions instead of earning or learning anything. Dreams and visions are a weak device at the best of times and certainly shouldn't be used to replace character development. Not to mention that these people have no personality to speak of.
Mostly, Alice and Hatcher roam around the Old City (the crime-ridden part of a fantasy version of New York) and meet different evil and powerful denizens of this world. Except they're basically all the same. They look different and have different lairs, but can't tell you how they otherwise standout from each other. The Big Bad doesn't even get enough interaction to develop a personality.
The “dark fantasy” part revolves around the rape, torture, selling etc. of women and girls. No other crimes. All the baddies are men who want to consume women in some way or another. No other motivations from the villains, other than generic desire for “power.” Since this abuse of women isn't given any emotional resonance, it feels like a cheap trick.
I'm glad the book was short and fast moving. The ending itself though, was another problem. In the final conflict, Alice (who discovers at a convenient moment earlier that she is a magician) realizes she can just wish things to happen and uses this to dispatch with the person they've been chasing all this time. A bit anticlimactic, even though I wasn't that into the story, I expected a bit more to the final conflict after all the time spent on the setup.