Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Tahereh Mafi's Alice in Wonderland-reimagining middle-grade debut is markedly different from Shatter Me, which can only be a good thing. It's, surprisingly, a little slow to get started, and after about 100 pages, I was really starting to wonder when things would happen.
Then the adventure really kicks off in earnest, making for a seriously page-turning read. Page-turning, and aggressively surreal, though not in the same "is this even a story?" weird way of, say, Wink Poppy Midnight. Mafi's surreal style is undeniably fun, wild, constantly breaking the fourth wall (I read a good chunk of the book in the voice of Jim Dale doing his Pushing Daisies narration), and willfully defiant of the laws of physics in all the best ways.
What I really liked most about Furthermore, though, was what this version of Alice has in common with Tavi from Codex Alera - a kid without magic in a world where everyone has magic, one who learns very quickly that perhaps not having such an advantage wakes up other advantages instead. Specifically, a greater dependence on one's own wits, which makes one a little more capable of survival.
So far, it appears this book may be a standalone, but if there's a sequel (in addition to Mafi's other work in progress of which I've heard - a YA historical fantasy set in ancient Persia, if I remember correctly), count me in for going down this paper foxhole again.
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