Follow the White Rabbit by Shelli Rosewarne

Follow the White Rabbit by Shelli Rosewarne
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (27 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

In Wonderland the strange and magical is everyday, but when a woman who can’t remember her own name meets a shape-shifting cat, anything can happen.

Mary Ann doesn’t remember her life before she wandered into the Woods of Forgetfulness. She doesn’t remember who she was, where she came from, or even her real name—and she’s given up on anyone coming to look for her. Now, she works for the White Rabbit, and if she’s not deliriously happy at least her life is content.

Until, that is, she comes across a Cheshire Cat, a rare shape-shifter, who may be about to turn her life upside down.

In Wonderland, things are rarely what they seem.

It’s hard to hide the truth forever.

Imagine experiencing desire while having no clue at all if you’ve ever acted on those feelings. Mary Ann’s amnesia is the first thing the reader learns about her, but I didn’t think about all of the repercussion of having no memories of her previous life until she began showing how it was affecting her. There was something about her longing to remember that struck a chord with me. I was intrigued by the new life she’d built. At the same time, though, I really hoped she’d at least get a few clues about her identity. She was so likeable that I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for her to never get find answers she sought.

I definitely didn’t anticipate the plot twist that Ms. Rosewarne had up her sleeve. It worked well with everything that was established early on, but the execution of it was a little abrupt. There was simply so much going on in that section that it would have worked better for me if this had been a novella instead of a short story. Another 20 or 30 pages would have provided enough space to explore everything that was only hinted at in this version. Had those fascinating nooks been given more time to affect Mary Ann’s reality, I would have easily chosen a much higher rating for this tale.

The only thing more fascinating to me than Mary Ann’s blank page of a past were all of the descriptions of what it’s like to work for the White Rabbit. It’s hard to picture two characters with personalities more diametrically opposed than these ones. What surprised me about their business relationship, though, was how they accounted for each other’s weaknesses. They were actually a very good team!

Follow the White Rabbit was a peek into the adult side of Wonderland. It’s a good choice for anyone who’d like to revisit this universe as a grownup.

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