Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar’s Game Vol 2

I enjoyed the first Alice in the Country of Hearts series much more than I expected to. I’ve since tried out some of the sequels here and there, and I think this series is one that I’ve enjoyed the most, just because the storyline seems to echo back to the first series in both theme and tone. While most of the other Alice series that I’ve read tend to focus more on what I think of as the core cast of characters, Alice in the Country of Joker introduces the Circus as a new place and the mysterious Joker accompanies the Circus. It is April season, which is a different and unsettling time for the inhabitants of Wonderland.

The second volume of the series continues with many of the things I enjoyed about the first. There are flashbacks to Alice’s previous life that hint at the psychological issues that might cause her to take refuge in Wonderland. Alice is reminded of her sister as she spends time with the obsessive white rabbit, Peter White. Blood Dupre continues his flirting campaign, but the influence of the Circus and the barrier that Nightmare placed in Alice’s mind are in conflict. There seems to be a cyclical conflict between the Circus and the rest of Wonderland, and Alice is trapped in the middle of it. The unsettling tone and hints of suspense were more of what I tend to look for in one of these many Alice stories. So far, this is the main spinoff series I would make a point of recommending to fans of the first Alice in the Country of Hearts. I still miss the art from Soumei Hoshino in the original series. There isn’t anything really wrong with the illustrations of the adapter here, but Hoshino’s art was more delicate and surreal, adding another dimension to the Wonderland portrayed in these stories.

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