Wednesday, September 30, 2020

MG review of The Lost Wonderland Diaries by J. Scott Savage

The Lost Wonderland Diaries by J. Scott Savage
Format:  Hardcover
Publisher:  Shadow Mountain
Number of pages:  352
Published:  September 8th, 2020
Source:  Purchased

Opening Lines:  "Is it time?  Is it time?  Is it time?  The question bounced about the Rabbit family warren like a well-hit croquet ball" 

From Goodreads:  "Celia and Tyrus discover the legendary Lost Diaries of Wonderland and fall into a portal that pulls them into the same fantasy world as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. However, Wonderland has vastly changed. Some of the characters that Tyrus remembers from the book have been transformed into angry monsters.

Helped by the Cheshire Cat and a new character, Sylvan, a young rabbit, Celia and Tyrus desperately work to solve puzzles and riddles, looking for a way out of Wonderland. But the danger increases when the Queen of Hearts begins hunting them, believing the two young visitors hold the key to opening multiple portals to multiple worlds, and she will stop at nothing to capture them.

Will the crazed creatures of Wonderland escape into the real world? Can Celia and Tyrus stop them and save both worlds? Or will they be trapped in Wonderland forever?"

I've always been a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and was really excited when I first heard that J. Scott Savage was writing a new book based off the premise of Charles Dodgson AKA Lewis Carroll's Lost Diaries.  It sounded like such a fun premise and I do enjoy reading portal fantasies,  whether it's taking a trip with Alice down the rabbit hole, or being sucked into an unknown place.  There's the hope of discovering a new world filled with magic and adventure.  With the Lost Wonderland Diaries I was expecting some similarities to Alice in Wonderland, you just have to include the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and defiantly the Cheshire Cat.  While there are these elements, Savage does add his own spin to the story by having Celia and Tyrus travel to places like the Arithma Sea and Sesquipedalian Swamp.  I found myself smiling and giggling far more times then I can count. 

I so thoroughly enjoyed my read of The Lost Wonderland Diaries, it was just fantastic!  It has this perfect blend of facts about Charles Dodgson's publications under the pen name Lewis Carroll and his life as a mathematician.  A kind of mix of language and math, that spoke to my quirky and logic side with all of its puzzles and math.   And the language, all these lovely big words like befuddlement and my new favorite, indubitably.   Even the creative word placement on the page,  how certain words were displayed on the page to convey the meaning of the word, like the staggering of one letter per line in the word "fell" to show it falling downward.  Savage took all the parts from Alice in Wonderland that I love,  tweaked it and added in two wonderful new main characters, Celia and Tyrus.  Oh my how I so enjoyed this pair.  Got to love Tyrus determination not to take no for an answer and how upbeat and positive he was that he and Celia were going to be friends.  If you enjoyed the nonsensical aspects of stories like Alice in Wonderland and the classic feel of maybe The Phantom Tollbo0th, you should defiantly give The Lost Wonderland Diaries a read.  

Favorite line:  "There are no mistakes, only opportunities waiting to be discovered."


  1. I won an ARC from Jennifer Nielsen, who recommended it on her blog. I'm glad you liked it so much. Me too. I just recommended it to one of my cousin who reads middle grade.

  2. I can't wait to read it~ adding it to my Goodreads now! Thanks so much for the recommendation :)