A New Adventure in Wonderland: The Secret of Safe Passage by Martin Baynton

Friday, July 5, 2024

book cover for The Secret of Safe Passage by Martin Baynton. It shows the character Ali and several classic Wonderland residents.

In The Secret of Safe Passage, Martin Baynton breathes new life into the beloved Wonderland universe with a fresh new twist. This tale follows Ali, a spirited teenager and descendant of the original Alice. Her journey is a fantastic blend of fantasy, mystery, and a touch of attitude, making for an enthralling read that has left me desperate for the next book.

*Please note that there are minor spoilers mentioned in this review*

The story begins with Ali’s tumultuous first day at a new school, where her temper leads to an altercation with a very suspicious individual and subsequent suspension. Unable to get in touch with her father, the school assigns Ali to the care of Lord and Lady Grey, who has been secretly funding her education. This unexpected turn of events sets the stage for a series of discoveries that intertwine her fate with that of the famous Wonderland. 

While exploring the Grey's property, Ali discovers a forbidden barn with old furniture and copies of  Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Initially dismissing it as a dream, she later discovers a cryptic note from the original Alice, leading her on a mission to discover the secret of safe passage between the two worlds. She faces numerous challenges, makes new friends, and uncovers shocking revelations that test her resilience and wit.

Baynton masterfully blends elements of fantasy, mystery, and adventure, creating a story that builds on the foundation of Alice in Wonderland and brings it to a modern era.  His ability to write a fresh and exciting narrative while still honoring the original works of Lewis Carroll is outstanding. Many have tried to rework and or add to the original and have failed to fully recreate the mood and whimsy of Wonderland. I am very happy to say that as a long-term Alice aficionado, Baynton is one of the very few successes.  The Secret of Safe Passage is a must-read for all fans of Wonderland and Portal Fantasy.

Rating:  ★★★★★ 5/5

Book Information:

The Secret of Safe Passage (Taking Wonderland #1): Goodreads, Amazon

Martin Baynton: Goodreads, Amazon, Official, Instagram

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