Review: J. Scott Savage’s Lost Wonderland Diaries

Lost Wonderland Diaries J. Scott SavageTHE LOST WONDERLAND DIARIES, J. Scott Savage, Shadow Mountain, Sept. 8, 2020, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 8-11)

J. Scott Savage returns to Lewis Carroll’s fantastical world of white rabbits, Cheshire cats and angry queens in The Lost Wonderland Diaries.

Lewis Carroll created a curious and fantastical world in his classic book Alice in Wonderland, but he secretly recorded the true story of his actual travels to Wonderland in four journals which have been lost to the world…until now.

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. A darkness has settled over the land, and some creatures and characters that Tyrus remembers from the book have been transformed into angry monsters.

Celia and Tyrus make their way through this unpredictable and dangerous land, helped by familiar friends including the Cheshire Cat and a new character, Sylvan, a young rabbit. Together, they 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, she will stop at nothing to capture them.

It’s up to Celia and Tyrus to save Wonderland and the real world.  It’s a race against time before they are trapped in Wonderland forever. —Synopsis provided by Shadow Mountain

I wish I could say I loved The Lost Wonderland Diaries. I wish I could even say I like it. Truthfully, I struggled to get into it, and after 74 pages, I walked away.

I’m normally a fan of J. Scott Savage. I loved his Mysteries of the Cove series, and I thought the same would happen here. It never did. I think this comes, in part, because of my apathy toward Alice in Wonderland in general. It’s never been one of my favorites, and here, Savage is immersing readers back into this wacky world.

Savage’s two main characters are a nice balance and seem well-suited for this sort of adventure. Most of the reviews I’ve seen for The Lost Wonderland Diaries touch on that friendship as well as strong elements of inclusiveness and self-confidence that should appeal to many readers.

Though I didn’t finish this book, I did enjoy the puzzles Celia and Tyrus had to solve and felt the author did a good job of making Celia’s dyslexia accessible and relatable to readers. This book is probably a no-brainer for Alice fans, but I’d recommend checking it out from the library prior to purchasing for others.


© 2020, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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