Off With Their Heads / Zoe Hana Mikuta / Book Review


Once upon a time, there were three witches growing up in a remote ward right on the edge of Wonderland. But grief brought a ravenous Saint to their doorstep and severed their trio forever. With a death trace marring the two surviving souls, these witches are cast into Wonderland, to pay their debts or die in the process. Nobody returns from Wonderland whole.

It's been five years since Caro Rabbit and Iccadora Sickle were cast into Wonderland. It's been four years since they broke each other's hearts.

Now Caro works for the Red Queen, bringing her the heads of the Saints she craves and ignoring the twisted experiments the Queen conducts in living flesh deep below the palace. And Icca, well, Icca has never forgotten what Caro did--and what the Red Queen did, either. And with both Caro and the Queen so close, Icca knows there's no time like the present to pay the palace a visit.



This book was brutally bloody, violent, and gory. In other words, it's not for everyone. But it most definitely was for me.


Wicked Opening Zoe Hana Mikuta doesn't pull any punches here. This book starts with blood splatter, off-kilter narration, and a spiraling sense of dread, paranoia, and insanity. In other words, it really does capture the essence of Wonderland. There's no time for readers to get their bearings here as they get dragged into this bloody mess, and for once, that sort of cold and unforgiving opening absolutely works. It is unsettling and utterly enchanting.

Ridiculous Worldbuilding The worldbuilding here is as ridiculous as one could hope from a book based on Lewis Carroll. It's wild, unsettling, and dangerous--and it really does embrace the aesthetic. The dripping rot of the deadly "Saints" of this Wonderland pair nicely with the unhinged bloodlust of the very-much-alive Jaberwockies consigned to this forest. Headhunting, vicious queens, and gore: this book is not afraid to embrace all the dark edges of Lewis Carroll's beloved classic.

Will They, Won't They? These girls absolutely hate each other, and they are utterly obsessed with each other. It's not a will-they, won't-they get (back) together. It's a will-they, won't-they sever each other's heads this time around? This dynamic is invigorating and sadistically charming. I adored this central duo.


With all of that said, readers who are squeamish really should beware. This book is absolutely blood-splattered, to an extent I have rarely seen in YA--and rarely seen in general, if I'm being honest. If gore isn't something you can stomach, maybe sit this one out. Brutal Gore

This book also contains more F-bombs than a PG-13 rating would warrant, so younger readers (and/or parents, guardians, or literary guides to younger readers) beware. The language in this book is by no means excessive, but it is definitely on the more mature side of the market. Sensitive readers, be warned! F***ing Language

As unhinged as this book is (in the best way possible), it can also be a little difficult to digest at times since, you know, a lot of it is comprised of what are, essentially, the ramblings of those barely hanging on to their sanity. It can be hard to follow. It can be easy to get lost in the rambling, and while I don't mind a detour, others might get frustrated by the lack of clarity. Lunatic Ramblings



Fans of Marissa Meyer's Heartless will like this dive into the dark magics possible in Wonderland. Those who enjoyed Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladwell's This Is How You Lose the Time War will adore these bitter enemies just waiting for a chance to leap as each other's throats.


Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date: April 23, 2024
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. I've been seeing mostly so-so reviews for this one, but this review is by far the most helpful to me personally-- because I LOVE everything you mentioned in the cons list. 😂 Now I can't believe I didn't get this while I was at the bookstore last week. Thanks for validating my desire to read this one. ;)

  2. I appreciate your heads-up about the gore and language. It's good to know what we're getting into before diving headfirst, especially for those who might not be too keen on blood and F-bombs. And yeah, navigating through the ramblings of characters teetering on the edge of sanity can be a challenge, but sometimes, that adds to the whole experience, doesn't it?

  3. I'm not really big on a lot of gore but it still sounds interesting.

  4. This sounds like a great read for Halloween! Thanks for the warning about the gore though.

  5. Sounds like a rather original retelling

  6. This sounds like a crazy but fun Wonderland read, though I'm not crazy about all the f-bombs in it or all the gore.

  7. It sounds crazy. What is there not ro like

  8. I'm not usually one for gore, but the rest of this sounds absolutely fabulous so I may need to give this a try anyway!


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