Thursday, November 5, 2009

REVIEW: The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

This review was originally written on 18 November, 2008

The premise of this book is that Alice in Wonderland is actually Princess Alyss of Wonderland. who ended up in Victorian England while escaping her evil Aunt Redd who kills her parents and takes over Wonderland. Alyss (re-named Alice by a teacher who insists that she's spelling her name wrong) finds a sympathetic ear in Reverend Dodgson (i.e. Lewis Carroll) and tells him the entire story of her childhood only to have him make nonsense of it and turn it into the book Alice in Wonderland. Alice continues to grow up in England while Hatter Madigan, her family's bodyguard continues to search for her so they can return to Wonderland (and the city of Wondertropolis) to battle Redd and reclaim Wonderland, as she is its rightful princess.An interesting storyline, no? It is a satisfying read if you're looking for something fast and glossy but you get the sense that the author is hoping you'll be so distracted by his new additions to the story (Redd's Army, White and Black Imagination) that you won't notice that there is really no substance to the story. I actually really liked his reimagining of Wonderland because it gave it a slightly darker twist.I do think he needs to work on character development though and maybe in his descriptions of Wonderland. I saw Redd as a very dominant character who would be difficult to defeat and Alyss didn't seem that strong throughout the book. Also he spends an adequate amount of time describing Wondertropolis but the descriptions of any other location in the book are cursory at best- just enough so you know that is where the character is at that point in time but not enough so you get a feel for the place. I also thought the ending was a little too neat. This book is actually the first in a trilogy and I'm reading the second book now. Overall I give the book a C+

If the FTC is wondering: This book is from my own personal library

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