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The Looking Glass Wars - Looking Glass Wars, Bk 1 Author:Frank Beddor The Myth: Alice was an ordinary girl who stepped through the looking glass and entered a fairy-tale world invented by Lewis Carroll in his famous storybook. — The Truth: Wonderland is real. Alyss Heart is the heir to the throne, until her murderous Aunt Redd steals the crown and kills Alyss' parents. To escape Redd, Alyss and her bodyguard, H... more »atter Madigan, must flee to our world through the Pool of Tears. But in the pool Alyss and Hatter are separated. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Yet he gets the story all wrong.
Hatter Madigan knows the truth only too well, and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.« less
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I have a confession to make. I have never particularly cared for Lewis Carroll's (aka the Reverend Charles Dodgson's) ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. Although I've read those stories, once, they have never even come close to being one of my favorites. With Frank Beddor's THE LOOKING GLASS WARS, however, I can easily say that I was drawn into the story from the first page--and have found a new book to add to my list of favorites.
THE LOOKING GLASS WARS begins in 1863, in Oxford England, with eleven-year-old Alyss Heart having told her story to the Rev. Charles Dodgson over a matter of months. After four years of living in this world, Alyss is sure her story is about to be told. Unfortunately, the "liberties" that college scholar Dodgson took with her telling of her life in Wonderland have been turned into a parody, a fictional tale that resembles nothing like the life she had previously led. The events that led to her living in England have become nothing but a foolish story, something to be read to privileged children by their pampered parents.
Alyss's story actually begins long before that day she is given a bound copy of ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Dodgson. While Alyss was celebrating her seventh birthday in Wonderland, plans were being put into action to overthrow the Queen, Genevieve, Alyss's mother. Genevieve's evil sister, Redd, has grown tired of being exiled from Wonderland--and her powers have grown strong. She stages a coup that begins with the death of the King, Genevieve's husband, Nolan. And it doesn't end until Genevieve is dead, as well, and Alyss is forced to escape through the Pool of Tears.
This is only the beginning of Alyss's toils, and the troubles and woes that come to all Wonderlanders who refuse to recognize the new queen. As the other houses (Spades, Diamonds, and Clubs) take sides, as battles are waged, Wonderland fades from the beautiful, prosperous city that it once was. And Alyss, who was destined to be Queen, is forced to live a life of lies in an alternate world.
Frank Beddor has come up with a wonderful story that draws upon Lewis Carroll's original characters and turns them around to bring them to vivid life. From the Chessboard Desert to the bodyguard Hatter Madigan, from the scholar Bibwit Harte to the young Dodge Anders, from the Generals Doppel and Ganger to The Cat and the Glass Eyes and The Cut, it's all there, in wonderful, splendid glory. This is definitely one story that will stay with you, and have you turning pages long into the night. If you're like me, you'll also be eagerly awaiting the second book in the series, SEEING REDD.
First off, the edition of this book that I read was beautiful. The cover was glossy, the pages thick, and the little extras like the hearts/diamonds, etc on each page a nice touch. Also included were some beautiful illustrations of Alyss as a child and adult, Hatter, and Bibwit among others.
This book had quite a slow start for me. I really had to make myself keep reading, but once I got about 50 pages in I couldn't put it down. And thank goodness because this was the only book I took with me while in the car today driving back and forth half of Texas and I finished it in just a few hours.
I really enjoyed the plot of the book. I found it imaginative, fast paced, and childlike in it resolution of conflicts. I loved how the characters imagination came to life, and was used in all manner of life. That Wonderland was the origin for so many inventions, thoughts, and theories that they spread throughout the universe.
The characters were wide spread in terms of personality but did hold tightly to some cliques. Especially Hatter and Dodge. One was the typical loyal warrior who can do anything, defeat anyone, and is always in control. The other is the typical man bent on revenge to the exclusion of all else who is proud, relentless, and cold. Alyss seemed to really grow and transform throughout the book from a sweet yet spoiled and naive child, to a cold and resolutely imaginable young woman, to a strong, fighting queen.
My issues with the book though was the rushed pacing. Years pass within chapters with only the smallest of glimpses into what is passing in the lives of the characters. This rushed style of writing also affects the plot in the way situations are easily overcome despite 300+ pages of buildup. I think that this is a reflection of the fact that this book is written for teens possibly. Also, the description were sometimes lacking, especially when it came to technology and weapons used. I have trouble imagining what these weapons, places, and outfits really looked like.
Despite this, I do want to read the next book in the trilogy and find out what the future has in store for Alyss, Dodge, and the Wonderlandians.
Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
Rachel D. (raycoli) reviewed The Looking Glass Wars (Looking Glass Wars, Bk 1) on
4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Not a bad book in my opinion. Worth a read if you have the time. The premise is great and the author has fun with the original Alice, but maybe too much fun. The book didn't follow the original story like I expected it to, instead only used it as a reference point. Descriptions and visualizations were rather dry, especially for a title wanting to focus on the power of imagination, and with the illustrations and such included in it, seemed like it was written with the sole purpose of it being made into a movie one day.
That said, I did enjoy the book. It was a relaxing, fun read. The characters were easy to warm up to and the weapons were imaginative. This isn't a book to praise until the end of your days, but its worth opening up if you wish to fill a dull afternoon.
I wish that this book was better than it was. The premise was a good one, but the story fell short. I held on until the end, waiting for something redeeming, but it never came. It was an ok book, and had many parallels with the most recent Disney live action version of the story, but I don't think it interested me enough to finish the rest of the series.