Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Looking Glass Wars Book Review

The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars #1) by Frank Beddor



Alyss of Wonderland?
When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carroll, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss' story - and he's searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions of mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.


I feel like this is a book you either love or hate. Personally, I'm on the fence. On one hand I really enjoyed the more unique take on the original Alice story, on the other hand, it wasn't executed very well.
“You can't spend so much time in a place and not carry a bit of it inside you.”
I was totally into the whole twist on the original Alice story and how Carroll got the story all wrong, at first. But Beddor kind of lost me at the whole imagination thing as being a 'power', I just couldn't get into it now matter how hard I tried. Also, the time line was awful. One paragraph she is 10 than a sentence later she's 16 than all of a sudden she's 20. There was a lot that was basically skipped over with that and then there were so many times that were dragged on to the point I wanted to just skip them (I didn't).
“For most of the universe's life is not all gummy wads and tarty tarts; is a struggle against hardship, unfairness, corruption, abuse, and adversity in all its guises, where even to survive - let alone survive with dignity - is heroic. To soldier through the days in the wake of failure is the courageous act of many.” 
The story did have some cool factors in it though. I really enjoyed the foot soldiers and the looking glass continuum (or whatever it was called). The way that the card soldiers actually acted like cards and soldiers, folding into themselves but then becoming really tall was incredibly cool to them, and bonus points to the author for the drawings to go along with it. Also I was sort of captivated by the world, *SPOILERS* both before and after the whole takeover. Oddly though, I thought it was kind of great how Beddor added in the whole drug problem with the imagination stuff (sorry, I'm honestly drawing a blank), I mean, that is incredibly realistic and such a fun small detail.
All in all, the book may not be executed in the best way and some of the dialogue made me want to cringe, but the story itself was fun and new. I was into the story and I wanted to know what would happen next the whole time. If you're a retelling buff, like myself, though, I would say to read this book with caution because you will either really like it or want to throw it across a room. (4/5)
“I've finished running from you, Redd. It's time for you to run."--Alyss”  

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