Author: Frank Beddor
Summary: The Looking Glass Wars is an excellent twist on a classic. Although whose to say which one is the true story of Alice or Alyss? The premise of this book is that Lewis Carroll got it wrong, horribly wrong. The tale of Alyss (he even spelled her name wrong) is not a fairy tale meant to entertain children before bed. No, it’s a story of family betrayal, love lost and an adventure to find oneself. The story begins on the day of Alyss’ seventh birthday the exact day her estranged aunt, Redd, decides to take back the crown of Wonderland. Aunt Redd crashes the party and starts dealing out death sentences. By the end of it Alyss has lost both parents and is ripped from all she knows to end up worlds away, cold, wet, and alone. Force to deny her past she grows up in a world that lacks warmth and knowledge of White Imagination. The core of her family’s imagination. Meanwhile back in Wonderland the inhabitants are suppressed by Redd and Black Imagination. However there is a small group of Wonderlandians willing to fight in the name of the lost princess. By way of perfect timing Alyss is brought back home a grown woman, unsure of herself or her abilities. The question soon becomes whether or not Alyss can become the Queen Wonderland needs.
My Thoughts: I have been trying to read this book for years ever since one of my closest friend’s recommended it. I am one of those girls who has a love for the story Alice in Wonderland. It was one of the first stories I read as a kid over and over, and it continues to be one of my favorite childhood classics. And for the record yes I’ve attempted to follow a lone rabbit to a world unlike my own, my so far no dice. Frank Beddor is a talented writer, a good mix of adventure, action and emotion finds it’s way throughout the whole novel. At some parts the pacing doesn’t match up and the character reactions aren’t that convincing. For example at the age of 7 Alyss leaves Wonderland, age 16 she comes to terms with turning her back on her old life, age 20 she’s engaged to a prince but is once again yanked back to Wonderland. Where she has to once again come to terms with what she had supposedly convinced herself never happened. To me there seemed to be something lacking at this point in the plot. The same goes for Dodger, at some points it was as if he was trying to more angst than needed and it felt at odd with the rest of the story. In general the story reads great and the story draws you in only for the sake of reading the twist on a classic. The Cat is spooky and a great supporting character, and Redd…is by far the cruelest Red Queen to date. Where others had chosen to portray her in a comical way, Beddor creates an evil queen that would scare even the manliest of man.