October 6, 2014

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

The Looking Glass Wars
The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars, #1)
Picture Courtesy of Goodreads

Author: Frank Beddor
Series: The Looking Glass Wars #1
Release Date: September 26th, 2006
Pages: 364
Review by: Tessa

Everyone knows the beloved story of Alice and Wonderland. The caterpillars, singing flowers, and a certain smiling cat make this mysterious land even more wonderful. But, we heard the wrong story.

Alyss Heart, as her name is truly spelled, is the adored princess of Wonderland. She is almost the complete opposite of her lunatic aunt, Redd Heart. Alyss has been safely living the glamorous life of a young princess in Wonderland, while her scheming aunt is locked away. Alyss' potential as a queen is growing, as is her pure imagination. But another Heart is anxiously awaiting her chance to rise to the throne, and her intentions are far from innocent.

Alyss is about to find out that the wonderful land of singing flowers and limitless imagination is anything but safe. She is forced to flee into a drab and dreary world, where the queen is Victoria, not herself.

As Wonderland struggles to fend without their only princess, Alyss must fight to keep her imagination in a world that will quench everything that is unique.

Alice and Wonderland as always fascinated me, even as a child, except for the Cheshire Cat, because he was just creepy. Anyway, I have wondered what it would like to live in Wonderland. Now that I have read The Looking Glass Wars, I know exactly what it would be like.

This is one of my favorite retellings. I only like retellings when they are done well and avoid all of the cliches in the genres. Personally, this sounds more intriguing to me than Splintered and Alice in Zombieland. Honestly, just the titles of those books make me cringe. Why would someone take a world so magical as Wonderland and make it into a zombie apocalypse?

This book shows the reality of Wonderland (if that makes any sense at all). I feel like I really understand Alyss and her world now. It actually seems feasible that this world can coexist with ours, now that I have read the book. Beddor took a story that is acclaimed as a classic, but made it even more wonderful.

My favorite part of the book is the world-building. You are thrown down the rabbit hole with your only protection being your limited (and questionable) knowledge from the classic tale. The characters are not two-dimensional (even the card soldiers have personality). But, of course, the spotlight was on Alyss. As it turns out, she is not the innocent and naive girl that we know from the original tale.

The only thing that bothered me was how quickly time passed in the book. Sometimes I was left wanting more during a scene. Also, I was left to fend for myself in figuring out what happened in the time in between the jumps. But, if you like fast-paced books, then this will not bother you as much.

If you have ever wondered why the Red Queen decided to be evil, or if the mad hatter really is mad, then this is little wonder is the perfect book for you.

P.S. If you were not counting, I made four Wonderland puns. :)

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