Monday, 15 April 2013

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

The Looking Glass Wars
by Frank Beddor

Summary: 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, Hatter 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.
I really love reimagining's of stories, especially stories like Alice in Wonderland (I adore SyFy's Alice - Hatter was awesome) and I really enjoyed this one--I wish I hadn't left it getting dusty on my shelf for the past few years. I'd rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

I don't have a lot to say about it really. It kept me entertained and I stayed up to 5am reading it, then when I was done I wanted to move right onto the second book but 1) I had to at least get some sleep, 2) there were other books I had to get to first, and 3) I have a feeling I should buy the third book before starting the second because I'll likely want to jump right into that one when I've finished Seeing Redd.
I wasn't the biggest fan of the writing style, but it didn't bother me too much. I think the reason I didn't like it much was that it was very - distant? We get a glimpse at all of the characters but in the end it doesn't feel like we really know any of them, we've just barely scratched the surface. And it works because the book is very action packed and plot driven but it would've been nice to have the narration make me feel a bit closer to the characters and more emotionally invested.
Also, it's one of those books that could be awesome as a movie because there's so much of it that would be better seen instead of read; there's plenty of fight scenes in the book and, while I don't hate those, I'm not one of those people that particularly enjoys them either.

It really felt like this was a book that was written by a guy--which it was, but I mean that it was obvious while I was reading that it was a male author. That's not a bad thing at all and it didn't impact my enjoyment of the book, it was just something that I noticed and I wanted to mention it because it was interesting to read a fantasy story written by a man that is set in a world where the women are the ones in power, and see how it comes across differently to fantasy books by female authors and how they portray female power (I don't want to say much more about that because it'll just be rambling and probably come across more negative than I intend it to be).

This book is a difficult one to review, because while I loved it, I can't for the life of me think of how to put what I loved about it into words, but I seem to have little issue saying the things I didn't love about it.
I know I loved the characters (especially Bibwit, Hatter, Dodge and The Cat), I know I loved the twist on the original tale, I know I loved the setting and desperately want to read the sequels (and the Hatter M graphic novels(?)) and for it to be a movie - but I can't pin point any exact reason why I enjoyed it so much or really go into any more detail about the things that I did enjoy.
TL;DR version: I love this book because of reasons.

If you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland, or reimagining's of stories, or just fantasy stories set in quirky worlds with lots of action then maybe check this one out.

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