Thursday, July 28, 2011
Review: The Looking Glass Wars Posted by Grace
THE LOOKING GLASS WARS by 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, 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.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, fun read. You can enjoy it even if you haven’t read the original Alice in Wonderland, but those who have will get a lot more of the allusions that Beddor has planted. The plot moved quickly, and the story was entertaining.
The downside, though, was the characters. There wasn’t a whole lot of development going on, and most of them seemed pretty flat. Our heroine was all good. At the beginning, Alice seemed to accept some very…upsetting circumstances with a lot more grace than any seven-year-old I know would. And that continues throughout the book, as she simply goes along with what happens and doesn’t seem to have any problem with it. Alice doesn’t seem to have any recognizable flaws, and she never wavers in her duty. While that, of course, is not at all realistic, it didn’t make the book unenjoyable. It reminded me of a fairy tale, and that may be what Beddor was going for.
Also like a fairy tale, the villain, Queen Redd, is pure evil. In a kind of ridiculous way. She seems to be evil simply for sake of being evil, and all she wants to do is take over Wonderland. Not much of scheme. She was a bit bumbling, and not really a challenging foe, except for the sheer numbers of her forces. Of all the villains, the Cat was probably the best, as he was the only one I actually worried about.
There weren’t any really meaningful relationships between any of the characters—they just co-existed together. And I think that took away from the story a little bit. For me, characters are central to a story. I will read almost any plot—no matter how ridiculous—if I love the characters. This story didn’t do that for me, but it did have a fun, fast-paced plot that kept me reading even when the characters couldn’t.
I got through the book in three days, and I did enjoy it. It’s about 360 pages—not too bad. So if you’re looking for a simple, fun adventure, be sure to pick it up!