Thursday, December 27, 2007

Alice Re-Thought

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Genre: Fantasy
Summary/Review: In this re-imagination of Alice in Wonderland, Beddor tells the story of a violent world where practitioners of White Imagination and Black Imagination battle for control of Wondertropolis and the Heart Crystal.

At Alyss Heart's 7th birthday party, Heart Palace is seized by Redd, the queen's sister, who has planned for years to take back the throne that she believes is rightfully hers. Alyss is forced to flee through the Pool of Tears, on the other side of which is Victorian England. There she lives for 13 years, meeting the Reverend Charles Dodgson, and inspiring his famous tale, although she is very disappointed with what he does with her story.

Finally, Alyss is able to return to Wonderland and lead those who have dutifully followed her in rebellion against Redd. First, though, she must successfully pass through the Crystal Maze to prove that she is the rightful heir to the throne, and to master the power of her imagination. Finally, she faces Redd, who chooses to escape into the Heart Crystal rather than face defeat, thus ensuring a sequel.

Although an interesting premise, Beddor retreats too much into cliche and bathos. Rather than allowing his characters to fully develop, one big event changes everything for them, and suddenly they all have both the motivation and ability to defeat the evil Redd. Unfortunately, Beddor does not bring the reader along, making the final battle scene somewhat unbelievable.


Rhinoa said...

I just read this and reviewed it on LibraryThing were I saw yours and your blog so thought I would stop by. Are you going to read the sequel Seeing Redd do you think?

mmz said...

I may read the sequel at some point, but I'm not really in a hurry to get to it.