Thursday, April 3, 2008

Alyss of Wonderland?

When Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, must flee through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carroll, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly! 
Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss' story and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may eventually battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.
The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions surrounding mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.

Title: The Looking Glass Wars
Author: Frank Beddor
Series: The Looking Glass Wars, Book 1
Published: 2006
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin Group)
Pages: 358
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy

Millions of people have dreamed of going to Wonderland ever since Lewis Carroll first published his masterpiece's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. According to Frank
Beddor’s novel The Looking Glass Wars, Mr. Carroll’s nonsensical world is really a real place were flowers do talk, you can travel through mirrors, and Imagination is a bit like a magical power. Other than that it’s very similar to our own world. You just have to find the right puddle to get there...

I’ve always loved re-telling’s of classic books like Alice in Wonderland (or in this case, the “true story”)! Especially when it mixes real truth with fiction and when I heard of this trilogy (there are additional spin-off books) through a fellow blogger, I immediately placed a hold for The Looking Glass Wars from my library. I was a little wary at first because I didn’t want to get my hopes up (I’m not much of a sci-fi fan) but this book was incredible!

I really liked the characters especially Dodge, Alyss herself, Bibwit Harte, and Hatter Madigan. The card soldiers are really cool and incredibly inventive too. Alyss’ Aunt Redd is a terrifying character and so is her pet assassin The Cat. Moreover, the action-packed book will keep everyone on the edge of their seat.

In Beddor’s book, Wonderland is an advanced society and people actually can use their Imagination to manifest and do things which I found really interesting. Especially since the citizens of Wonderland create things that pass into our world through the thing that powers their imagination, the Heart Crystal. I just wish the recipe for those tarty tarts would make it here! This is a classic story of good vs. evil (or in this case White Imagination vs. Black Imagination) that will only get bloodier as the series goes on.

I was impressed with how well the public has responded to The Looking Glass Wars and how it’s being franchised. There’s an official site that has a store and I’ve got to have the CD with the music inspired by the novels! There’s even talk of a movie with the screenplay written by the author (Beddor is a Hollywood film producer). This interview with the author and Comic World News which I found is full of information and of course there is a Wikipedia article.

Looking Glass Wars Trilogy
1. The Looking Glass Wars (2004)
2. Seeing Redd (2007)
3. Arch Enemy (2009)

Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars graphic novels
Far From Wonder : Volume 1 (2010) (with Liz Cavalier and Ben Templesmith)
1. Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars Volume 1 (2008) (with Liz Cavalier)
2. Mad With Wonder (2009) (with Liz Cavalier)
3. The Nature of Wonder (2010) (with Liz Cavalier)

First Paragraph: Everyone thought she had made it up, and she had tolerated more taunting and teasing from other children, more lectures and punishments from grown-ups, than any eleven-year-old should have to bear. But now, after four years, it had arrived: her last, best chance to prove to them all that she had been telling the truth. A college scholar had though enough of her history to write it up as a book.

Source: Personal collection, hardcover

Related Reviews
Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Visitors from Oz by Martin Gardner
Alice in Wonderland (1933)

Picture Explanations
Original artwork commissioned for book


    1. I just brought this one home from the library last week! It's another one of my library's summer reading picks for kids, and it looked pretty good. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    2. this sounds like something I'd enjoy, i'm adding it to my TBR list. great review as usual.

    3. I love the cover of "The Looking Glass Wars." That's totally cool!

    4. I loved this and Seeing Redd. I am waiting eagerly for the third in the series to come out and have the Hatter Maddigan graphic novel to amuse me in the meantime.

    5. Cool! Thanks for this review and the links to the site. I'm a mega Wonderland fan so I'm drooling over the looks of this one! :)

    6. i really do plan on reading this one soon.



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