Author: Frank Beddor (Blog, Twitter)
Series: The Looking Glass Wars #1
Genre: Fantasy, YA
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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's 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. Summary from Amazon
I’ve been meaning to read this series for a few years now because of a recommendation from a friend. The story sounded very interesting; I just didn’t take the time to read the first book in the series until now.
At first I started reading The Looking Glass Wars without any prior knowledge of Lewis Carroll’s original stories besides the movie adaptations. I was a little confused going in, so I put off reading The Looking Glass Wars and read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass first. After reading the two originals, I was a little worried I wouldn’t like this series because I didn’t enjoy Carroll’s novels very much. Fortunately, I enjoyed The Looking Glass Wars much better than the original because the story at least had a plot which made sense and the characters were fun.
I really liked the idea of Alyss Heart being real and that her story had just been twisted by Lewis Carroll. It made for some fun adventures, especially with adding Redd as an antagonist and Dodge Anders as a love interest. It was much more my type of story this way.
It took me about a third of the book to get into it, however. The first part of the book follows Alyss as a child and how she winds up in 19th century England. It was okay and it gave some back story, but I liked the book much better after she had grown up and returned to Wonderland.
I also thought there was a lot of telling and not showing. There was enough action that I could overlook it once Alyss grew up and returned to Wonderland. But, the telling and not showing lent to my boredom with the first third of the book.
I’m glad that I gave it a chance, though, and didn’t just stop reading it. I look forward to reading the other two books to see how this trilogy will play out.