Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars offers a new perspective on the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass stories. It’s the first book in a trilogy that is sure to capture the imagination.
Beddor’s Alyss is a different girl than Alice from Lewis Carroll’s works. We are first introduced to her on her birthday in Wonderland. Through extremely unfortunate circumstances, and a birthday that is memorable for all the wrong reasons, tragedy befalls the Heart family. An usurper takes the throne and Alyss comes to our world where she is adopted by the Liddell family.
I was a fan of how Beddor played with the character of Alice Liddell, who was a real person, and incorporated her family and Prince Leopald into the story as well.The re-imagining of the Chesire Cat and the Mad Hatter as The Cat and Hatter Madigan was intriguing. The Cat was a really interesting character to me as I wasn’t expecting him to be an assassin with nine lives. Hatter Madigan is also given the assassin treatment although I suppose he comes across more as a James Bond type, minus the love interest.It was cool to see different parts of Wonderland throughout the story as well as see different elements at play. I appreciated the use of White and Black Imagination in place of White and Black Magic.
I felt that the pacing of the story was a bit off as Alyss spent a good part of the novel in our world, aging about thirteen years, returns to Wonderland under her Aunt Redd’s control, and then suddenly masters her use of White Imagination within a chapter or two only thirty pages from the end of the novel.
I enjoyed the novel and was satisfied with the ending. I don’t think I was intrigued enough to read the other novels in the series but I think this ending works as a standalone too.