Sunday, June 30, 2013

Alyss in Wonderland

Book Description:

Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, was forced to flee through the Pool of Tears after a bloody palace coup staged by the murderous Redd shattered her world. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the surreal, violent, heartbreaking story of her young life only to see it published as the nonsensical children’s sojourn Alice in Wonderland. Alyss had trusted Lewis Carroll to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere would find her and bring her home.

But Carroll had got it all wrong. He even misspelled her name! If not for the intrepid Hatter Madigan, a member of the Millinery (Wonderland’s security force) who after a 13 year search eventually tracked Alyss to London, she may have become just another society woman sipping tea in a too-tight bodice instead of returning to Wonderland to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

Angie’s review:

This isn’t your grandma’s Alice in Wonderland, kids.
In Frank Beddor’s Wonderland, imagination is power. There is white imagination (good) and black imagination (bad).  Queen Genevieve is a practitioner of white imagination, but her sister, Redd, the older of the two, practiced black. Because of this, Redd was passed over for succession to the throne, and banished to the Chessboard Desert. She never really got over it.

You will meet characters that seem familiar. There is Bibwit Harte (an anagram for white rabbit), the royal tutor, who has pale skin and large ears.  There is Hatter Madigan, the top-hatted palace bodyguard, who is formidable with his acrobatic fighting techniques and his uniform, covered in hidden edged weapons. The Cat is there too, but this is no grinning feline, but a shape-shifting assassin, whose purpose is to ensure the demise of the Heart family, and secure Redd her “rightful” place at the Heart Palace. There are looking glass portals to other worlds. There are armies of card suit droids, fighting for each side.. Jabberwocky roam the Volcanic Plains. Giant caterpillars- ancient sages and prophets- live in the Valley of Mushrooms.

Beddor has also imagined some creations of his own, in this Wonderland. There are cannonball spiders, flesh-eating roses, Glass Eyes and Seekers. Wonderlanders travel by Crystal Continuum, portal jumping from looking glass to looking glass. And when a battle spills into the Continuum, warfare takes on a whole new look, as opposing sides vie to kill their foes or at least knock them out of the stream and send them crashing through a random looking glass.

This is an action-packed Wonderland. This is a more frightening Wonderland. But ultimately, it is a fascinating, re-imagination of a familiar place.  This first book in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy will get you hooked. I am looking forward to finishing this series, and reading the Hatter M graphic novels as well!

Author's website:

1 comment:

Anna (Bite Club) said...

Excellent review, Angie!