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Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Real Story of Alyss in Wonderland


The Looking Glass Wars (Looking Glass Wars #1)
Seeing Redd (Looking Glass Wars Series #2)So, apparently Lewis Carroll totally botched it.  Luckily, Frank Beddor figured it out and now tells us the real story of Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland Throne, who ended up stranded on earth for a few years and told her story to Carroll, who twisted it into a children's story.

In The Looking Glass Wars, we meet 7 year old Alyss, just before her evil aunt Redd takes control of Wonderland.  The women of the Heart family are gifted with a powerful imagination, so powerful that they are able to imagine objects into being.  As Redd is attacking, the Queen's bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, takes Alyss through the pool of tears to earth.  They become separated and Alyss is eventually adopted by the Liddell family and comes to think of her prior life in Wonderland as nothing more than a dream.  That is, until she reaches 20 and it is learned she is alive on Earth.  Queen Redd promptly sends assassins to kill her niece, but her allies in Wonderland save her, and they hatch a plot to retake Wonderland.

I won't give away much of the follow-on books, "Seeing Redd" and "Arch Enemy" except to say that "Seeing Redd" was the weakest of the 3 books.  Overall, I really enjoyed these books.  I found them to be a fairly light read and books that I could easily put down and come back to later.  This series isn't on the level of "Harry Potter" or "Percy Jackson", but is a good, quick, entertaining read, that you don't have to really focus on to enjoy.

ArchEnemy (Looking Glass Wars Series #3)One complaint I do have is that there seemed to be quite a few typos in "Arch Enemy", and I thought the editing in the final book was a little off.  Basically, things resolve themselves too quickly...almost as if they had to hit 370ish pages, so the author and editor made some weird choices to end it on time.  Still though, these books were worth the time I took to read them, and I'll never be able to look at "Alice in Wonderland" the same way again.
There is also a graphic novel available for at least the first book, The Looking Glass Wars.  I also think Frank Beddor is a really nice person, not just a good author so I would encourage people to read this unique fun series.

Also, if you've never read the orignal Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, you really should.  I think they are such fun books.  Many people read Wonderland but not the Looking Glass.  I think the Looking Glass is definitely the best of the two books.  If you've seen Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland, you'll find some of the characters actually come from Through the Looking Glass.  I think you would enjoy Frank Beddor's series even more if you knew the orginal tales.

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