The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi – Mark Hodder Review

Progress on Alternate: Editing at 84%

Current Review:

Burton and Swinburne #4. Yay, at last. One I haven’t read before comes onto my shelf. I was quite sad that it took me a little while longer to get into this book than it had into its predecessors, however when I did I began to enjoy it just as much.

Mentions of Bram Stoker, Charles Dodgeson, and even Rosetti and the Pre-Raphaelites were all greatly appreciated by the happy history and literature fan in me. Though, as I believe I’ve read in another review of this book, you do have to wonder now… how many alternate realities, exactly?

I do think Mark Hodder managed really well to actually keep things together, which is impressive in itself given the many millions of complexities that come with writing time travel – I wouldn’t like to see his planning board!

I also had an increase in respect for the sheer fight in Isabel Arundell, I have to admit…

I don’t really know what else to say. If you’re reading this I will assume you have read the rest of the series in which case I encourage you… keep reading! As far as I’m concerned there hasn’t been a dip in writing quality large enough to justify an incomplete reading of this series yet! And I have hopes for its continued improvement.

-K Hart

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Arch Enemy – Frank Beddor Review

Progress on Alternate: 42,053 words

Current Review:

This is the last book of this series that I own and have access to, though I seem to recall that there are others. I won’t be buying any of them, however. I loved the concept brought forward in The Looking Glass Wars. I loved that Charles Dodgeson is a character. I loved the brief trips into our world, and the imaginative way the story had been reconstructed…

But after that, it starts to get… old. I’m really sorry to say it, but it does. If I’d been writing it, I would have quit while I was ahead, because some of the beauty of the very first book just gets lost entirely. I don’t feel like it’s fun anymore, and I had to resist the temptation to skip paragraphs just to fast-forward through some of it.

I guess there are still new ideas. Particularly at the beginning I began to get my hopes up, but it quickly just lost momentum. I still like Hatter M and Molly though!

-K Hart

Seeing Redd – Frank Beddor Review

Progress on Alternate: 39,021

Current Review:

Seeing Redd loses some of what The Looking Glass Wars had. The world is no longer new. We’re not presented with many of the ideas that we were, and the worldbuilding seems to lose a lot of momentum. There could have been so much more done with the world that Beddor created, and it feels like he’s just hung up his towel and gone ‘nope, done’.

However I’m very aware that I am a jaded, cynical adult talking about what is in effect a children’s book, and for imagination and adventure I can’t fault him. There were twists and turns that, while very obvious to an adult eye, would have delighted a younger me. And I still think that hat weapons are cool.

As I say, I would REALLY like to have seen more descriptions of how imagination links our worlds. Perhaps even the author doesn’t realise how beautiful an idea that is. How inspiration could be all related to the very world we think we’re creating.

I must admit though, I did get a small smile out of the idea that the wonderful Charles Dodgeson may someday find that his creations are… ahem… not at all creations anymore.

-K Hart