The Looking Glass Wars – Frank Beddor Review

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Current Review:

Anyone who knows me knows that if there’s a surefire way to get me to pick up a book, it’s to tell me it’s related to Alice in Wonderland. I have a special place in my heart for that old children’s story, and I feel no shame for it. I’ve even read vaguely romantic works simply because they were a retelling of this story.

Frank Beddor’s is interesting. It is Alice in Wonderland, but not as we know it. A Wonderland that is far darker, filled with war and struggles that never even played a part in Carroll’s nonsense world. It’s for a younger audience than I often read, but still, it has its advantages. It’s a world of imagination, not of literature.

Having said that, if you’re looking for beautiful prose, Beddor’s book is not really the way to go. It feels young. It feels simple. But it cannot be faulted at all for imagination. As someone who always loved the Hatter from the original story, Hatter Madigan is fun. A hero. A guy who can flatten his hat and make it into a weapon? COOL. I’ve heard that there’s a Hatter M graphic novel, but sadly have never had access to it. I would like to see that!

The idea of Millinery as a military profession… I love it. Hats are great. And Dodge Anders, with his darker side and his thirst for vengeance, is a welcome addition to the Wonderland world. As is the Cat. What a cute little adorable kitten… except, you know, it might kill me.

I think my liking for this book can be summed up with a phrase from it that I tweeted just yesterday: “That is not an evil guinea pig!”. I like my out-of-context, absurd phrases. I think they’re wonderful.

-K Hart