Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Synopsis: Alyss, born in Wonderland, is destined to be a warrior queen. After a bloody coup topples the Heart regime, Alyss is exiled to another world entirely, where she is adopted into a new family, renamed Alice and befriended by Lewis Carroll. At age 20 she returns to Wonderland to fight her wicked Aunt Redd.

Such an interesting idea - such a disappointing book. As many people know I am enamored with all things Wonderland. When the dormouse came back from England, this past summer, she brought back a selection of books for the school library. This was one of them. I was instantly obsessed with reading it. Of course, reading for me works this way. I meet a book and fall in love before I even turn to the first page. It's not always a sweet love affair. More often than not, the romance goes sour as the book turns on me. Looking Glass Wars was a huge betrayer. The premise of "fracturing" a fairytale is nothing new. So a new spin on an old favorite can be a great thing. Gregory Maguire does this very well with many of his books - Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister and Wicked come to mind. The story is decent but the writing just doesn't live up to it. There are moments where a better story can almost be felt - it's in there but I just can't tell where. A better version of a twisted Wonderland can be found in American McGee's computer game Alice, where the plot and characters are more developed. It's a sad world for a bookaholic like me when a video game is more alluring than a book, but in this case it's true. Now headed for publication in the US - I won't be planning on adding this title to my library.

1 comment:

Kat said...

saw a fellow CT person...thought i'd say hi.