The Looking Glass Wars
By: Frank Beddor
Alyss Heart is the princess and heir of Wonderland. She is also the source for Lewis Carroll's fantasy Alice in Wonderland, although he misspells her name. These two worlds collide when Alyss' evil aunt, Redd takes over Alyss' kingdom, brutally murdering her parents, screaming "Off with their heads!" Alyss runs away through a looking glass and enters our world. No one believes her history here and she begins to doubt it herself. Meanwhile the Wonderlandians are desperate to find her and bring her back to regain her throne.
I really enjoyed reading this twist on Alice in Wonderland. It had a lot of fast paced action and was always exiting. I liked Alyss' character. She is very determined, highly imaginative, and stubborn. Later on Alyss gets less sure of herself and loses most of her creativity. This book reminded me of the Harry Potter series and The Various because all three have our world intersect with a fantasy world. In this book the author explored how hard it is for fantasy to exist here. As an example, Alyss was not appreciated by English society and it was hard for her to adjust. The changes in Alyss make it tough for her to come back to Wonderland. I also liked the hint of romance between Alyss and her childhood friend. He is focused on revenge which doesn't help the fight against Redd.
Frank Beddor sets up the first book in this series up nicely. Beddor is good at describing Wonderland, and always uses Lewis Carroll's book as a source. The author incorporates many of the same characters such as the Cheshire Cat who is a cat in the fairytale but an assassin in Alyss' world with nine lives. It must have been fun to make all those connections. Hatter Madigan, the fictional Mad Hatter, is Alyss' bodyguard and uses Alice in Wonderland to hunt for her. This book was a really fun read and I definitely recommend it if you like make-believe and lots of action.