Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Posted by Caitie F on January 2, 2010

Title: The Looking Glass Wars

Author: Frank Beddor

Hardcover: 358 pages

Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin USA)

ISBN: 0803731531

Rating: ++++

Summary (from inside flap):

Alyss of Wonderland? When Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, must flee through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carroll, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong.
He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss’ story and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may eventually battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts. The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions surrounding tea parties , grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to receal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.


I thought this book was a fun and fascinating read. I was never a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, so I may enjoy books that change it around more than fans of the original. That said, I think even  Alice fans will enjoy this book.

The changes in characters are creative. The Cheshire cat is an assassin created by Redd who has nine lives. Tweedledee and Tweedledum are generals that can split themselves into four people. Hatter is a bodyguard who uses his hat as a lethal (and very cool) weapon. The White Rabbit is Bibwit Harte who is the tutor in controlling the Imagination. I loved the re-imagined characters and their adventures. There are so many inventive aspects of the book. Every year, there is an invention parade where the best inventions are chosen and sent out into another world. The card soldiers shoot AD52s (Automatic Dealer 52 that shoot out razor sharp cards). People travel through looking glasses to get around every day and to hide from Redd.

A warning – this is not a very happy book. There are a few very sad and rather graphic scenes. Nothing that is not appropriate for a young adult book, but it was more violent than I expected. The war has many causalities and Redd does horrendous things to the people of Wonderland while Alyss is in our world.

That said, it is an epic fantasy story with the ultimate showdown between good and evil, known as White and Black Imagination. The idea is that the royalty can imagine something and it actually happens. Alyss is tempted to use Black Imagination to defeat Redd, but has to take the right path. If she doesn’t she will not be able to step up as Queen of Wonderland.

It wasn’t a perfect book. The writing was above average, but not great. There were a lot of battle scenes that tended to get repetitive.  I still couldn’t put this book down. If you like fantasy books, give it a try!I am very excited to read the next book in the series.

If you reviewed it, let me know and I will link to you!

Extra on Alice in Wonderland

I also recently watched Alice the SyFy miniseries and really enjoyed it. I thought Hatter was adorable and funny, the white knight was delightful, and the queen was wonderfully evil. If you missed it, it will be coming out on DVD eventually and it is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys science fiction or Alice in Wonderland!

Other opinions

Musings of a Book Addict

There is Always Something to Read

Karissa’s Reading Review

This is a book for the 2010 YA Reading Challenge


3 Responses to “The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor”

  1. […] The Looking Glass Wars by Frank […]

  2. […] was the second book in the Looking Glass Wars series. I loved the first book, but this one was a little of a letdown, a problem that can often happen in the second book of a […]

  3. […] 1. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor 2. Mister Monday by Garth Nix 3. Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor 4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 5. Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix 6. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 7. Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee 8. The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg 9. M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman 10. The Earth, My Butt, and other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler 11. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 12. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen 13. Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot 14. Confessions of a Closet Catholic by Sarah Darer Littman 15. Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler 16. Vegan Virgin Valentine by Carolyn Mackler 17. If I Stay by Gayle Forman 18. Eragon by Christopher Paolini 19. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke 20. Boot Camp by Todd Strasser 21. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 22.  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 23. Princess in Pink by Meg Cabot 24. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson 25. That Summer by Sarah Dessen 26. 21 Proms edited by David Levithan 27. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen 28. Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson 29. Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan 30. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen 31. Bliss by Lauren Myracle 32. Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle 33. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn 34. How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan 35. The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson 36. Ash by Mainda Lo 37. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson 38. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler 39. Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala 40. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr 41. Realm of Possibility by David Levithan 42. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen 43. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen 44. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen 45. The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley 46. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting 47. I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan 48. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain 49. Friend is Not a Verb by Daniel Ehrenhaft 50. Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford 51. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak 52. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater 53. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink 54. Losing Faith by Denise Jaden 55. The Duff by Kody Keplinger 56. low red moon by Ivy Devlin 57. The Unidentified by Rae Mariz 58. Dark Song by Gail Giles 59. Zombies vs Unicorns Editied by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black 60. The Maze Runner by James Dashner 61. Stay With Me by Garrett Freymann-Weyr 62. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass 63. Perfect by Natasha Friend 64. The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan 65. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan 66. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan 67. Drowned Wednesday by Garth Nix 68.  Sir Thursday by Garth Nix 69. Lady Friday by Garth Nix 70. Superior Saturday by Garth Nix 71. Lord Sunday by Garth Nix 72. Vacations from Hell 73. Princess in Training by Meg Cabot 74. Going Bovine by Libba Bray 75. Matched by Ally Condie […]

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