needs more demons?

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Frank Beddor: The Looking Glass Wars

07 Nov 2011 · No Comments

Mitigating factors:
I was really psyched by the elevator pitch for this book, which posits that the infamous break between Reverend Charles Dodgson and Alice Pleasance Liddell was because Liddell was angry at Dodgson for watering down her story for the “Wonderland” books. So perhaps my disenchantment with this book is a result of excessively high expectations.
I read a lot of young adult novels, but this is more of a tween than a teen book, with lines like “Krrrrrkkkkchsss! Hissszzzzzll! Krrrch! Zzzzssszz!” So maybe my disappointment is partly because I’m not really in the book’s target audience.
And I will note that it currently enjoys high customer ratings on both Amazon and Goodreads.

But jeez, I hated this book. Flat prose, lifeless characters, and a plot that was neither surprising nor internally consistent. Particularly given the allegations some of made about the real-world Dodgson’s association with Liddell, portraying a very young “Alyss” in a friendship with a romantic dimension troubled me (the more so because the plot doesn’t actually require it, since Alyss ages substantially over the course of the novel). And although I know the use of “black” as a poetic metaphor for evil is a longstanding tradition, the novel’s positioning of “White Imagination” as good and “Black Imagination” as bad bugged me a lot, too.
And I suppose it’s not really much more violent or militaristic than Star Wars, but The Looking Glass Wars‘ body count and general blood thirstiness seemed excessive a kids’ story (when this book’s Red Queen screams “off with [his/her] head!” she really means it).

needs more demons? yuck.

p.s., I should let this go, but I can’t.

“Quel est ceci?” asked the magistrate, not amused

Can one of the first-year French students please tell the class how we say “what is this?” in French? Now, let’s not always see the same hands.

Tags: b-author · fantasy · l-title · young adult

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