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The Looking Glass Wars [Paperback]

Frank Beddor
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 May 2005 The Looking Glass Wars (Book 1)
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 battle Redd and lead Wonderland into its next golden age of imagination.

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont; New edition edition (2 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405219769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405219761
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The first of his Alyss of Wonderland trilogy, Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars is a storming, imaginative tour-de-force that deserves to be not overlooked. Using Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as his inspiration, Beddor has created something new and original, something fresh and exciting.

Beddor imagines that Alice’s wonderland did indeed exist. That it was not fairy tale. Princess Alyss Heart was heir to the throne of Wonderland, but was cruelly usurped when her Aunt Redd stormed Wondertropolis and murdered her parents. Fleeing for her life, Alyss was transported to our world, to the world of Charles Dodgson and literary Oxford in the late 19th Century. Taken in by the Liddells, Alyss at first steadfastly refused to denounce her true bearing as fiction. But after years of convincing nobody of her origins and noble birth--Alyss Heart became Alice Liddell. And it was Alice Liddell who inspired Dodgson to write his legendary novel about her--despite Alyss’s accusations that he has cruelly twisted her story to make light of her heritage for entertainment.

Alyss’s Wonderland is an occupied land that must be freed. And Alyss eventually realises that she must once again go back to her true home and try to reclaim it. And it is going to be a bloody reckoning.

Beddor has pulled off a wonderfully complicated twist of creativity and his ambitious novel is on many levels enormously satisfying. The author has previously been a ski champion, stunt double and actor, but it is perhaps his continuing role as a Hollywood film producer that most influences his debut novel. The book is a visual feast that is begging to be made into a film. But for now, its life as a book is a deserved one. (Age 10 and over) --John McLay --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Frank Beddor runs Automatic Pictures, and produced the hit film There's Something About Mary for 20th Century Fox. He hails from Minneapolis, and attended the University of Utah, where he trained for the US Ski Team. One of the world's foremost freestyle skiers, he won the World Championship twice. Frank began his entertainment career doing endorsements and commercials before performing the skiing stunts for the comedy Hot Dog: The Movie. Trading the alpine slopes for the Hollywood hills, Frank has acted alongside Emillo Estevez, Carrie Fisher, Chris Penn, Jennifer Tilly and Kevin Dillon.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why so grumpy? 22 Sep 2004
It seems necessary to counter some of the ridiculously negative reviews already posted. First, to criticize a book based on its marketing push (the fact that it's being touted as the true story behind Wonderland) is ridiculous (I am aware that very few people found the review in question helpful, but still). Why don't we review books on the basis of their cover art alone, or by the blurbs on their dust jackets? At least then we'll be criticizing some part of the actual, physical book, no? Similarly, I don't understand the relevance of mentioning that the author is a producer of so-called gross-out comedies. Are we holding the manner in which authors make a living against them? What are the acceptable livelihoods for a budding author? Somebody please get back to me.
Now, for the book itself: what are "genuinely imaginative" characters? Why is Bibwit Harte, a learned albino with extra-sensitive hearing who is Queen Alyss Heart's tutor, not a genuinely imaginative character? Why isn't Hatter Madigan, leader of an elite security force whose array of weaponry is unlike anything we've heretofore seen, a well-imagined character? Why are the creatures dreamed up in this novel, such as the gwynook or spirit-dane, not imaginative? Why are the weapons, such as cannonball spiders or bombs that build, not imaginative? The few nine- and ten-year-olds I know who've read the book, have done so in no more than two days -- a sure sign that they found the book imaginative and fast-paced.
Is Mr. Beddor's book gratuitously violent? I fail to see it. A coup takes place fairly early in the story, and the violence that occurs is necessary to emphasize the villain's merciless, unsympathetic character, as well as the behavior she expects from her underlings.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alice meets the Matrix 14 Oct 2004
I'm a U.S. citizen who picked this book up on a trip to Ireland and it was a good read for the flight home. While it seemed written with an eye towards adapting it for the silver screen, I liked the re-imagined characters and the fight scenes were clearly written. I look forward to the next book in the series.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous 29 July 2004
By A Customer
a wonderful spin on the alice in wonderland tale, reminiscent of gregory maguire's wicked. cat assassins, card soldiers, evil queens, and a network of looking glasses show that you can still turn an old story into something original.
Cant wait for the next one!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy writing at its best 11 May 2005
I loved this book, which is strange because I don't usually read fanasy fiction. The cover caught my eye and the tag on the back reeled me in. I read it cover to cover in 2 days and because the writing is as good and as fast flowing as the plot it's an easy read that keeps you wanting to know more. The characters are easily recognisable as those we know, and love, from Alice in Wonderland and somehow bring something more to the tale. Adventure, fantasy and dash of romance....what more could we ask for?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly Original 13 Oct 2004
By A Customer
I honestly enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to! I really don't see what the uproar so far has been about...worse has been done to the Alice story than this (i.e. American McGee's "Alice" videogame for PC). Not only that, Mr. Beddor's version comes off as a completely different tale. The world is darkly imaginative, and in some ways more real and substantial than fantasy Kingdoms generally are. The characters are engaging, though I really wished for more by the end. I hope the sequels come out soon; I haven't gotten nearly enough of Hatter Madigan, Dodge, Molly, or any of the characters we meet in this story. Perhaps if other novels displayed the cross-gender appeal of this one, more young people would find it worth their while to stray further than Harry Potter into the literary realms. May Alyss's Wonderland live on!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book! 1 Jun 2013
By Demi
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been trying to find this trilogy for ages and it was such a great price too. I love the fact that this is Alice in Wonderland as you've never read it before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good concept, not so great execution 30 April 2010
By Twiss
When I first saw this book the premise of the whole thing had me quite excited. The first couple of chapters were pretty decent too. However, the deeper I got into the book the more distant the story became. It just didn't work for me. I have respect for Frank but I think it shows that he is primarily a screenwriter and not a novelist. His grasp of viewpoint is pretty slack throughout and the writing style is static and becomes a distraction over time.

The portrayal of the characters also didn't impress me much. Hatter M just didn't seem to belong in this story. I'm all for trying to freshen up old ideas but I think this story needed to be thought about much more before it was published. It's not terrible, but it could have been something really amazing if better editorial advice was given and the author had thought more about his world, characters and writing style.

Don't believe the hype, this isn't a patch on Lewis Carroll's original.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible, per se, but Alice > Alyss 17 Feb 2010
This is is a re-telling of Alice and Wonderland without a lot of the surrealism--it has morphed into a young adult series that has both elements of science fiction and fantasy, and I'm still on the fence as to how I feel about it.

The premise of the story is that the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass stories that we know are false lies cobbled together by Reverend Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll. Alice, or Alyss Heart as her name is in Wonderland, started as a princess in Wonderland, but after a coup by her Aunt Redd, who toppled Alyss's mother Guinevere from the throne, Alyss finds herself in our world and is adopted by the Liddell family.

Wonderland has the elements of the Wonderland we know, but they are shifted. The Mad Hatter is actually a bodyguard of the Millinery named Hatter Madigan, and fights with wrist knives. it also has a scientific bent. The Caterpillars are oracles who sound hilariously like the Beatles in the audiobook version. The White Rabbit is an albino tutor of Alyss's. Jabberwocky are beasts that live in lava lands.

Wonderland also has elements of science fiction. They have electricity far before the Earth we know does, and I remember a mention or two of nanorobots (yes, odd, I know). The cover of the UK version screams science fiction to me, from the giant mushrooms to the robot-looking card soldiers. But the focus is on the power the imagination holds the fight between White and Black imagination (or magic). With the Victorian setting, it even has a whiff of steampunk to it as well.

I did find the way Beddor integrated his various sources interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
happy with item
Published 26 days ago by alan fritter
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect transaction
All went as well as it could go with this order. No delay, item arrived in condition as described and I have no reason for complaint.
Published 3 months ago by Alma Abbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Bought this book for my son and he is thoroughly enjoying it. Wants to read more in the series, so it must be good.
Published 10 months ago by Fantasy Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great once you got into it.
As is happening to me so often these days I purchased a sequel by mistake - they really should be marked much clearer on the covers - even when it is believed that a book can stand... Read more
Published 19 months ago by FAMOUS NAME
3.0 out of 5 stars A colourful read
This book hit me as lurking somewhere in between the brilliant and the unsuccessful.

What I loved about it is the sheer whimsy of the story and the setting. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2011 by LadyLibrary
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea
I really love the ideas that went into this great book and all the wonderful characters in it but i felt that a lot of the concepts within it weren't described very well and i... Read more
Published on 28 July 2011 by Book Lover
2.0 out of 5 stars The Looking Glass Wars or Bores?
I am not sure what I expected when I brought the Looking Glass Wars. The initial prologue is indeed, intriguing opening the book with the main theme that the previous tale is a... Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2010 by Juniper113
3.0 out of 5 stars Different
I found this book enjoyably different. I didn't really know what to expect when I picked it up but I wasn't dissapointed. Read more
Published on 8 July 2010 by Alex
1.0 out of 5 stars plain awful
I dare say, it has been said before but these books (I read part one and flipped trough part two) are really just plain awful. Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2009 by Catriona
4.0 out of 5 stars THE CUT
OK not a bad book but he doesnt have good discription now this book has some amazing ideas such as THE CUT a set of robot cards pictured on the front cover but if he had not put a... Read more
Published on 6 May 2009 by Mrs. D. M. Siva-jothy
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