Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Speak (August 21, 2007)
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Frank Beddor's clever novel (Dial, 2006) puts Lewis Carroll's heroine—along with her loony, puzzle-riddled world—into a new and wholly satisfying frame. In this version, most of Alyss Heart's family and friends are ruthlessly killed by her evil Aunt Redd. Alyss escapes through the Pool of Tears, which is actually a portal between worlds, and winds up in Victorian England and is renamed Alice. At first, the child tries to tell ordinary humans about her world and the power imagination actually effects in Wonderlandia, but they gently chide her for telling stories. She believes that she's found a sympathetic ear in a young Oxford don who is a friend of her adopted family, but he turns her story into the travesty we all know as "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Meanwhile, Hatter Madigan, a member of Wonderlandia's Millinery, who also escaped through the Pool, searches for Alyss across continents and time, until he finds her more than a dozen years later. Back home in Wonderlandia, the few who have escaped evil Redd's soldiers plot to retake the land. Gerard Doyle reads with asperity and speaks the copious puns without any added slyness. Fans of Carroll's stories will flock to this and those who have managed to miss that less violent classic can get to it while waiting for the next volume in this exciting and humorous trilogy.