November 10, 2010

Review of "ArchEnemy"

"ArchEnemy": Looking Glass Wars Series #3
Frank Beddor


Pub. Date: October 15, 2009
Pages: 384

Synopsis: The Heart Crystal’s power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. There is some comfort in the fact that the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd’s overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles.

Page-turning and complex, this culmination of the Wonderland saga is intensely satisfying.

I am so glad I finally got a chance to read "ArchEnemy" because I was DYING to learn how "The Looking Glass Wars" Series ended. This book seriously kept me guessing, I had a feeling of whom the good and bad guys were, but Frank Beddor kept me on my toes. There were so many twists and turns in this book. I was shocked at the first chapter and was dying to know how Alyss got herself in such a hopeless situation. I kept rewinding the audio book I was listening to in the car to make sure I understood correctly because I just couldn't believe how the book was starting off. It was pretty fantastic.

I was a bit worried I might be let down by this final book in the series, but I wasn't. The book moved fast and characters were constantly surprising me. It was interesting to see Dodgson again and I liked how the book kind of came full circle in that way. I liked seeing the change in Hatter as he tries to take on the role as father; it was kind of amusing at times. Alyss is a strong character from beginning to end and yet her actions were still able to surprise me down to the last page.

To me this book had everything I was looking for in the final book. We spend more with the caterpillars, which was fun, even though they were confusing at times. Part of the ending was a huge surprise while other parts I saw coming. It ended in a satisfying way without over explaining anything. It leaves some room for a spin off series, but I don't know of one in the works. This is probably just wishful thinking on my part. There is of course the "Hatter M" graphic novels spin off, but for some reason that doesn't appeal to me very much. Beddor has created a world that could be delved into deeper and has endless possibilities. I really hope we get another chance to experience his vision of Wonderland. If not, I may just have to pick up the "Hatter M" graphic novels.

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