Monday, September 14, 2009

Frank Beddor and ArchEnemy

First, I want to say that Frank Beddor is one of my favorite authors. This is not only because he writes enjoyable novels (which he does), but also because he reaches out to his fans and is generally a nice person. When I got an advance reader copy of ArchEnemy from San Diego Comic-con, Frank Beddor wanted me to send the review to him. I devoured the book quickly and sent him the review, thinking I wouldn't really get a response based on previous experiences with other authors. I was so surprised when he not only sent the review to his entire contact list, but he sent me a copy of the graphic novel, Hatter M Vol. 2: Mad with Wonder (to be released in October). I recently saw Frank Beddor at the Mission Viejo Book Fair and saw his wonderful presentation for The Looking Glass Wars. It was exciting, funny, and made all the kids there go out and buy his books. Go check out The Looking Glass Wars series if you haven't already!

My ArchEnemy review:

ArchEnemy is the exciting conclusion to The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy. Wonderland is left without the power of imagination after King Arch's Weapon of Inconceivable Loss and Massive Annihilation has rendered the Heart Crystal powerless. If imagination is destroyed, it is also destroyed on Earth. Now Queen Alyss and her loyal followers have to restore the power of imagination, repress the uprising of the Unimaginative, figure out the motives of the enigmatic caterpillar oracles, and defeat Redd Heart and King Arch. The events to follow are suspenseful, riveting, and utterly unexpected.

This series is a rich and original re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland. It blurs genre lines and is unlike any other series out there. The world Frank Beddor has created is incredibly detailed and complete. In this fantastical world, imagination is a real and tangible force, from which great and terrible things can be created. One of the things I love about this book is in this fantasy world, there is great darkness and realism. The main characters have to deal with real life issues such as genocide, misogyny, racism, and torture. These aspects put this series above many others in the young adult genre.

I feel very much for these characters. I have read them in my childhood and now I see these well-loved characters in markedly different roles. I like that the plot is very unpredictable. There is never an easy or obvious solution to their problems. It's like watching a chess match between four different players (Alyss, Redd, Arch, and the Caterpillars). The tactics they choose are interesting, whether they opt to ally together even though they are enemies or battle alone. The alternating plot lines between important groups of characters are a very effective form for this story. This concept allows the story to follow each aspect of the plot, while creating suspense and interest in each thread of the story.

ArchEnemy was a perfect conclusion to one of my favorite series. If you enjoy fantasy novels or Alice in Wonderland, I highly recommend The Looking Glass Wars series.


Zombie Girrrl said...

Excellent review, I cannot wait to read this! Beddor sounds really cool! :)

titania86 said...

Thanks! I'd love to hear what you think of it when you read it.