Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hatter M: Mad with Wonder

Hatter M: Mad with Wonder is the continuation of Hatter Madigan’s search for Princess Alyss in 19th century England. This graphic novel starts at the fifth year of his adventure. He hears of an exceptional young girl in the southern United States and continues his quest there. On his adventures, he encounters a circus sideshow, an insane asylum, and the Civil War. This series of graphic novels is an addition to the story in The Looking Glass Wars, not merely a retelling, like so many others are.

Hatter Madigan is one of my favorite characters from The Looking Glass War series. I enjoyed seeing other sides of him, as well as some glimpses of his childhood. He is a mysterious character and his narrative sheds more light on his character and his motivations. Not only is he constantly vigilant, but he cares very deeply for his friends and is genuinely good at heart.

The change in scenery was one of my favorite parts of the book. In The Looking Glass Wars, the story only takes place in Wonderland and Victorian England. This book takes it to the United States where the Civil War is raging, leading to a new cast of characters, a new backdrop, and a different color scheme. It kind of expanded my view on the series to encompass more of our world, instead of limiting the story.

The blending of fact and fiction made this book very magical. It had fantastical elements, but was grounded with aspects of reality. The treatments that Hatter Madigan undergoes in the insane asylum were actually used in that time period. At the insane asylum, Hatter Madigan drew a set of playing cards. At the very end of the graphic novel (please keep reading after the preview of the next book!), there’s a section called “Greetings from the Hatter M Institute for Paranormal Travel,” in which Hatter’s playing cards are found to match the original illuminated playing cards that inspired Frank Beddor to write The Looking Glass Wars! The way that fact and fiction intertwine is very unique in this series.

I loved Mad with Wonder. The ending made me wonder what happens next and made me anxious for the next book!

4.5/5

6 comments:

Zombie Girrrl said...

This sounds so good! Hetter Madigan was my favorite character, too, he's just so... Cool!Great review. :)

vvb32 reads said...

wow, this sounds amazing. i'm gonna have to check it out after i finish reading the latest Fables.

hmsgofita said...

I've never heard of this series...looks great, though. I'll have to try them out!

Lula O said...

Am I weird because I love the cover? Part Edward Scissorhands, part Doc Oc.
Great review!
I'm really like graphic novels this year.

titania86 said...

Lula O, I think the cover's beautiful too. :)

elnice said...

Great review. This is not normally something I would read, but you got me interested.