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The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  34,760 Ratings  ·  3,259 Reviews
Alyss of Wonderland?
When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that so
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 364 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Dial Books (first published September 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Some of my goodreads friends loved it, some seemed ambivalent, and some seemed to have hated it. Unfortunately very few of them wrote reviews though so I don't know much of what they thought about the book. Well, besides the number of stars they gave it.

After a few seconds of mindful hand-wringing, and thinking about what I would rate this book while reading it, I have decided on three stars, although I enjoyed it quite a bit and had quite a bit of fun reading it.

I really liked the re-telling
Sep 13, 2009 emily rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one. I had to give it one star so it would be clear I'd reviewed it.
Recommended to emily by: the "discard" bin at my old library
So, I'd heard of this book before, and when I saw it in the bin marked "free" at my old library, I kind of thought I might put it in my middle school classroom for students to read. Then I realized: what might I be giving my students? So I read it.

I cannot think of enough negative things to say about this book.

First, I have to admit something: I've never even read any of Lewis Carroll's books. Not a one. So I'm no Alice purist. But Mr. Beddor is just straight-up mean-spirited. If you're going to
Jun 05, 2007 Jojo rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: masochists
This book is terrible.

In theory, I like it. The idea behind it intrigues me, but the reality is that it is just so badly written. Good idea, very poor execution! Cliche characters! Stupid names! A writing style so awful it was almost physically painful to read!

Yet I'll probably read the sequel (sequels?) when it comes out. Clearly, I've learned nothing from reading this book.
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it liked it
So I'm a little late coming to this, as it's been out for a while, but I enjoyed his alternate take on the Alice in Wonderland story. The problem with doing a new treatment of such a classic tale is that you will have the purists up in arms, but I thought the story had a lot to recommend it. I found Alyss a believable character and who wouldn't like Hatter Madigan? I want his backpack.
Dec 03, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: loved-it, i-own
To the Carroll/Alice purists, don't read this book as a tribute/spin-off/etc and you'll be fine. To the rest of you, enjoy.

That said, let me say that I loved this book. I read Alice (Wonderland and Looking Glass) this past semester for a children's lit class so it was cool to approach this book with those stories so recently re-impressed on my mind. However, you definitely don't NEED those books close at hand to enjoy this book. In fact, as many Carroll lovers vehemently point out, this book is
In a nutshell: Fantastic idea, horribly executed.

The writing did nothing for it. I almost never start on an author's writing style but in this case, it was a significant factor in how I viewed the book. The style described too much in the wrong cases, not enough with the right ones. There was also a lot of telling rather than showing. The short, almost inconsiderate descriptions of the character's feelings made it seem false. I couldn't get a grasp on the characters at all.

This was an absolutely
Why does she love this book you ask? Let me count the ways...

First before I start, I don't want to hear any of your crap about this book. I've read it five time and counting, I know... just wanted to make that clear ok?

Reasons why I'm reading this book again:

-The way Beddor handles the story is creative.
I don't want to hear that "Alice is the WHOLE WORLD HOW CAN HE DESTROY A SUPERB CLASSIC!!!" Now, I do love Alice in Wonderland dearly. I do think is a great classic. And I don't hate it like Mr.
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
1 April 2015 Buddy Read with Figgy!

4-4.5 stars

Again, got distracted by loads of good books over the course of the month of April and have only just now gotten to finish this, but I did enjoy it very much. The story itself was detailed and engaging, the characters all very interesting in their reimaginings (The Cat in particular), and the whole thing just came across as so utterly creative. This is another book to add to my list of books that will always remind me of the infinite potential and st
Sep 11, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
Oh, by gosh by golly I loved this book. It's Alice in Wonderland on crack! Fabulous!
Cait Grace
Aug 22, 2015 Cait Grace rated it did not like it
This was PITIFUL. I'm such a retelling nerd and I will read all of them...but Wonderland holds a really special place in my heart. I ADORE the originals, and the Splintered trilogy retellings are like the BEST thing that ever happened to the universe. But The Looking Glass Wars?!? ERGH I WAS NOT A HAPPY LITTLE HATTER. I was a very cranky Hatter, the entire time. In fact, I have an entire list of things I didn't like.


+ It starts off by sayi
Sep 09, 2007 Caryn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people unafraid of mussing up Lewis Carroll's story a bit.
Let me say up front that I am a fan of almost anything that reworks a classic, as can probably be seen by the books on my GoodReads shelves.

I was nervous about this book for about thirty seconds, until I flipped to the full-color pages in the middle, which put my mind at ease and propelled me all the way to the check-out counter.

Princess Alyss Heart isn't really interested in being Queen of the Wonderlands someday. She's more interested in getting out of the palace with her friend from the royal
Jun 20, 2008 Meg rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
Recommended to Meg by: Book critics (hah! I hope they lost their jobs)
Oh my gosh! I couldn't not believe that people actually gave this book a good rating! In my opinion, it did not even deserve the one star that I gave it. Usually, if I don't like a book I just put it down and move on but the idiocy of the fact this story was even published irritates me every time I think of it. Now, this is not one of those rants about how much of an "Alice" fan I am and how much this disgraces her honor, blah blah blah. This is a fundamentally horrible books. The dialogue sucks ...more
Aug 29, 2015 TL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: many people on my feed
This was alot of fun and an interesting spin on Wonderland.

It doesn't get in too deep with character development but there's still enough depth that I grew attached to everyone and I was soon on the edge of my seat:).

I loved the concept/mythology of Mr Beddor's Wonderland and White/Black Imagination, the Looking Glass Maze. Redd's army and inventions were pretty cool too, my favorite of them was the Glass Eyes.

Hatter Madigan, <3! My new book crush haha.
He reminded me of Black Widow in regar
Ren the Unclean
Nov 08, 2011 Ren the Unclean rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in Wonderland
Shelves: fantasy
This book has a really interesting premise and a cool take on a classic story. The characters are very interesting, especially Hatter Madigan, General Doppelganger, and Bibwit Harte.

My main problem with this book is that Beddor does not do a very good job of writing the story. It is sort of as though he is writing it like a person who is very impressed with the story they are telling you, rather than telling you a story that is impressive on its own. This is sort of strange, since the subject ma
Jan 23, 2016 BOOKBOX by Kat rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this alternative story of Alice in Wonderland or may I say Alyss. It was lovely spending time reading this book. This is my second time reading it. The first time I was still in high school and I couldn't remember all the details so, I embarked on the Alyss journey once again. My ulterior motive albeit, was the fact that I want to read the rest of the series. To me this was the book that I enjoyed on these cold, winter nights and it was a great company that awakened my imaginati ...more
Mar 09, 2011 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
A neat spin of "Alice in Wonderland." Yet unique in its own right. This story revolves around Alys (princess of Wonderland) who escapes to Earth to avoid being murdered by her Aunt Redd and the Cat assassin. Hatter M. is a special bodyguard who travels to Earth as well to protect Alys but is separated from her. His famous weapon is his hat (which I would love to own in real life!), which can become a spinning, deadly blade.
Back in Wonderland there is also Dodge, who was the son of a royal guard
The Looking Glass Wars is not really different from what I had expected. It is a well-constructed retelling, that places Alice as the Queen of Hearts' daughter and consequently the next-in-line for Wonderland's throne. When the evil Red Queen, Queen Genevieve's sister, attacks the palace with her army of card soldiers, Alice - or Alyss - is sent via the Pool of Tears tunnel to a parallel world - ours, but during the life-time of Lewis Carroll, by the Queen's faithful bodyguard Hatter Madigan (yo ...more
Book: The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars, #1)
Author: Frank Beddor
Awesomeness level: 5/5
Began: November 9, 2009
Finished: November 14, 2009

It was a long time ago when I saw Seeing Redd, Frank Beddor's second book in The Looking Glass Wars trilogy, at Barnes & Noble. Back then, I didn't care about it, I didn't know that I'd finish The Looking Glass Wars at 3:22 in the morning, not willing to sleep until I knew how the first book ended. I didn't know I'd squeal with excitment when H
Read this one a while ago, but I still remember what made me love it so much. I can honestly say this is one of my all-time favorites. I'm not exactly a picky reader or rater, but to be added to my favorites shelf, a book has to be pretty damn special. And that is just what this book is. To help you decide if this book is for you, ask yourself the following:

Do you love Alice in Wonderland? (Yes)
Do you love a good, clean, real romance between childhood friends? (Of course you do!)
Do you love the
Mar 29, 2009 earthy rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, juvenile
Another victim of the great concept, crummy execution flop.

Beddor gives us flimsy, uninteresting characters on a backdrop he's obviously fleshed out in his own mind to the point of an obsessive teenaged boy writing Epic Fantasy (*cough*), and he's so concerned that you envision his world exactly as he does that he spends sentence after dull, plodding sentence describing battles and contraptions in minute detail. Folks, if you're that concerned with the precise visualization of your world, you're
Aug 09, 2014 Tobey rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who hate good books.
I could easily compose a rant about how this book sucks so hard that light has a hard time escaping its gravity well, but instead of just bashing let's take an objective look at why this book is so very very bad.

The Looking Glass Wars is a triumph of artistic design and marketing. The concept is immediately simple and intriguing. Wonderland is real. Alice Liddell was a princess on the run and Lewis Carroll mangled the truth. Alyss grows up and goes back to save a ruined Wonderland. The cover art
Thibaut Nicodème
Aug 23, 2015 Thibaut Nicodème rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review on my blog, the Snark Theater.

The book is pretty lackluster in terms of character development, but it's really the only flaw I can give it. The story does otherwise an excellent job of establishing the world, and connecting it to our own.

And the world of Wonderland is absolutely amazing. The book makes it a world of imagination, which even inspires the imaginary of all other worlds—and it just…fits. It fits with the story, and it fits with the mythos of Wonderland in general, and I l
Yomna hosny
Jun 11, 2014 Yomna hosny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
This is one of those book that people either love with the fiery vengeance of a thousand suns or loathe so completely they wish eternal doom and damnation onto everyone who so much as hints that they liked it.

I gave it a firm five stars so.. :D

Original review can be found here:

Anyways.. allow me to explain myself. Ahem.

This book uses actual historical events to create parallel, similar events in the story. elements from the second world war, The american
Somewhere under a 4 for me. Maybe even as low as a 3.5.

The Looking Glass Wars is an alternate history retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass books. Beddor reimagines the children’s classic as non-fiction: Alyss Hart, a Wonderlander, comes to Earth in a time of crisis (her evil aunt Redd has attacked Wonderland in her quest to become the Queen of Hearts), and she finds herself in a far different reality. On Earth, she is just a young girl with no a
Nov 24, 2015 Ten rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Also on Inherently Bookish

I am saddened to say that this is my first 1-star rating in 2015. I was doing so well, reading books that weren't always perfect, and yet I always found something in them I could enjoy. And then my roommate recommended this book to me, and I found myself taking it. It seemed interesting: a completely new take on Alice In Wonderland, one in which Alice does not stumble blindly down a rabbit hole, but in which she is a princess of Wonderland, brought to Earth as a mea
Feb 08, 2009 Gloria rated it it was ok
Recommended to Gloria by: Beta
I don't think I can finish it.

It was recommended to me by Beta; Alpha hadn't liked it when he first read it (in author's proof, which is what I am reading). Beta insisted that _Seeing Redd_ must be read, and thus, I had to read this first. That, plus the TABarron series on Merlin, and of course, the Tree of Avalon.

Well, started it. Want to like it. I do like the premise, actually. But I think, now that I have gotten almost half-way through, what just makes it unbearable is that the writing is so
Aug 21, 2012 Delaney rated it it was amazing
Just one word for you: EPIC!!!!!

Remember Lewis Carroll's famous works of Alice and her adventures in Wonderland where she meets the Mad Hatter, the Chesire Cat, the Red Queen, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum?? Now remember THE LOOKING GLASS WARS. Where Alice's Adventure in Wonderland is all but a lie. There is so much more to it. Where there is Alyss instead of Alice. Where Hatter Madigan is like Black Butler Sebastian, a killer bomb. Where The Cat has 9 li
Dec 13, 2008 Antoinette rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids, alice in wonderland fans
I am a huge Alice in Wonderland nerd. That means I am somewhat obligated to like anything that even hints that it may be related to the characters from Lewis Carroll's original work. Disney movie? sure, lame Disney spin off series? Sure! Cats named Dinah? of course. I am a sap, a fool, a pathetic fan girl. I came across this series by receiving the scrapbook for a birthday present. I decided to read the series, and I didn't really like it. The thing that kept me reading, and the thing that makes ...more
Apr 26, 2008 Meghan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Alice in Wonderland fans, sci-fi/fantasy fans
Recommended to Meghan by: Barnes and Noble endcap
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's an imaginative retelling of Alice In Wonderland, it's somewhere between 3 stars to 3.5 stars. I love the world building, the action scenes are nice and the plots keep me entertaining for the whole time. But I found almost all of the characters have no development and it's quite boring for the good guys to be always good and the villains to have no other purpose nor personality outside of being power-crazed, sadistic and well, just plain evil. Plus the Good vs. Evil theme is a bit too simple ...more
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D.E.A.R: The Looking Glass Wars 9 19 Jun 22, 2015 03:09AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor 7 17 Mar 30, 2015 07:58AM  
Has anyone read this? 13 50 Jan 11, 2015 01:05PM  
Crazy for Young A...: ✔Pair 10: Mehsi and Ecrivaine (December 2014) 31 98 Dec 13, 2014 11:33AM  
This Book was EPIC!!! 26 107 Nov 06, 2014 09:30AM  
am I the only one who likes this? 5 26 Oct 08, 2014 04:02PM  
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Literary Sleuth and world creator Frank Beddor dared to expose the true story of Wonderland in the New York Times bestselling young adult trilogy The Looking Glass Wars. To satisfy the awakened curiosity of his readers he continued to tell the parallel adventures of Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan’s search for the lost princess in the graphic novel series Hatter M. He lives in Los Angeles.
More about Frank Beddor...

Other Books in the Series

The Looking Glass Wars (3 books)
  • Seeing Redd (The Looking Glass Wars, #2)
  • ArchEnemy (The Looking Glass Wars, #3)

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“I tell you to think black thoughts and you come up with that?!" the lieutenant had screamed. "Is a guinea pig bad? Do you consider a guinea pig the representation of all that is evil?"

Maybe... if it's an evil guinea pig.”
“You can't spend so much time in a place and not carry a bit of it inside you.” 136 likes
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