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The Looking Glass Wars

(The Looking Glass Wars #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  42,347 ratings  ·  3,867 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, First Edition, 364 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Dial Books (first published September 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 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. ...more
Sep 12, 2009 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
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
Jun 05, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: masochists
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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.
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.
Apr 28, 2008 rated it 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
Ashley Daviau
I was a little bit disappointed by this book, not gonna lie. The idea was SO interesting and had so much potential! It’s definitely one of the most original Alice retellings I’ve read, it was unique and I loved it! But what left me feeling disappointed was how juvenile the writing was. I know it’s classified as a YA novel but at times it felt like I was reading a children’s book, that’s how juvenile the writing felt to me.
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
Oh, by gosh by golly I loved this book. It's Alice in Wonderland on crack! Fabulous! ...more
Jan 27, 2010 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
Ashley Marie
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, retellings
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
Aug 30, 2007 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
Ren the Unclean
Oct 01, 2007 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
Aug 27, 2015 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 regards
Dec 01, 2010 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
Jul 03, 2011 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
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Imagination is power...

There are so many Alice retellings that i didnt expect much but I throughly enjoy it! The characters were all unique and new yet had the same Alice vibes that we all know and love. I also really liked the Alyss isnt like Alice but the princess of wonderland. It was very unique and an excellent read!

I really enjoyed the details, not only the writing but the visuals. All the little details on the pages and the colored pictures in the middle made the story come to life even
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
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 19, 2015 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 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
It started off with a bang. I was so excited and tearing through this. It was great, and I loved the little Alyss and Dodge but then everything got old fast. I couldn't picture the Hatter, other than his weapons, and everything was detailed so much that it was too much. And I love detail.

Everything was run, escape, fight, run, escape, etc. I couldn't connect with the characters much at all and didn't care for them. Redd was just flat. I get why she was the way she was, but that's all we learn a
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 Hatte
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More)
Somewhere along the way I became obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. Not quite sure when and why. Well, I think it's the weirdness and the color of the world. The darkness is there, but this book definitely brings it to the forefront. I am continually looking for more stories built on the Alice in Wonderland concept. This really fits the bill.

What if there truly was a war between the Red Queen and the White Queens? What if being queen endowed the ruler with unfathomable powers of imagination that
Thibaut Nicodème
Mar 24, 2014 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
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
Yomna Asar
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
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
Jennifer Nielsen
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to accept some of the tropes of the original story as they melded with Beddor's more realistic portrayal - but once I accepted them, I really got into this book. I really liked Alyss and liked Dodge - would've enjoyed reading even more of him, actually. Hatter Madigan is also a wonderful character. This is definitely a series I plan to read more of. ...more
Elizabeth Conway
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

So good! The best Alice retelling I have ever read! My full discussion on my channel:
Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress)
3.5/5 Stars
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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.

Other books in the series

The Looking Glass Wars (5 books)
  • Seeing Redd
  • ArchEnemy
  • The Looking Glass Wars: CrossFire
  • The Looking Glass Wars: Underfire

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