June 8, 2010

30 Days: Day 13 - A fictional book.

And now a return to blogging!

A book I finished recently (and I mean that in the loosest terms. I haven't really committed myself to leisurely reading since I received my degree in reading good) was Seeing Redd, the second installment in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy that, last I heard, was in the works of becoming a movie. Which would be rather awesome, I think, because there's lots of room for compelling imagery that feeds off of viewer knowledge since the story of Alice is so well known.

Anyway, the book itself isn't necessarily spectacular and is an easy read. It's predictable, but fun nonetheless. I personally enjoyed some of the feminist undertones in a story that was originally largely about a damsel in distress (for example, Wonderland is ruled by a Queendom and the King of the Baorderlands, Arch, is considered a misogynist idiot). However, I recognize that I love retellings and fantasy, and the book nerd in me squeed all over this series as it have several throwbacks to the original series and incarnations, and the modern fantasy nerd of me loved the Westernized version of a magical girl trope normally associated with Japanese cartoons.

Let me just breakdown the basics.

Alyss Heart is Alice reincarnated, the Princess of Wonderland and wielder of White Magic. She's a bit obnoxious and doesn't really become badass until later, but she's not the real reason most of us are reading. I was pleased that she was depicted as a dark brunette/raven haired as that's generally how Alice is never portrayed. I'm assuming this is a deliberate homage to the Queen of Hearts normally illustrated with dark hair since Alyss represented the Hearts Family out of the four family factions.

The main antagonist is Alyss' aunt, Redd, wielder of Black Magic and basically crazy. She is a mixture of the Red Queen and Queen of Hearts, her image coloring being red (including her hair) and is often yelling for beheadings. She dethrones her sister quite early in the first book, taking over Wonderland while Alyss is in hiding in our world.

Other major characters that are easily recognizable include the very badass Hatter Madigan who serves as Alyss' body guard, Bibwit Harte as the white rabbit and tutor, and The Cat based on the Cheshire Cat and Redd's assassin. Card soldiers return as well, and sport fancy physical updates best illustrated through official art rather than descriptions in the book.

Three books of the series are out, I have yet to read the latest titled Arch Enemy, so I'm hoping it doesn't disappoint.

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