I have never been interested in Lewis Carroll's books, Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I saw the
Disney movie, as I'm sure most kids in my peer group had, but the movie
didn't make me want to read the books. When I grew older and went
looking for books to read I picked up both books, gave them a look
through and decided they weren't for me. The story just was too
outlandish for me (which is saying something considering my reading
tastes). I was fascinated by the Disney Channel show (Adventures in Wonderland),
but that show was so very different from other shows of the time
(Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum as hip hop artists for instance) that it
was hard not to be interested I think.
Upon meeting the author
at this past New York Comic Con however, I have revised my opinion
slightly and read both books (to compare). Still not interested in the
original novels, but it gave me a better appreciation of The Looking
Princess Alyss Heart suffers quite a bit--though not
so much physically, but more mentally and emotionally. Its
understandable that she would want to fit in, after being so cruelly
mocked for years and her one vindication--the book--just making matters
worse, I don't blame her. Equally though I was relieved to see her not
play the priss for too long once things settle back to normalcy. It
would have been heartily annoying to have her go from such a lively,
spirited young girl to a spoiled, bratty whiner.
certainly did his best to alter each familiar character with just the
right twist so as to make you wonder how you ever saw them otherwise.
Hatter Madigan for instance--or rather the Mad Hatter or Bibwit
Harte--the White Rabbit or even Redd. Oh Redd. I really enjoyed her
theatrics--so vicious, so petty, so imperfect, I loved her despite
being the 'evil' of the book. I rather less enjoyed the Cat, her
half-feline/half-human assassin (the Cheschire Cat). The Cheschire Cat
was the only character of the original novel I liked even a little bit.
The Catepillar definately stayed the same--right down to his
nonsensical, stuffy and obnoxious ways.
The story moves at a
quick pace, alternating event viewpoints from Alyss' adventures, to
Hatter Madigan's search for her, to Redd's tyrannical rule and some
time is spent on Dodge Anders (Alyss' childhood friend) and Jack of
Diamonds (a worm of a boy who plays both sides) so we get a very well
rounded view of things. We never see Redd alone, but then such a
paranoid personage as herself wouldn't trust to be alone (who knows
what her subordinates are scheming if she isn't there to watch?).
end sets up for the next book, obviously as this is a trilogy, but is
satisfactory in tying up the loose ends that could be tied up and
giving us a glimpse of things to come.
(reprinted with author's permission)