Archenemy by Frank Beddor

arch-enemy

RATING: 3.5/5

BLURB: “The battle for Wonderland has come to a head. Imagination has been wiped from the land and even Queen Alyss has lost her powers. The Queendom hangs in the balance…”

REVIEW: Much like the previous book in the trilogy, ‘Seeing Redd’, I found that the finale of ‘The Looking Glass Wars’ series, ‘Archenemy’, often became tangled and complicated due to the amount of material that Beddor was attempting to deal with. This time, however, this only served to make the book even more gripping and exciting, leaving me with the certainty that Queen Alyss and the force of White Imagination would triumph, but with absolutely no idea of how they would get there. Alyss suffers so many setbacks in her attempts to restore Imagination to Wonderland, regain the Heart Crystal and reunite her torn and suffering kingdom, that we begin to wonder if she will ever actually get there. With King Arch’s takeover of Wonderland and Alyss’ unexpected alliance with her evil aunt Redd, things take an unexpected turn for the worse as Wonderland descends into chaos and anarchy, with some dissidents believing that the land would be more fair and equal if nobody possessed any Imagination at all. With the help of her trusted companions – Homburg Molly, Hatter Madigan, Bibwit Harte, General Doppelganger and, of course, her childhood sweetheart Dodge Anders, Alyss manages to restore Imagination and justice to the Kingdom – and, at the end of it all, is finally free to be with the man she loves. Beddor’s increased inclusion of our world and his incorporation of Alice Liddell into the story is even more cleverly done in this novel, I would argue, with our world seeming to reflect a much stabler and more simple way of life that the reader begins to long for. The series also reaches a satisfying conclusion, giving the reader the sense that everything has been put to rights. I did, however, find this book to be the most confusing and complex in the series, and sometimes the battle scenes became a little repetitive – this did not, however, ruin my enjoyment of the book or my enjoyment of the series as a whole.

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