Friday, September 4, 2009

Book review--The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Recently, I decided to accomplish some of my reading by listening to (unabridged) audiobooks in my car while driving to and from work and any time I'm alone in the car. My first choice was The Looking Glass Wars on CD. This will be my first review of an audiobook so I will not only review the book, but will also review the performance of the reader.

Synopsis (from Barnes and Noble):

The "true story" behind Alice in Wonderland! Princess Alyss Heart is brutally cast out of Wonderland by her vicious Aunt Redd, who beheads Alyss' mother (Off with her head, she cries!) and begins to rule over Wonderland with an iron fist. Alyss escapes from Wonderland and is exiled to another world entirely--Victorian London--where she is adopted into a new family, renamed Alice, and befriended by Lewis Carroll. At age 20 she returns to Wonderland to battle Redd, reclaim the throne, and lead Wonderland into its next golden age of imagination.


This is a newly imagined version of Alice in Wonderland. Don't be expecting the Disney fairy tale because it's far from it. If you thought the Queen of Hearts (Redd in this story) was a monster in the Disney version, wait until you get a load of Alyss' Aunt Redd. When she says off with their heads, she really means it. And the ambiguous Cheshire Cat that we remember...well this one sounds like he might have just stepped out of an X-Men movie! All the other characters are here as well, in different ways, shapes and forms. And there are a few additional characters. Alyss' parents are the Queen and King of Wonderland. And for all the feminists out there, Wonderland is a "Queendom", not a Kingdom. In this story, the Queen holds the power of the realm. So you know what that means...Alyss is next in line for the thrown. It all makes for a pretty exciting story that keeps you engaged throughout. I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm listening to an audiobook, if it's not an engaging story, my mind tends to wander. My mind did not wander once as I was listening to this book. This is actually the first book in a series and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of them in the future.

What really enhanced my experience of listening to this book was the reader, Gerard Doyle. One can really tell of his experience in the theatre. He brings every character alive with their own distinct voice. The listener is never at a loss as to which character is speaking. His narration is lively and nuanced. Mr. Doyle is a first rate audiobook reader. I will be looking for further titles with him as the narrator.

I am recommending this book as a great read. Whether you read it in print or listen to the audio is your decision, but I must stress once again that this audiobook experience was highly entertaining.

6 comments:

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  1. Oh, I have seen this book and wasn't sure about picking it up but I think I will now! Wonderful review!

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  2. I just saw this book for 3 bucks and I was not sure about purchasing it. I will get it now for sure. I may even look into an audio version. You are right the voice of the reader has to draw you into an audio book. I listened to a novel once and it took me a great while to finish it. Thanks for this review :)

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  3. This sounds great!! (And it works for my Alice in Wonderland Challenge so I may very well pick this one up). Stop on by if you're interested in joining! ;)

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  4. I have seen a few books that are way more than the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, and I think there is another one which at the moment I can not remember the name of. I have wanted to pick these up for a while now. I keep reading about them and think they would sound so good as the adult version. Very intense and wonderous. I will have to pick this one up now!

    Great review!

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  5. Really enjoyed your review! And I think I may give audiobooks a chance now, as my morning commute is pretty long. Thanks for the heads up on a book I wasn't familiar with! :)

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  6. Thanks for the great comments! It's a little different reviewing an audiobook!

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