Sunday, November 29, 2009

ArchEnemy (The Looking Glass War, Book 3) by Frank Beddor (3/5 stars)

This is the concluding book in The Looking Glass Wars trilogy by Frank Beddor. It was okay. I think Beddor did a good job of wrapping things up, but I just couldn't get into either the characters or the story.

After King Arch devises to set off the bomb to kill all imagination; both Alyss and Redd are left without imagination. They are left wondering if/when imagination will return to Wonderland. When Arch turns against Redd, Redd is left without an army or allies and she is forced to ally with the one person who believes in imagination as much as she does...Alyss. Will imagination return? Will Arch be the one to rule Wonderland in the end? What are those darn caterpillars up to anyway? Who is the Everqueen?

I felt like everything about this book was luke warm. A lot happened, but not a lot of it really drove the plot forward. Alyss was in the story but didn't do much, she kind of let herself be shuttled around from place to place. Dodge was in the book but not a very empathetic or supportive character. The whole relationship between Dodge and Alyss fell flat, leaving me not caring whether they worked things out or not. There are no surprises in the plot, everything ends up exactly how you think it should. I found this book to be a boring and lengthy read, I really had to push to get through it. None of the characters were engaging, none of the villains all that bad, and everything ended just as predicted. There were some action scenes that could have been awesome, Beddor does an okay job writing them but didn't make me sit on the edge of my seat in anxiety waiting for the outcomes. The characters in the fight scenes are just to stoic and cardboard-like, you never know what they are thinking, feeling, or experiencing.

There were some things that redeemed the book. Hatter M and Molly are pretty good characters. These are some of the only characters that really showed some feeling throughout the book. Redd is one of the only characters who takes decisive action action King Arch, and she was way more interesting that any of the good characters. Beddor does do a good job tying up all of the loose ends, but he does it in such a straightforward and tidy way that it was not much fun for me to read. I guess to be fair I didn't really like "Seeing Redd" all that much either, so I may just not enjoy Beddor's writing style.

I am glad I read the conclusion. Disappointed that I figured out who the Everqueen was near the beginning of the book. Also disappointed in the characterization. So all in all an okay read, read it if you have read the others. It didn't make me excited to read more Beddor books though.

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