Sunday, June 5, 2011
ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor
The war for Wonderland has become a war for Imagination!
King Arch has declared himself King of Wonderland as Alyss searches wildly for the solution to the metaphysical disaster that has engulfed her Queendom. The power of Imagination has been lost!
Alyss's search for answers takes her to London where Arch's assassins threaten Alice Liddell and her family. But after coming to her adopted family's assistance, Alyss discovers herself trapped in a conundrum of evaporating puddles. The shimmering portals that exist to transport her home through the Pool of Tears are disappearing! What is happening in Wonderland? Deep within the Valley of Mushrooms the Caterpillar Oracles issue this prophecy: "Action shall be taken to ensure the safety of the Heart Crystal. For Everqueen." But who is Everqueen?
So...the third and final book in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy. I'd like to say it was a vast improvement from the previous two installments, but that would be a lie. It was pretty much another 370 pages of the same. Mediocre writing, sloppy sentence structures and a shaky plot.
This review's gonna be pretty abbreviated. I really can't write another blog about how it's not great but it's not horrible. So I'm just gonna add a couple more comments that came to me, while taking notes on this reading experience.
Beddor has this strange habit of making up a word or device, but failing to adequately define what exactly it means. The idea of creating your own world of inventions isn't an unheard of practice in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but the fact that he consistently names off gadgets and fails to even give a basic description was slightly annoying. I could get an idea in my head that would do for the sake of picturing actions in my head, but the fact that I don't what I should be imagining took away from the ability to know that I was on the same proverbial page as the author.
This strange practice is made further confusing by Beddor's almost anal attention to detail in other aspects of the story. He went so far as to make the Lewis Carroll in the book have a stutter (something which a quick Google search shows me was factual), but then is completely lax on defining what a "smail-transport" is. Odd, to say the least.
I also found myself a little put off by Beddor's need to write in sound effects. I didn't like being taken out of the story, cause I had to spend an unnecessary length of time trying to figure out the pronunciation of "feeeeeeeooooooshhhhkaaaghghgk". "Bang", "boom" or even "fwoosh" would do the job just as easily and my brain doesn't try to eat itself.
Bottom line, same as the last two, it's a decent read for a boring afternoon with nothing else to do. I can't say it's a great ending to the trilogy, but it's passable.