Review – Seeing Redd
This is the second book in a YA trilogy. I enjoyed the first book in the series, The Looking Glass Wars quite a bit and was really looking forward to this one. Being a huge fan of Alice In Wonderland and the fantasy genre in general, I love all the movies, tv shows and different novels that have blossomed from it. This particular story arc posits that Lewis Carroll got the Alice story wrong. He named all the main players, but the world is actually much more violent and dark than he wrote it. The Mad Hatter is Hatter Madigan, an elite fighter protecting the white Queen. The Cheshire Cat is the Red Queen’s main assassin etc. Alyss returns to Wonderland in the first novel, to reclaim the throne from her Aunt Redd. This book picks up where the other left off and this review will contain spoilers for the first book just by where we see the characters in Seeing Redd. So now we find Alyss trying to be queenly while dealing with her affection for Dodge. Very quickly in the story someone begins attacking Wonderland using Redd’s technology, the glass eye army. It makes sense to think that Redd is back, but no one has seen either her or the cat.
There is plenty of action in this book. In fact, the bad guys seem way ahead of Alyss in their machinations. While she is making doe eyes at Dodge and mooning about trying to keep him from doing something stupid in a fit of revenge, Redd and Arch are scheming and doing and creating and imagining! I found the bad guys to be much more interesting than boring old Alyss. This book she is busy being a teen, she is after all only 16, and worrying more about herself and her needs than the needs of the queendom. Redd is doing the same thing, but with more Black Imagination style. Not that I was rooting for her, she is evil and terrible and needs to go away, but she certainly made things interesting. She is truly evil, her minions are pretty awful and they are freaking amazing. I love when she meets up with Arch again and how quickly she pulls things together. I hope in the next book that Alyss pulls her head out of her butt and starts to really focus on what needs to be done to be the warrior queen she needs to be. Maybe that was it, she lacks focus. Though if you read it, Redd is the one literally “out of focus”. Kind of an interesting, actually, I wonder if Beddor did that on purpose?
This second book was fun and a pretty quick to read. It did lose me a time or two. It ends somewhat in the middle of things. Ok, that was an understatement, things are confusing and there are tons of loose ends so it isn’t as satisfying as the first book, so I will definitely be reading the next one, Archenemy (so I can get some closure, dang it). Some of the scenes are a bit gruesome. They don’t last long, but they can be pretty gross, so I wouldn’t recommend to under 12 or anyone too sheltered. Also, there are troop movements and battle stuff here and there that tends to get a little boring. I motored through and I thought that stuff ended pretty quickly being YA, so it isn’t like you get mired in the details. So, I would give this middle book 3 stars. I am hoping Archenemy will bring a satisfying conclusion moving the series as a whole higher, but we will see! I am waiting to move up on the list at paperbackswap.com or find it in a used bookstore, at this point I can’t justify full price.