Monday, September 17, 2007

'Seeing Redd' by Frank Beddor

ISBN: 0803731558
Format: Hardcover, 384pp
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Price: $17.99

All the characters from The Looking Glass Wars are back in Frank Beddor's sequel, Seeing Redd. When we last saw Alyss, Dodge, Hatter, Molly and everyone else, they were all settling in happily to a Wonderland with out the tyranny of Redd, who escaped through the Heart Crystal with her deadly assassin, The Cat.

But all is not well in Wonderland when we return. Even with Redd out of the picture, Alyss has enemies. There will always be a few who prefer Black Imagination over White and those few are making trouble for Alyss. Not to mention King Arch of the Borderlands, who with his masculine superiority, believes that no woman, least of all Alyss, is fit to rule a kingdom.

After a mysterious explosion in the Crystal Continuum, Wonderland's form of transportation, Alyss is informed by King Arch that her bodyguard, Molly, has been taken hostage. King Arch claims to be only an intermediary for the real criminals, but Alyss suspects the truth. Arch explains that Hatter Madigan is to come out and negotiate Molly's release. Despite Alyss' direct order that he is to stay in Wonderland, Hatter makes his way into Borderland intent on freeing Molly.

Meanwhile, Redd and The Cat have made it to Earth through the Heart Crystal where Redd gathers an army made of ex-Wonderland citizens and those few Earthlings that have powerful Black Imagination. There she picks up a few shudder-worthy characters including Alistaere, a mad doctor who performs autopsies on people before they die, Siren, a women who can cripple people with the force of her voice, Sacrenoir, a man able to raise flesh eating skeletons, and Vollrath, a member of the tutor species that took a dark turn. With these and many others in tow Redd makes her way back to Wonderland to reclaim the throne from Alyss.

With all this going on around her, Alyss is desperate to make time for Dodge. Most of the hate and bitterness that colored Dodge's life before is gone and Alyss is determined to protect him from the destructive nature of his emotions. Their romance has blossomed and they are just as in love with each other as they were when they were young. But as determined as Alyss is to protect Dodge, he is just as determined to have his revenge on The Cat for killing his father.

With enemies pouring in from all directions at once Alyss must make a difficult decision, Hatter Madigan must deal with his personal life, Dodge must learn to conquer his emotions, and all Redd wants to do is take over the kingdom. Since this is the second in a trilogy there is a bit of a cliffhanger ending. A sort-of tie is called in the final battle and the fight postponed for a later date. What does the future hold for our favorite and not-so-favorite characters? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Seeing Redd moves just as quickly as The Looking Glass Wars. Constant action and intrigue move the reader forward at a break-neck pace. It is just as bloody and gruesome as the first, if not more so. The fight for Wonderland continues, the game hasn't changed, and the players are all more determined than ever to come out on top.


Sevenine said...

Whoa! Excellent review! Haven't gotten to that autopsy guy yet...creepy! The chapter where Sacrenoir is introduced is plain-ass creepy.

Can't wait for Alyss and Dodge to finally get together. I've been waiting with bated breath for them to realize how the other feels. :)

Katie said...

Sacrenoir is... yeah. I read that part and then I read it again to make sure I had just read what I thought I had. Very, very creepy. You'll have to tell me what you think when you get it finished. Hope the review didn't spoil anything.

Sevenine said...

Nah. It's kinda cool knowing a little of what's going to happen in the book. Lets my imagination go wild and wonder where it's going to lead. No, when you're laying in your bed, it's pitch dark outside, not a peep in the house, with only your light on and you read about skeletons ripping off fingers on people...tends to jolt you just a little

Amazing Gracie said...

With a dust jacket that good, the book has to be good! That's a terrific cover.

Katie said...

I know exactly what you mean. I was reading it on my lunch break at work and one of my coworkers came into the breakroom where I was reading and scared me. I just about jumped out of my skin. I was so focused on the page. :)

Katie said...

Gracie, it is a great cover. What is really cool about these books is that the book has the same image as the dust jacket, very cool.

Sevenine said...

That is one of the more intriguing things about the book - its cover. I love how it's imprinted on the book too. The picture tells a story all its own.

Katie said...

I agree. Have you seen the cover for the new edition of New Moon? It's like that as well.

Sevenine said...

No, I haven't. Got a picture of it somewhere on the 'net?

Katie said...

On the new edition of new moon it's the same cover as the old one. It's just the picture of the dust jacket on the book. On the first printing of the book it was just a black book with the pretty dust jacket. It's like Seeing Redd in that way.