Monday, 10 June 2013

Review: Arch Enemy (Looking Glass Wars, #3) by Frank Beddor

Spoiler warning! This is the 3rd and final book in The Looking Glass Wars series and will contain spoilers from the first two books. You can read my review of the 1st book, The Looking Glass Wars, here, and the 2nd book, Seeing Redd, right here.

Arch Enemy by Frank Beddor

Author: Frank Beddor Website|Twitter
Published: 1 March 2010 (Egmont)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 413
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Waterstone's

Source: Borrowed

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Imagine this...
The power of imagination has been lost!

Now it's all about the artillery as AD52s, crystal shooters, spikejack tumblers, and orb cannons are unleashed in a war of weapons and brute force.

As Alyss searches wildly for the solution to the disaster that has engulfed her queendom, Arch declares himself King of Wonderland. The moment is desperate enough for Alyss to travel back to London for answers, where Arch's assassins are threatening Alice Liddell and her family.

My Review:
Arch Enemy is the third and final book in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy and follows Alyss and Redd as the two race to regain the power of imagination and conquer Wonderland once and for all.

I definitely found this book easier to get into than the previous books in the series,  which I think is down to the fact I was familiar with the characters and the settings. Straight away I was lost in the story and it felt like a lighter read overall.

At the end of Seeing Redd I adored the twist of imagination being lost and it made for a really gripping plot as the characters try to get around this problem in Arch Enemy. What Beddor has done so well with this trilogy, and in particular this book, is create some great political and social issues for his characters to face. In this book there was this big moral question about whether Wonderland was better off without imagination, because the lack of it removes the social divide between those who had it in the first place and those who didn't. As I read about that idea it just struck me as so clever and something I hadn't even considered!

I was really happy that the characters I've grown to love and care about got a real chance to shine in Arch Enemy. People like Dodge and Molly who I've always been drawn to and who are probably my two favourite characters really got a chance to develop even more. I liked the conclusions to both of their story and that Molly got a chance to show her potential. I'm glad even the smaller characters and their stories were done justice.

Again the book is split between Wonderland and the human world and I enjoyed the inclusion of characters and settings from the human world and the key roles they played in the story, particularly Reverend Dodgson's role in the plot.

The pace definitely picked up in the second half of the book as the story starts to reach its conclusion. There were some great twists which threw obstacles in Alyss' way and made everything a bit more tense. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen! The climax was a whirwind of action and excitement. ocassionally I had to stop and reread sections just to process exactly what was happening and the climax was a little confusing at first, but overall I was really happy with the ending to the story.

This was such an enjoyable, unique trilogy to read full of wonderfully imaginative scenes, plenty of action and brilliant characters. Arch Enemy was a great ending to the trilogy and I'll be recommending these books to people in future.

Rating: 4*
Books like this: Splintered by A. G. Howard

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