Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Archenemy by Frank Beddor (review)

ArchEnemy (The Looking Glass Wars, #3) 
The Looking Glass Wars: 
ArchEnemy (3)
by Frank Beddor
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale retellings, young adult, adventure
Published: Oct 2009
Pages: 373
Published by Dial Books
"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. But after coming to the Liddells' 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 Mushroom the Caterpillar Oracles issue this prophecy: "Action shall be taken to ensure the safety of the Heart Crystal. For Everqueen." But who is Everqueen?

   As the metamorphosis of Wonderland unfolds, enemies become allies, bitter rivals face off, and Queen Alyss and Redd Heart must both confront their pasts in this thrilling, no-holds-barred conclusion to the New York Times bestselling series." 
   In this series, The Looking Glass Wars, Frank Beddor his given us an intricate, highly imaginative world. He took the world of Wonderland to a new level, giving it more depth, creativity and action. This final book takes what the first two books created to give us an action-packed ending.

   While I love the series concept, I felt this one fell short of what the first two books set-up. The imagination was starting to feel a bit flat in this book. A few new ideas but mostly just a long wrap-up of the past couple books. The character story was especially lacking. We jump all over the place, every couple pages we are seeing things from another perspective. No real depth or character growth. A little with Molly and Charles Dodgson but that is about it. Alyss seemed to lose all personality, Redd was much milder than past books. Arch luckily was still a smart, wicked tyrant.

   This book was full of action! While lacking in some areas, it didn't lack here. Yet with how much was happening I feel it would have made a better movie than book. In fact, if this series were turned into movies, I would assuredly go see them. It might even make this book make more sense. The constant jumping and scene changing keeps you glued to what is happening but we never seem to get much resolution to what was happening in the last scene. It needed more details and time to really explain what was going on at times. I think Mr. Beddor's mind was likely visualizing some amazing battles but his mind must have been so much faster than his pen could keep up with.

   This series is still worth reading. The first two books are amazing and you need to read this to finish the story arc. However, this conclusion leaves space for improvement for filling in some blanks. I hate when authors start a series and don't finish and I always said "Any ending is better than no ending." Well this wasn't much better than that concept. It does wrap things up but I felt empty as I read a lot of this final book. The action was fun but I felt detached from the characters which I don't like.  


  1. Haven't read this series, but it's too bad you didn't like this sequel!

    It does sound very unique and the plot seems like it could have been really fast. But sometimes multiple perspectives are good. Too bad it didn't really give you anything more.

    Lovely review :)

    1. It was alright. I didn't dislike it. It was just 'meh' compared to the others. Very unique series concept though!

  2. I started the first book of this series a while ago but I couldn't get into it sadly. I never knew there was now a third book out! I really like the cover but I'm not sure if I'll ever finish the series. :/

    1. If you didn't get into the first book, I wouldn't hold my breath for this one. But if you ever pick them up again, I do hope you can enjoy them.

  3. Your review is interesting. I guess I will give the series a try even though you don't seem too happy with the third part!! :)

    1. It is still worth reading overall. The first book I really liked!

  4. I like fantasy so was very interested in reading your review of this book! It sounds like this one has a lot of action but you didn't like it as much as the first 2 in the series. Since you recommended that it's still worth reading, I'm adding the series to my TBR list! Thanks for the great info :)

  5. It does sound like an interesting series, even if part three falls a little flat...

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

  6. This book sounds really cool and I like the cover. ;)

  7. The cover looks cool. Is this the 3rd book in a series?


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