Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor (Dial and Speak)
Grade: 2.5 stars out of 5
Summary: “Alyss of Wonderland’s rule has only just begun and already those who prefer chaos to peace are threatening to destroy everything worth imagining. Trailed by newly appointed Royal Bodyguard Homburg Molly, Alyss does her best to keep pace with the spiraling, non-stop demands of being Queen while attempting to evade Molly for a few private moments with Dodge. Alyss’s life is already a challenging mix of duty, love and imagining when a series of phantom sightings set fire to an urban myth of her Imperial Viciousness’s return and have everyone...seeing Redd. Has Redd somehow freed herself and her chief assassin, the Cat, from the confines of the Heart Crystal to challenge her niece once again? If not, then who has resurrected Redd’s brutal footsoldiers, the Glass Eyes, and set them loose to attack Wonderland on all sides? Battles rage, looking glasses explode and the Alyssians are once again uniting to defend White Imagination in this fast-paced second book in The Looking Glass Wars trilogy.”
Review: I may not be Beddor’s biggest fan when it comes to The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy after finishing the first book but I was willing to try again. Heck I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt hoping that Seeing Redd will prove me wrong; I mean that cover is slightly awesome is a creepy way. But what ruined it for me was the writing style.
Because the book was so action packed I tended to skim quite a bit and pour myself into the dialogues. Skimming is never a good sign. Next was the growing irritation of the clank, thunk, fliz, Eeeeee, and numerous other onomatopoeias. It may sound weird to complain about that but argh! It was like every other line contained some italicized gibberish.
Okay here’s a confession: I love commas, I truly do. But they do not, and will not, replace the good ol’ fashion period--you know the filled-in circle?--I got a reminiscence to when I was reading Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway with his endless paragraphs. Three-quarters of a page was a, one, singular, paragraph.
I will admit that Seeing Redd surprised me in some of the plot twists and amused me with the high caterpillars. Beddor created a wonderful world; he just needed to use it better. The passages were hard to get through [oi, are we done yet?], the writing left me agitated [*twitch, twitch*], and awkwardness he presented some of the story left me doubting many things.
Overall: I really do like the illustrations though…. It’s kind of sad when that is all I can say.