Beddor, F. (2007). Seeing Redd. New York, NY: Dial Books.
Plot Summary: This is the second book in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy. While Alyss is adjusting to being a ruler Wonderland is attacked by glass eyes sending everyone into a panic. To create further confusion the queen’s bodyguard Molly has been kidnapped. While Alyss is convinced that King Arch is behind all of this she can not prove it and has to bide her time. Meanwhile Redd and the cat are back and Redd is gathering her strength on Earth. She travels to wonderland and completes her maze becoming even more powerful and takes over King Arches soldiers. More powerful then ever and with armies from Wonderland and Earth Redd attacks wonderland in full force. Hatter Mattigan has just recovered Molly and discovered King Arch’s secret weapon. Alyss orders him to use this weapon to knock out the imaginations of everyone in wonderland including Alyss and Redd delaying the battle until the effects of the weapon wear off.
Critical Evaluation: While there is a lot going on in this battle it comes across as more of a chance to set up the final book than an actual story in its own. There is not as much character development as in the first book. Hatter Mattigan is the character with the most character development as he discovers that he is Molly’s father. He disobeys the queen’s orders for the first time to ensure Molly’s rescue. He then is forced to bide his time and pretend to trust King Arch, he has demonstrated patience before in his search for Alyss but he usually deals with things in a more direct way. He is able to eventually save Molly but in doing so loses Weaver, Molly’s mother, which shakes his world view. While the first book indicates he is more than just a fighter he becomes more complex in the second book as we see the depth of his love and the risks he is willing to take to protect those he loves. Dodge also has some character development as he becomes less angry and vengeance driven however he still wants to kill the cat for killing his father. The main characters Alyss and Redd remain much as they were in the first book, Alyss is still becoming secure in her new role and Redd is as angry and evil as ever.
Reader’s Annotation: When glass eyes attack wonderland it looks like Redd is back but can this be part of an even more sinister plot?
Author Information: Frank Beddor has written the looking glass wars trilogy and co-authored a spin off graphic novels following the the adventures of Hatter Madigan. Prior to writing he worked as an actor and stunt double.
Booktalk Ideas: 1) How does King Arch’s leadership differ from Redd’s?
2) What does Redd’s maze reveal about her and how is different from the maze Alyss faced in the first book?
Reading Level & Interest Level:
Challenge Issues: There is some violence in the story but is central to the plot and not graphic. This is a popular series and is highly rated.
Why is it included?: This is an interesting and popular series for teens and I wanted to show how the first and second book compared to each other.