The Heart Crystal’s power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. There is some comfort in the fact that the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd’s overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles.
Page-turning and complex, this culmination of the Wonderland saga is intensely satisfying.
I had read the two previous books in this trilogy (The Looking Glass Wars, Seeing Redd) and while I did not find them riveting, I did enjoy them enough to proceed on to the conclusion ArchEnemy.
ArchEnemy has much of the charm of the previous novels in the series, which is obviously what drew me to it. A retelling of Alice in Wonderland with political intrigue, family, magic, and just a dash of romance in the background.
Obviously I enjoyed some parts, particularly the scenes between Alyss and Dodge and the maddening caterpillar oracles. The book certainly quenched any thirst for violence that I’ve experienced lately, but while the first two novels held my interest, something about ArchEnemy just did not click with me.
Perhaps it was that the main antagonist was not the evil Redd as it had been previously but King Arch. Perhaps it was the overt stating of “Little did they knows”– that is, revealing to the reader in advance what they would come to learn in time anyway. Or maybe it was the embellished descriptions of different action moves, very Matrix-esque. Maybe the book was simply too “plotty” as opposed to “Alyssy.” I didn’t feel as though we saw enough into a character’s motivations as we had in the past.
Rating: 2/5. If you’ve read the previous books and feel the need to see the series through, go ahead and pick it up, but my feelings toward ArchEnemy were lackluster at best.
Know what else is a retelling? Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. Enter the GIVEAWAY here!