So, after reading The Looking Glass Wars, I was really looking forward to the sequel, Seeing Redd. I mean, really looking forward to it. Like, annoying my sister, who I was going to borrow it from, because I was asking for it too often.
But sadly… I don’t know how much it lived up to it’s draw. The fact is, this is the second book in a trilogy, and it feels like the second book in a trilogy. I have to admit, parts of it were brilliant. In fact, any part where we got to see the protagonists we’d been cheering for since book one, were pretty much all brilliant. We get to delve into their history a bit more here, see some of what Dodge and Hatter Madigan, especially, went through before we met or remet them in book one, and all of those storylines are really wonderful. What really made Seeing Redd just not a fun read, were the villains.
Oh, the villains. They were everywhere, and there were a lot of them, and they all seemed to either be entirely too clever or have just enough luck that our protagonists were frustrated, quite often, at every turn. Probably someone who really loves chess and wargames and strategy would love this book, because it’s very complex, and every move has a counter-move and it’s really quite masterful… but personally I just flat out didn’t enjoy it. It feels here like Beddor has fallen in love with his own villains and while knowing he has to destroy them in the end, he really wants you to admire and enjoy them, too. Only I didn’t enjoy them, at all. There were too many, and too gruesome in some cases for my personal tastes.
That said, the main showdown at the end was very exciting, and this is the second book in a trilogy, and everything points to a fantastic third book to round out this trilogy. And I stress, there was a TON of good stuff in this book, for me it just felt weighed down by the mass of darker characters. But if you’re planning on reading this series, definitely don’t skip this one!
My grade: B-