Monday, January 16, 2012

Hatter by Daniel Coleman review

There’s nothing wrong with a touch of madness. – Cheshire Cat

In a kingdom that doesn’t need saving, a young man ignorant of social norms is the unlikeliest of heroes. And despite his extreme dislike of confrontation, Hatta knows his destiny is to mend a rift that doesn’t exist.

On the other end of the spectrum is Chism, a young Elite soldier who thrives on conflict. How will this rash, obsessive soldier aid the child-like Hatta in his journey?

Throw in the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts and other familiar characters as they emerge to fill their eminent roles in the tangled ascent into madness of literature’s most lovable lunatic.

5 stars

Hatter by Daniel Coleman is the second book he has written based on Lewis Carroll's Alice books.  There is a little bit of character crossover with Jabberwocky (book 1), but Hatter is easily understood as a stand alone book.  

The book mainly follows Hatta and Chism two characters who are about as opposite as you can be.  Hatta reads the world around him by the colors he sees; Chism is totally color blind.  Hatta is an absent minded young man who loves to make friends; Chism is a very serious young man who is too focused on his duty for friends.  Hatta abhors confrontation and cannot stand even the thought of violence; Chism is a member of the Elite who is a master of combat and has no compunction about killing people who are in the wrong.  They only thing they have in common is a loyalty to their ideals that is absolute.  

If you are familiar with the Alice setting then you can easily guess that this story deals with the Mad Hatter.  There are also some old favorites such as the Queen of Hearts and the Chesire Cat involved in the story.  I actually enjoyed the origin story behind the Queen of Hearts very much.  I didn't really expect to like her very much, but in this tale it was easier to understand her.  

Once again Daniel shows a mastery of the characters in the world of Lewis Carroll.  I actually have never been a huge fan of the original stuff, but I look forward to reading whatever Daniel wants to write about it.  The characters are genuinely enjoyable and it was touching to watch Chism grow as a person through the story.  This book has driven the point home that Daniel Coleman is an author to keep an eye on and I will personally be reading whatever I can that he writes.

Review copy provided by author.

FYI Jabberwocky is free 1/16/12 as I am posting this link so get your copy today!  Also be sure to check out Daniel's blog to check out his waving at the bus picture series.  Every day after his kids get on the bus he has 5 minutes to put on some kind of costume before the bus comes back by and he waves at his kids.  There are some pretty epic costumes and a little down the page you can see a video montage.  It's worth the watch, Daniel you have some crazy ideas and some lucky kids!

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