{Review/Giveaway} HATTER and JABBERWOCKY by Daniel Coleman

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Wonderland. I have several versions on DVD (including SyFy’s Alice with the amazing Andrew Lee Potts as Hatter), as well as novel re-interpretations such as The Looking Glass Wars trilogy and its prequel trilogy Hatter M. by Frank Beddor. When I heard that Daniel Coleman had written not one but TWO books revolving around Lewis Carroll’s fantastic characters, I knew these were books I wanted to read. And you know what? I wasn’t disappointed. If you enjoy the world of Wonderland, you’ll be thrilled with Coleman’s writing. It’s a perfect balance of nonsense and common sense and brings life to characters in a way that would make Carroll proud.

HATTER is a companion to JABBERWOCKY and begins a day or two before the latter ends. You don’t need to read one in order to read the other, but if you read JABBERWOCKY first, you’ll be pleased upon becoming reacquainted with familiar faces in HATTER. My favorite thing about JABBERWOCKY was the fact that Coleman took a poem full of nonsense and turned it into something real. He broke down each passage and brought meaning to words that previously had none. It’s easy to figure out their meanings through the context he uses, but if a reader can’t, there’s a handy glossary included at the end of the novella. JABBERWOCKY centers around a boy named Tjaden who is destined to battle the infamous Jabberwocky. I was intrigued by how the story read like a fairy tale, but brimming with knights and duels and justice. There’s even a little romance and political deceit for good measure. JABBERWOCKY is a quick read, but loaded with an action-filled story.

HATTER, on the other hand, while still a novella, is twice as long as JABBERWOCKY. (No longer true; there is an updated version of JABBERWOCKY that is now revised and novel-length!) There’s more time to flesh out characters. In fact, HATTER is where everything happens. Wonderland wasn’t always called Wonderland. There wasn’t always a Red Queen or a White Queen. Hatta wasn’t always mad as a hatter. There is so much going on in HATTER that leads to the formation of the world a little girl named Alice will one day explore. I admit that I often found myself envisioning the characters of HATTER with the images of the actors from the recent Disney live-action movie starring Johnny Depp, especially the roles of Hatta and the White Queen. Coleman also introduces new characters to love such as Chism, whose story leads him on a destructive path that ties his destiny to Hatta’s—and their kingdom’s—in an unimaginable way. Coleman has a firm grip on madness, showcasing the way Hatta has always been a little off his rocker. It’s amazing to see the way he sees the world in colors and explains a lot. It’s also fun to see the way color—or the lack thereof—plays into the beloved Cheshire Cat’s story.

JABBERWOCKY and HATTER are a lot of fun and hard to put down. True Wonderland fans will savor every page and wonder what Coleman will re-create and re-envision for them next. There are so many aspects of this world to explore and dive into. I’ll be happy to return once again to Wonderland, especially if Coleman is the one taking me there!

 This review was first posted at A Backwards Story on August 30, 2011. It may have been slightly revised for today's post.

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

No information, sorry! I read this one long before a ratings system existed on ABS!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love the “tt” in the title! Is that not the most gorgeous t-duo ever? The cover also represents a LOT of what’s going on in the novel. The circle with a sword is an important insignia, the 13 is loaded with meaning, and of course, that gorgeous, gorgeous hat that could only have been made by Hatta! He would absolutely approve of the pop of color in this cover—especially all the purple!With the cover for JABBERWOCKY, the circle and sword insignia is once more present—and once more important. I like that the insignia links the covers together, as does the black border. The colors of this cover are more subdued, but feature the fearsome jabberwocky. And again, I’m STILL in love with the font used for the title. It’s the same one used for HATTER and I *have* to find out what it is. *swoon*

(Referring to the original JABBERWOCKY cover:)

The NEW cover for JABBERWOCKY??? (Shown above in the review) I love that it uses the same font, of course! And I love that it looks more modern and professional. I would pick it up off the shelf to see what it was about on sight alone because it's slick enough to grab my attention!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  HATTER
Author: Daniel Coleman
Release Date: June 10, 2011
Publisher: Daniel Coleman
Recieved: For Review


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

Someday Hatta will save the kingdom. In his mind, at least. But his talents of uncharacteristic kindness and a passion for colors hardly qualify him for such a destiny. In a kingdom that doesn’t need saving, a young man ignorant of social norms is the unlikeliest of heroes.

Along the way, the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts, White Queen, and other familiar characters emerge to fill their eminent roles as well.

Witness literature’s most lovable lunatic’s tangled ascent into madness. 

Author: Daniel Coleman
Release Date: First published April 1, 2011
Revised & Expanded Sept. 23, 2014
Publisher: Vorpal Words
Recieved: For Review


How can a boy succeed where an army has failed?

Tjaden, a young man who aspires to be an Elite soldier, blames himself when Elora’s beautiful face is disfigured by a bandersnatch. Elora hides behind her scars, feeling unlovable in a world that only confirms her doubts.

Before Tjaden has a chance to convince her that scars don’t matter, an even more terrifying monster comes between them—the Jabberwock. Tjaden must risk his life not only to prove his love to Elora but to save her life.

If the secrets of the vorpal sword fail, so will Tjaden.

Completely revised, with interior illustration and 100 pages of new material, this is the novel version, released in 2014.



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