Dec 31, 2012

{Review} of Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered by A.G. Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GENRE: YA Fantasy
THEME: Magic/Romance
AUTHORS BLOG: A.G. Howards Site

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Who doesn’t love the tale of Alice in Wonderland, or wish to go to a fantasy world as a child? I was definitely one of those kids, but Splintered is a tale that really makes the readers think…where did the story of Wonderland really come from? This is the story of how it all came to be.

Splintered follows Alyssa Gardner, she is from the very real ancestral line of the original Alice Liddell. Alyssa is taunted about her connection to the story of Alice in Wonderland and that her family is cursed by not only the story but by the truth that lies behind it. What Alyssa thought was just a story was actually real; that hearing whispers from bugs and flowers isn’t just in her head and that he mother really isn’t crazy. Alyssa is about to find out what the real Wonderland is.

Alyssa was a fantastic character, her introduction right of the bat was great. Dealing with the life of being the ancestor to the Lewis Carroll story, dealing with the fact that she feels like she’s becoming her mother who is in a mental institute. All in all just wanting to be a normal girl and have her mother back to the way she use to be. The whole story is one big adventure and Alyssa grows up, fights the demons of her family, learns about love and tries to put the piece of her life back together. There is so much development for her, especially once she reaches Wonderland, where she learns that everything in the story was not actually what was put into the book and that she must stop the curse.

Jeb, he is not only Alyssa’s best friend but also her crush. I loved their journey and how he gets to discover along with Alyssa what her family curse is and why it came to be. He is her protector, even when she doesn’t want or need protecting, but it shows the deep love he has for her. Of course there is competition in Wonderland when Alyssa meets once again her childhood friend Morpheus aka The Caterpillar, who is every bit of cute. Jeb and Alyssa learn from one and other what their friendship means and finally open up.

Morpheus, now this was a really shocker to find out that he was the Caterpillar from the story. He is full of spunk and riddles, I never knew if Alyssa should trust him, but as the reader I wanted her too. He was my absolute favorite bit of this story, though I loved Jeb, Morpheus brought one heck of a personality to this already colorful tale. I liked how he was described like a gothic, punk rocker type guy with wings. I could probably read a whole book just about him and be happy, there is just so much that the readers learn about his character and the many secrets he holds.

Wonderland, the book is focused on the tale of Alice in Wonderland. But what I loved most is that Howard created a tale on what the “Real” Wonderland was like, almost creepy at times and the netherlings (wonderland people) were twisted into something so unique, I just absolutely loved it. I don’t want to give away much more, but the readers will be pleased to know that all the favorites meet with Alyssa as she travels through the real Wonderland.

Overall Splintered was an unforgettable adventure, the idea of what Wonderland was and how everything came to be because of one little girl. The details, characters and of course the retelling was absolutely memorable and I would love to read about this world again. The ending was surprising, I didn’t know what to expect, but in the end was perfect. Even if you’re not a fan or the original book, I feel that you’ll love it; it’s different and really sucks the reader into this fantasy story.

This is a young adult novel with a darker twist to the Alice in Wonderland tale. Fans of The Archived by Victoria Schwab and Altered by Jennifer Rush will love Splintered by A.G. Howard.

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  1. I can't wait to read this one. It sounds so wonderful and I haven't heard a bad word about it yet. Not to mention that Morph sounds divine.

  2. Morpheus is fantastic! I couldnt get enough of his spunky gothic self :)

  3. Great review. I've only heard about this novel in passing but am definitely excited to read it

  4. Alyssa's world sounds so adventurous and yet I like that I'll have plenty of chances to get to know HER. She seems both normal and special, a pretty nice combination.