Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Alyssa is a direct descendant of Alice Liddell, the young girl who inspired Wonderland. Ever since Alice, all of the women in her family have suffered from insanity, including Alyssa's mother. If the whispers of the bugs and the flowers she hears are any indication, Alyssa's heading down the same path. But then she learns that Wonderland is real and her family's illness is actually a curse. All she'll have to do is fall down the rabbit hole to fix it... But in a land that seems to be woven of lies and chaos, how will she ever survive?
Three words to describe this book: Dark. Sensual. Enchanting.
If you're a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, you'll love Splintered. If you're not a huge fan (like me), but enjoyed the book/Disney movie well enough as a child, you'll still love Splintered. I wouldn't be surprised if you liked this book even if you aren't an Alice fan at all. It will make you fall in love with Wonderland and all of its twisted, strangely beautiful, completely chaotic magic.
The Wonderland that Howard has created isn't that of Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. This version is dark, as gruesome as it is breath-taking. It is a land full of dangers, tests, and secrets... it is so alive that the setting is a character unto itself. It is an example of flawless world-building if I've ever seen one. The way the Wonderland creatures we already know are twisted into something new is incredible, and you'll never look at Alice's story the same way again.
Alice, the Red Queen, the Mad Hatter... they and so many other characters are all intertwined in this amazing story. As far as the main character, Alyssa goes, I loved her. She's spent her whole life with her mom in an asylum, thinking that she, too, will grow up to be crazy, and she's still so determined and brave. Alyssa is also very artistic, which I thought added so much to the feel of the book. I could picture all of her artwork so clearly in my mind.
Then there's Jeb, who is loyal, handsome, and her best friend. I adore best-friends-turned-romantic-interest relationships, so I was all on board. He has a rough past and is fiercely protective of all he cares about because of it, but he and Alyssa have a give-and-take relationship that is so, so sweet. Unfortunately, there was this kind-of-but-not-really love triangle with Morpheus, Alyssa's Wonderland guide, which I didn't appreciate. A.) It didn't add to the plot. B.) It's a love triangle. When will this fad go away?
Thankfully, just as the love triangle didn't add anything to the plot, it didn't take away anything either. The stakes in Splintered are high and there's so much action and suspense. Not to mention the intrigue! The mysteries surrounding Alyssa's past are constantly building throughout the story.
What I want to know is whether there will be a second book? I was under the impression that this was a standalone, but the ending seems to hint at the possibility of a sequel. I'd definitely travel back to Wonderland through A.G. Howard's books if she decides to write one!
*4.3 stars*You'll Like This If You Liked: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Are you a big Alice in Wonderland fan?