Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Review: Splintered by A.G.Howard

Title:  Splintered
Author:  A.G. Howard
Genre:  Fantasy/Retelling
Pages:  384

Rating:  A-

Synopsis from  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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As soon as I found out this was a sequel/revamp of Alice in Wonderland, I knew I had to read it.  And then after reading the first few sentences, I knew it was going to be an awesome book.
"I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers.  Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick... Crickets, beetles, spiders...bees and butterflies.  I'm not picky.  Once they get chatty; they're fair game."
Obviously, Splintered is a much darker revamping of Alice in Wonderland.  All the familiar characters you fell in love with while watching the Disney cartoon are completely different - twisted and dark and usually evil.

Alyssa, the great-great-great granddaughter of the original Alice, is no innocent little girl in a blue dress.  She's a skateboarder girl who works for a vintage clothing store and embraces her punk side.  Her love interest Jeb is also your atypical hero, a fellow punk skater with a pierced lip and cigarette burns on his arms.  And yet, he's one of the most awesome "heroes" ever.  I'm absolutely in love with Jeb.

Funnily enough, I read this book right after having a conversation about love triangles with another blogger.  I usually like love triangles in books, especially when they're well-written.  But sometimes authors throw one in their book that just doesn't make sense or you just hate.  In the case of Splintered, the "love triangle" just didn't work.  It's my only complaint for the whole book.  It's so incredibly obvious that Jeb is awesome, perfect, and in love with Alyssa, and she's in love with him.  Then she runs into Morpheus in Wonderland, and despite figuring out that he's unreliable, manipulative, and deceitful, Alyssa is still drawn to him.  Why????  I guess the whole sexy and mysterious thing is working in his favor (and I usually like the "bad boy" for those very reasons), but in this case, I had no sympathy.  Jeb is no boring white knight; he's the perfect combination of bad boy and hero, with all the reliability and strength of the hero & all the mysterious sexiness of the bad boy.  So I could've done without the triangle, but that's my only complaint.

Everything else about this book is amazing.  The characters, the story, the settings, the plot twists - I was thrilled with this darker, punk revamping of Alice in Wonderland.  Plus, that cover art is beautiful.  A-

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for commenting! I always appreciate reading what you have to say.