Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered Trilogy
Date Started: April 15
Date Finished: April 18
Format: Hardcover from my local library
We all know the tale of Alice in Wonderland with white rabbits, mad hatters, tea parties and a head-seeking queen. But in Splintered everything we know about Wonderland is proven false. Alice still went this mysterious land, but when she came back she told her tale to Lewis Carroll and everyone in her bloodline has been considered crazy ever since. Alyssa is part of her bloodline and her mother has already succumbed to the illness and is locked up inside the local asylum. She talks to bugs and tried to cut up her own daughter a few years ago. Alyssa barely remembers her childhood, but she knows that her family’s curse seems to be coming for her next. She can already hear the bugs talk to her – hence why she uses their dead forms in her artwork – and now she is seeing people in mirrors and voices in her head.
Thank goodness for her friend Jeb who is the only person to keep her grounded. He’s always there for her and looks after her, and that’s what he thinks he’s doing when he tells her father that she shouldn’t be allowed to go to London next year. It isn’t safe for her there. Alyssa is still mad at him and she believes their friendship has become frayed because of it (and the fact that he’s dating a girl who she can’t stand). Hence her bad mood when she goes to visit her mother the night of the prom. Her mother is still acting crazy like usual, however today is different when she starts talking about a key, a pair of gloves, a fan, and a mysterious him. Trying to get the answers out of her mother, she watches in horror as her mother’s braid almost chokes the life out of her. Her father and some nurses stop the event from happening and her father makes the decision that something more extreme needs to be done to stop these delusions. But Alyssa doesn’t think they are and tries to figure out what her mother meant. Thinking she needs to go to London to find the answers, she makes plans. But her friend calls in Jeb who tries to stop her, instead he follows her into the rabbit hole.
They end up in Wonderland, but not the one they know from the stories. This is Wonderland post Alice, and Alyssa is apparently the descendant who will fix all the wrongs and right the balance. But Jeb feels that something else is going on and Alyssa isn’t sure she can do what she needs to do to break the curse on her family.
So I’ve always been fascinated with Wonderland and the only reason I found this book completely distracting was because I kept getting plot ideas for my Wonderland story. Splintered was a really good twist on the Wonderland story and I found myself completely hooked by its premise. Alyssa’s character is definitely a different kind of heroine. She doesn’t have a lot of faith in herself and that’s pretty much her flaw. She’s fighting to break the curse while also trying to stay close to her friend Jeb who has always been there for her. Jeb’s character is you’re typical friend who wants to be something more. I thought he was admirable, but I’m trying to understand why people hate him so much? When Morpheus – the Caterpillar – tells Alyssa that he was dreaming of another woman, I thought that was maybe the reason. But he wasn’t dreaming of another woman in that sense, but his mother and sister. So I’m still confused. Morpheus, on the other hand…I get the draw of him. I really do. He’s bad. He’s mysterious. He’s also been there for Alyssa. But from the beginning I never trusted him. He always seem to do things for his own benefit and the fact that he can get into Alyssa’s head so easily makes me question whether or not what she feels for him is real.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This book takes a lot of concentration once you get into Wonderland. A lot is going on that you need to make sure you’re paying attention and not getting distracted. It’s interesting to see the aftermath of Alice’s adventures and watching as her descendant sets things right. The revelation that Alyssa isn’t actually part of Alice’s line, but of the Red Queen was a twist that I really didn’t see coming. I also liked Alyssa’s friendship with the Ivory Queen and I hope to see more of that in the next book.
Bookshelf worthy? Oh where, oh where, has my bookshelf space gone? Oh where, oh where has it gone? lol.