Thursday, 14 February 2013

Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Title: Splintered
Author: A. G. Howard
Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Goodreads Win
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 1st January 2013

Tell Me About It
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.

My Thoughts
Alice in Wonderland is a favourite book for many people, but not for me.  Yes I liked it but I have never felt the need to re-read it.  When I saw Splintered I was very intrigued as to how the author, A.G. Howard could put a new spin on this story.  I had Splintered down on my to buy list, with the intention to buy it as soon as funds would allow but was very pleased to have won it on goodreads.  The book cover looks just as amazing in real life as it does in pictures, and I soon found myself reading my review book quickly to get to Splintered as fast as humanly possible. Splintered not only has an amazing outside, but also an amazing inside too, with gorgeous detail on chapter headings and the words are in a dark purple, almost black ink, instead of the usual pitch black like other books.

From the minute I began reading I liked how Alyssa isn't a girly cutesy protagonist, she is quite a tomboy and within a few sentences I loved her. She collects bugs and uses them to make art, she skateboards, and even her dress sense isn't cutesy and girly.
I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; its the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.
I liked the subtle nods to original Alice in Wonderland, the way characters are dressed, or gardeners that could be twins and look walrus like.  The Netherlings are characters that we know and love but aren't what they seemed.  White rabbit is Rabid White, a creature with horns and skeletal body, which you would only notice on closer inspection and to a younger Alice would look like a rabbit.  All the different creatures that we meet are all unique in their own way, and whether good or bad I loved them all.

There is a love triangle in Splinted and while I love the mystery of Morpheus and how he is freaky, dark, and creepy in a good way, I didn't like how he uses Alyssa for his own needs and desires to get what he wants, and not really for her sake.  Jeb was always the one for me.  He may not have been truthful about his feelings, but he has good intentions and I loved the friendship and chemistry between him and Alyssa, he willingly follows her into Wonderland and has her back.

A.G. Howard has done an amazing job at bringing the classic Alice in Wonderland into the present with a fantastic twist to it.  I was hooked from the moment I started reading and I found it hard to put it down.  The twist at the end was something I didn't expect but it was a lovely surprise.

Splintered is a real page turner and is a fantastic offering from a d├ębut author.  I will definitely be adding A.G. Howard to my list of automatic purchases from authors I love.

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