Monday, 1 September 2014

REVIEW: Splintered by A.G. Howard

WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD. SPOILERS AHEAD. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Book Title: Splintered (Splintered #1)
Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books, January 1st, 2013
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers - precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. The family cure stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventure 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 part, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice's mistakes and save her family. She must also decide who to turn: 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.
To be wholly honest Splintered left me in a bit of a daze when I finished it - I was jumping to start the sequel but had to take a break to really let the novel sink in. I'm still struggling to find words to describe this book other than shouting; JUST BUY IT, AND READ IT, AND LOVE IT. I think at least 10 percent of my love for this book is derived from the fact that I didn't expect it to be that good, but it was more than good, it was bloody brilliant.

Splintered was the perfect re-telling of Alice in Wonderland circa modern day. I adored it. Not only were the fantasy elements original, but the whole contemporary feel to the book was excellently executed in a way that I couldn't help but praise. Everything from the world building; which whilst originating from Lewis's own work, was built up into something that felt real, and at the same time darker and wonderful than what you would associate with the classic Wonderland, to the plot; wildly imaginative and I can't think of any other way to describe it than spot-on - it was so sincere and unique.

It echoed and contrasted with Carroll's well known tales in a way that I had never experienced before. The only *one* fault that I found in this book was that I felt as though we went down the rabbit hole too soon. It was almost like apparating from one place to the next, like there was no transition; pop and we're thrown into Wonderland. Whilst this may work for other readers, I personally would have liked a bit more time spent in the human realm of the story.

The characters were rather... well, normal. [I mean apart from the fact that Morpheus can turn into a Moth and is magical, and that Alyssa is a half blood who is also magical and can hear insects talking among other things.] I thought that this normalcy, whilst being relatable among the Wonderland chaos, also grounded the book. Alyssa wasn't my favourite main character of all time, but I appreciated how she was her own person.

"But hey, isn't there a love triangle? Love triangles suck."

Right, this was something that I was semi-dreading, but the romancey element was actually quite nice. Basically, Alyssa has been crushing on her long time friend Jebediah (known as Jeb for all intensive purposes) and he follows her into Wonderland and there's an eventual confession of feelings at around the half way point, and now everyone is happy and in-love.

Hah, as if.

The rather turbulent element in Alyssa and Jeb's relationship comes in the form of Morpheus - Alyssa's childhood friend who harbours feelings for her. Eventually (and horribly predictably) Alyssa starts to realize that she shares feeling for Morpheus too. I am happy to report that the romance isn't that much of a deal breaker, apart from making some scenes hilarious and others more tense,  it doesn't play that big a part in the first book.

Any potential book boyfriends in Splintered? Hella yes. Let's break it down...

JEB
- protective
- sweet in the inside, tough on the outside
- adorns a labret and the all round bad boy look
- loyal

MORPHEUS
- dark, enchanting
- British accent
- shaggy blue hair
- comes up with a lot of snipes
- will be absolutely devoted to a cause.... if it gets him something he wants
- devious in a fun (and sometimes dreadful) way
- generally good looking

It seems like I went off on a bit of a tangent about Morpheus... *sighs* <3

Splintered pretty much had everything rolled into one; I still think all this text in this review isn't enough to describe how much I loved this book! I would recommend this book to ANYONE, so you should definitely go read it, RIGHT NOW!

Rating = 5 Bookish Birds

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello, lovely readers! I value every single comment I get, and try to reply to every one. But if your comments are mean, vulgar, or have nothing to do with the blog they will not be approved.