Thursday 20 November 2014

Book Review - Splintered

Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Genres: Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 2nd April 2013
Publishers: Amulet Press
Pages: 377
Source: Borrowed
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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.

Splintered was really quite an interesting book to read in terms of characters, of the world, and in terms of giving me the hope that I will enjoy other Alice in Wonderland retellings although I didn't like the original. In fact, I can pleasantly say that on the whole, this book really impressed me, until the end, when it felt as though one moment undid the entire books worth of plot, story and development and ruined my glorious feelings as a whole, but we'll get to that in a moment..

First off, let me gush about the world, well, the world building in Splintered because, oh was it good, it was such a perfect mix of horror and gore and the freaky, but was also fantastical and intriguing and had me so immersed I couldn't have enjoyed it more. The creepy aspects, the really twisted moments, how Howard interpreted the entire world and turned it entirely on it's head was just- it made the Alice story everything I wanted it to be, but better, and I cannot fault Howard on that whatsoever. The premise of this novel was also officially one of a kind and I loved it, it had high stakes, it's was realistic, if you could call it that, and it really just delved right into the action and the pacing from the start, I swear, during the first third, I had not a single problem whatsoever, everything was absolutely wonderful. Even the characters were had me like putty in their hands, I seriously became so connected and so invested with Alyssa and Jeb and their friendship and I actually totally saw the romance between those two, it was definitely a real teenage moment and damn, I think I'd be pretty nervous about admitting my feelings if my Mum was in the looney bin, so seriously people, give the girl a break, she did well with Jeb and their adventures and their action until we met Mr I-Don't-Know-What-I-Think-Of-You-You-Confuse-Me..

Morpheus. Said with such, distaste and annoyance because believe you me, he's definitely the character that's got everything going for him, he's dark and alluring and some ladies like that, and he's snarky and witty, and I actually quite like that, but he's secretive and frustrating and really pulled the wrong strings with me sometimes which made it really difficult to connect and relate to him, let alone feel any romantic input from him. He's definitely the character to look out for, yes, but when Howard brought him into the picture, what was meant to become an amazing love triangle, tugging and flinging me, I just felt - well, nothing, and at this point in time, my feelings for Jeb took a nose dive too. What should have been development between the both of them with Alyssa became 'which of us do you belong to', 'you bled for me', 'you can't trust him' blah blah blah and I really could not understand why this was happening. Why? Why?! WHY?! *cough* Alyssa was so much more than a prize in this novel, she was the real leading character, she was strung along, but she definitely felt as though she developed and grew into a blossoming character, she led the way, she was brave and showed her loyalty to friends and romance and she definitely proved herself through the novel for me, but the constant coming back to the romance really ruined how her character could stop being an item and more like a person. It seriously felt like a shame, because in between this, Alyssa and the plot just seemed to get swamped and these were the parts I loved best, but nothing can beat that ending, not even close.

Plot twist, I loved the plot twist, it was seriously something I had not for one second considered and people, honestly, it wowed me, and I really wasn't expecting it, everything about the novel and the mystery and clues leading up to it was so brilliant, I can't help but flail. It was fed throughout the plot that was identifiable through the romance and the whole lead up to it was actually extremely fantastic, as twists go, that's pretty high in the record books, if I could review and rate this book purely on plot and premise, it'd get the full marks, but yes, I'd predicted some of the final scenes that came about, yet nothing, NOTHING could have prepared me for the utter storm that was coming.

It's definitely time for a spoiler..
By undoing everything that Jeb was in with the wish, by, essentially, cutting him out the 'rewritten story', Alyssa would never have gotten to the end alive, she would have either been crushed by plants or probably mauled to death somewhere and definitely would not have completed the simplest of tasks in the plot. By taking Jeb away, his whole character lost the development he'd spent the whole book going through, the dynamics between him and Alyssa were damaged and forgotten and MORPHOUS can easily get his annoying little hands under Alyssa's skirts and have his wicked way. No. There was no logical sense either for the plot or the character to do that and it completely and utterly ruined the entire story for me. Nothing anyone tells me with ever make that any different. Take your judgemental faces and go away.

I'm in two minds about Splintered because really, as a whole, I think it would make a really good standalone novel, it's got a clear plot, was well rounded and had an open ending which I like, and I do like that it's open for a sequel, but no matter how good the story was at the start, how much it gave me hope for Alice stories, or even how much I didn't mind during it's middle, the rage inducing moment near the end really overshadows an awful lot of this novel for me. Alyssa was a wonderful character and I can't wait to see her develop more, Jeb was also a really enjoyable character personally and I dislike the choices Howard made when it came to him and Morphus, he's twisted and makes my skin crawl, but there's a lot that can be done with him, so I am interested by him, just not interested in him. I would recommend this novel, without a shadow of a doubt, it's one that splits a room and causing a discussion and I like those books, and I will continue with the series slowly, but it's not high on my list, so I'll see where the future takes me..


  1. Wonderful review, Amanda! I felt very similar to you about this novel. While I loved the world-building and the storyline, once Morpheus was introduced and the love triangle just...didn't work, my feelings towards the book as a whole became rather flat. I don't get the love for Morpheus, but am hoping that by reading Unhinged, I will at least understand. I really liked Jeb at the beginning of Splintered, but he quickly became a character I felt indifferent towards.

    1. Thanks Ebony! I felt like it might have just been me that felt this way, but clearly not, which is nice in a way.Unhinged might be a game changer and I don't know if I'm ready for that, but nervous about it all personally, who knows? :)

  2. Brilliant review. I was starting to feel like the only person who wasn't completely blown away by the story. The world building truly was incredible, it was all just a little too weird and creepy for me. I tried explaining that in my review but it was really hard, haha. The love triangle aspect really bothered me. I liked Jeb and Alyssa together, so the introduction of the giant douche canoe that was Morpheus just really got under my skin. I wanted to swat him or grab some bug spray and go crazy. Jeb, I felt like Howard was trying to ruin my like for him over time so that I would come to like Morpheus. Not going to happen. He's ancient for one thing. What's with the obsession with having this ancient old guys falling for young girls. CREEPY. Brilliant review though and YES to your rage inducing moment. 1,000 times yes!

    1. Oh no, definitely didn't blow me away either.. THE WORLD, main was that world amazing. How do people like Morpheus, he just- brought out all the bad feelings in me, cocky, frustrating, annoying, grr! I felt that way too, like she could have seriously developed Jeb into something amazing, but just cut him out, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! That spoiler though, my rage, my feels, everything bad, such a shame.. thank you though! :)


We appreciate the time you take to leave a comment and do our very best to reply as soon as possible.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...