Saturday, October 19, 2013

Splintered by A.G. Howard : Review

 Alyssa Gardner hears the thoughts of plants and animals. She hides her delusions for now, but she knows her fate: she will end up like her mother, in a mental institution. Madness has run in her family ever since her great-great-great-grandmother Alice Liddell told Lewis Carroll her strange dreams, inspiring his classic 'Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.'

To break the curse of insanity, Alyssa must go down the rabbit hole and right the wrongs of Wonderland, a place full of strange beings with dark agendas.

Star Rating

I purchased this book from Amazon on recommendation from other book bloggers out there. Let's face it, this book is worth buying for the front cover alone. It is beautiful!

"Welcome To The Real Wonderland"

This novel from A. G. Howard tells the story of Alyssa Gardner, a troubled, young teenager who is receiving whispered messages from insects and flowers around her. Very early on in the story the reader is introduced to Alyssa's mother, Alison, who is living life in a mental institution. During a visit to her mother, Alyssa soon realises that she is sharing the same mysterious hallucinations that her mother lives with every day. Armed with a set of clues from Alison, Alyssa sets off to discover once and for all what happened to her family all those years ago in Wonderland. Can Alyssa break the curse of insanity and save her family from the nightmares of Wonderland?

The main plot of the story begins with Alyssa entering the rabbit hole and floating, weightlessly, into Wonderland. Alyssa soon realises that the Lewis Carroll book "wasn't exactly fiction" and she finds herself entering into a nightmarish world with "fleshless, bleached out skeletons" and "flower zombies". A.G Howard has included many dark details in her descriptions of Wonderland that create a horrifying image in the reader's mind. However, some of these descriptions become almost 'unbelievable' with a new, nighmarish twist around every corner. I mean, the disney version of Alice In Wonderland is scary enough; just look at these terrifying faces!

As with almost all YA fiction, the story involved a love story, turned triangle, with the addition of the characters Jeb and Morpheus. Jeb's entry into Wonderland seemed almost ludicrous with him randomly falling into the rabbit hole behind Alyssa and then, consequently, joining her on her journey through Wonderland. I didn't really connect with Jeb's character and feel that the reader wouldn't have been at a great loss if he was missing from the story line. 

I would recommend this book for fans of the original Alice In Wonderland story. At times, it does begin to feel like fan fiction although A.G. Howard has succeeded in creating a nightmarish world with vivid descriptions and imaginative twists. 

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