I’ve been collecting bugs since I was ten; it’s the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.
Alyssa Gardner hears the voices of insects and plants. She’s descended from Alice Liddell, the little girl who inspired Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Her mother, Alison went insane when she was five and was put in an asylum. But there’s more to it than that. Old memories long forgotten resurface, and to break an age-old curse, Alyssa must go down the rabbit hole with Jeb, her crush. There, she meets Morpheus, a moth-like creature who she knew as a child. She’s torn between the two of them, but meanwhile, she must also save the land, and herself.
Splintered is a somewhat disturbing, but also very gripping dark fantasy novel. I definitely liked Jeb a lot more than Morpheus, who was somewhat of a jerk, and really creepy, too. As well as selfish. I loved how the author turned the familiar Alice in Wonderland characters into new creations: Rabid White, Herman Hattington, and more. Suddenly, Wonderland is turned into a much more sinister place, where anything can happen, and no one is who they seem. A.G. Howard did a really good job of portraying the eerie madness that pervades the land, particularly in the first feast when everyone is chasing the live duck. It was scary, actually, and accomplished exactly what A.G. Howard was going for. Also, the scene where Jeb and Alyssa are trying to wake up the creatures at the tea party was amazingly well done.
The beginning of Splintered started out very slowly, but it quickly picked up, and I soon couldn’t put it down. The premise was really good, and quickly panned out into a very good, if not marvelous, new novel (published on January 1). The cover, though a bit garish, also fit the book really well, and was beautiful in its own way. It conveys the essence of the book.
Another thing I liked was that Splintered is a stand-alone novel (I think). There are so few of those these days for the YA bracket, and I loved that this story could just go on its own. Splintered is an excellent twist of off the original tale, and I would highly recommend this book. Thanks to Amulet for providing me with a review copy.
- if you like dark fantasy
- if you like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
377 pages (in the ARC), 4.5 stars.