Down the Rabbithole: A Review of Splintered by AG Howard

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Down the Rabbithole: A Review of Splintered by AG HowardSplintered by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
on 1st January 2013
Pages: 371
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
four-stars

Click here to buy the book from AmazonBooktopiaBook DepositoryAngus and Robertson
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.

The females in Alyssa Gardner’s family line are cursed. It’s been this way ever since Alyssa’s great-great-great-grandmother Alice Liddell went down the rabbit hole. Alice’s adventures may have inspired Lewis Carroll’s classic novel but it also caused strangeness and mental instability for every female born to Alice’s family line ever since.

Alyssa knows about Alice and knows that the only way to save her mother from the madness that plagues her is to go to Wonderland. But getting there isn’t the hard part. Her long time best friend Jeb is along for the ride and together they learn that Wonderland isn’t quite as wonderful as Carroll may have portrayed it.

I’ve read a few Alice in Wonderland modern adaptations but Splintered is my favourite so far. AG Howard has taken elements of the original story and built upon it wonderfully. It has all the charm of the classic novel but gives it a dark and creepy vibe which really works.

Alyssa is a great character to drive this adventure. Her greatest fear is becoming like her mother – unable to care for herself and a danger to others – but when it comes down to it, Alyssa is willing to do anything and everything to save her. She’s brave and resourceful – but that’s not to say she doesn’t have her flaws. The way of life in Wonderland is confusing and Alyssa has to try to cope with all it throws at her but she manages to do so whilst remaining entertaining and with attitude. Her relationships are great to read. The fragile mother daughter bond, the way she is with her devoted father, and then there’s the love triangle between Alyssa, Jeb and Morpheus. I’m not a fan of love triangles but this book gets it right. Neither guy is perfect, each with their own issues and problems, but as a reader I could understand why she may choose to go either way. This is a book which keeps you guessing but in the right kind of way.

You don’t need to be familiar with the traditional story of Alice in Wonderland to fully appreciate what AG Howard has done with Splintered. But for those who know the classic book – I think you’ll admire just how the author has interpreted it and made it her own. It’s warped and is utter madness but done in such a way where the mad and odd make sense within the world in which it is set.

Rival queens, creepy rabbits, moths and giant flowers – Splintered combines the classic story with new twists and delivers a page turner I couldn’t help but enjoy.

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