SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard- a review and a giveaway
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. 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.
REVIEW: Release January 1, 2013
Well, the blurb just about explains it all: the premise of the novel focuses on Alyssa Gardner and her adventures in Wonderland, but any similarity to the original storyline of our childhood or the Disney version we watched with our children will be met with a much darker version and a more sinister nightmare.
I have read a few reviews where readers claimed that Splintered is the re-telling of Alice in Wonderland-modernized and updated-but in my opinion it is not. A.G Howard admits to a fascination with Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Tim Burton’s artistic genius and it shows throughout the novel. But Alyssa’s adventures down the rabbit hole are complicated when the boy she has always loved follows her through and the boy from her childhood dreams promises her the world-one will sacrifice his life while the other will sacrifice a friendship.
Splintered re-visits Wonderland but Wonderland is no longer the happy place of Alice’s childhood. Six generations removed from the original Alice, Alyssa Gardner will become the pawn in a game much larger and deadlier than Lewis Carroll could ever have imagined. Believing she is in Wonderland to right the wrongs inflicted by her great grandmother (several generations removed) Alyssa will learn that she has a bigger role to play in Wonderland than awakening the Mad Hatter or finding the Chesire Cat’s grin.
All of Carroll’s characters will return but each is a grotesque caricature of the original. Bloody knights, skeletal creatures, dismembered queens, headless cats and lust inducing berries are far from the Mad Hatters tea party or the White Rabbit’s hyper-active Wonderland run. And Alyssa will learn that perhaps Alice Liddell’s recounting of what happened is something far from the truth. Through it all the boy from her dreams will tell her what must be done, but even he has an ulterior motive in returning Wonderland back to its original beauty. Only Alyssa Gardner has the power to save Wonderland –but at what cost?
SPLINTERED is a well-written, graphically descriptive and eerily disturbing storyline that will make you wonder how many of our childhood fairy tales are reflections of a more sinister story. Historically, the bedtime story was meant to scare children to sleep; to keep them in bed at night. A.G’s re-visit to Wonderland would have given many children nightmares.
Howard’s description is so detailed that I was lost in the intricate and elaborate narration-I like to place myself into the storyline, but the circumstantial minutiae and finer points were confusing as I traveled Wonderland with Alyssa. Like a mirror, Wonderland is a reflection of its original, but a reflection that is backwards and dark –fascinating and dangerous. You can’t help but make the comparisons to Tim Burton’s recent Alice in Wonderland and the descriptive nature with which A.G Howard tells her story will have you casting and directing your own movie as your read along.
Copy supplied by the publisher.
Reviewed by Sandy
GIVEAWAY is now CLOSED
A.G. Howard has offered a print copy of SPLINTERED to one lucky member at The Reading Cafe. What a GREAT way to start the NEW YEAR.
1. You must be a member at The Reading Cafe. If you are not a member, please register using the log-in at the top of the page or by using one of the social log-ins along the side bar at the top of the page.
2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with you comment as Twitter and Facebook do not allow for email addresses.
3. The giveaway is open to US and CANADA only.
4. The giveaway runs from January 1 – 5, 2013. (NOTE: GIVEAWAY extended to January 5, 2013)