Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G.Howard-a review
UNHINGED (Splintered #2) by A.G.Howard
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 7, 2014
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she’s always dreamed of.
That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.
As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.
If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she’ll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
REVIEW: UNHINGED is the second storyline in A.G.Howard’s exotic and dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Advancing the storyline one year, our heroine will discover that Wonderland is only a mirror away and there is more to her familial connection than she could ever have imagined. While life begins to settle down at home, Wonderland is dying; destroyed by Red and her minions; waiting for Alyssa to return and face her future.
The premise follows Alyssa as she prepares for graduation and prom. Her love for Jeb is unfailing but Morpheus’s return finds Alyssa wavering between a future with Jeb or a future as Queen of Wonderland. A.G.Howard pulls the reader into a journey of twists and turns with some of our favorite Wonderland characters who are barely recognizable beyond their previous incarnation. Skeletal rabbits; a garden of flesh eating plants; and enough insects to give the ick factor a shiver or three are pulled into the real world to wreak havoc in Alyssa’s less than orderly life. Add a possessed clown that could rival ‘IT’ on the creepy scale, and you have the premise for a storyline straight from a hellish nightmare.
UNHINGED is a less complicated storyline than SPLINTERED; easier to follow as the sights and sounds are more familiar than the dark fantasy of Wonderland but less complicated does not necessarily mean less entertaining. We follow Alyssa as she is once again pulled into a war to save Wonderland-where the Ivory Queen has been imprisoned in silk and the Red Queen awaits a dual for the crown.
The love triangle, a prerequisite in most YA storylines, is framed by a look into a future and the possibility of a happily ever after. Where Jeb is Alyssa’s perfect love match in the real world, Morpheus is the man of her dreams-literally- through the looking glass. We watch as two men vie for the affections of a less than typical seventeen year old girl but a girl whose destiny has been foretold. Where Morpheus’s reality and understanding of love is skewed to the upside down world of Wonderland, Jeb’s reality of life with Alyssa will begin to fall apart when Wonderland opens the door to welcome Alyssa back home.
A.G. Howard’s concept of the dark and seductive world of Wonderland is filled with imaginative and deadly creatures; colorful and descriptive narration; and a cast of characters that will leave an imprint in your psyche-you will never again see Wonderland through the eyes of the Disney version. Gone are the sweet Alice, singing flowers and complicated hookah pipe smoking caterpillar replaced by a young girl determined to save the people she loves while a passionate but misdirected Morpheus opens up Alyssa’s mind to the possibilities of a happily ever after in Wonderland-with Alyssa at the helm.
Reviewed by Sandy
Click HERE for our review of SPLINTERED (book #1) in A.G.Howard’s Splintered trilogy.