Series Review: Splintered, Unhinged & Ensnared by A.G Howard

Sunday, 24 May 2015

If you weren't aware, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's iconic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alice has somehow been part of many of our childhoods, in many ways. Alice is everywhere, from the Disney animated picture, to the live action film starring Johnny Depp, from theatre to fashion, Alice is still inspiring us today, and if you ask me, is a huge part of our culture and heritage.

Alice In wonderland is just one of those weird but wonderful tales that will be continued to be retold again and again. So how better to pay homage than to write books of your own inspired by the classic itself? This is just what A.G Howard did with her Splintered series- she took a legendary story and manipulated it to create her own beautifully twisted novels that will no doubt go down into fairy tale retelling history, but also as fantastic YA books in their own right.

'She hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.'
(from the About the Author section of Splintered)


*I will give a synopsis of Splintered, and then summarise my thoughts on the series.

Published by: Amulet Books
Page count: 371

Published by: Amulet Books
Page Count: 387

Published by: Amulet Books
Page Count: 404
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 an 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.
But perhaps she's not mad. And maybe Carroll's stories aren't as whimsical as they first seem.
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. Alyssa brings her real-world crush-the protective Jeb- with her, but once her journey begins she's torn between his solidity and the enchanting, dangerous magic of Morpheus, her guide to Wonderland.
But no one in Wonderland is who they seem to be-not even Alyssa herself...
Honestly, I had no idea what I was expecting from this series. I think deep down I thought it was going to be cheesy and just a cheap carbon copy Alice retelling with subtle changes and modern updates. I was definitely wrong. If you thought the original Alice was far fetched, then this series will blow your mind. Hands down, this is one of the craziest things I've ever read-and it was fabulous. I became totally absorbed into Howard's Wonderland remarkably fast. The characters were so interesting, and felt so real, no matter how weird. It felt as though I was actually in Wonderland myself. Honesty, this is the most attached I have ever felt to such fantastical characters.
If you think you know Wonderland, be prepared to go into this series blind, as your perceptions will be changed. Forget Wonderland as you know it, as even the most innocent and cutest characters have been interchanged for cold and calculating counterparts; the characters are even more ruthless than the unforgiving terrain.
I simply can't praise Howard enough for writing such a creative series. The imagination it must have taken to write these is so admirable. Think Punk Rock Wonderland. It's like the characters have gorged on cake to make then tougher, never mind bigger.
The skill expressed in these books is incomprehensible. The twists and turns in the plot have lead this series to become the most unpredictable that I have ever read. No matter how far from reality, Howard has managed to ground Carroll's original masterpieces, bridging the gaps and explaining her interpretations on how Wonderland came to be.
If I had to explain this series in one sentence, I would say it is Tim Burton's Alice on performance enhancers. I promise this book will stick in your head a long time after you've closed it for the last time.
Expect the unexpected.
Imagine Wonderland but darker, tougher, and crazier.
5/5 Stars
I thank you Carroll, for your incredible works that will stick for us for many more years,
and I thank you Howard, for bringing Alice to life in our world.

No comments:

Post a Comment