by AG Howard
Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
Published by Amulet Books on January 1, 2013
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 12 hours and 46 minutes
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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.
Splintered is a dark and wild ride down the rabbit hole. I’m so glad I finally made time to read this.
Splintered is a unique and gothic version of Alice in Wonderland. The main character Alyssa Victoria Gardner is a descendant of Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale. Alyssa’s mother has been in a mental institute for most of her life, suffering from the family curse of hearing the whispers of bugs and flowers. But Alyssa has also been hearing the voices and the only way to save her and her mother is to take a dangerous trip to Wonderland.
What did I like?
I enjoyed how the author took the classic tale and made it her own. You still meet the Wonderland characters we have grown up with but their roles are surprisingly twisted.
What stands out is the imagery. The setting, characters and scenes were so well described I was able to visualize them clearly. The authors’ writing is amazing and the story is the perfect mix of romance, suspense and action.
I also liked Alyssa. She is a strong female character who wants to protect everyone she cares about. But her Dad and best friend Jeb treat her as if she is a fragile little girl. Alyssa takes action in her own hands but her best friend Jeb gets mixed in with her journey. Jeb is a great guy but overprotective. And while in Wonderland they meet Morpheus, the sexy and suspicious hookah-smoking caterpillar. A love triangle develops between these characters but it doesn’t take away the focus of Alyssa’s mission to save her mother. The triangle does add some tensions between the characters but I thought it worked well with the story.
What didn’t I like?
At times I thought the story dragged. There is so much going on that I felt them more an interruptions instead of vital events for the story.
Overall I thought this is an impressive debut for author A.G. Howard. It is written well and very creative. For me this wasn’t a retelling of the classic but more an extension of the Lewis Carroll’s series. I can’t wait to start the next book.
This is my first time listening to narrator Rebecca Gibel and she did a great job at bringing this book to life. Her voices for all the characters were distinctive and had the right emotion. Since Splintered is a dark story she gave the Wonderland characters a creepy feel to them. And her voice for Morpheus was so sexy I completely understood why Alyssa couldn’t ignore her attraction to him. A great performance and I can’t wait to listen to the next book!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Audiobook Challenge
- 2016 Reading Assignment