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REVIEW: Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard

Splintered by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Published by Amulet Books on 1st January 2013
Pages: 377

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.
Vibrant, exotic and imaginative, Splintered is a unique and innovative retelling of one of my favourites, Alice and Wonderland. Now this cover is out-of-this-world! It is absolutely beautiful and mystical and magical and fantastical... Just full of nature. I love all three of them:

Alyssa Gardner's life has been overtaken by a family curse, originating from Alice Liddell's adventure to wonderland. The curse makes them mentally ill, so when Alyssa's mother takes a turn for the worse Alyssa must venture back to the land where it all began. She must complete a series of tests to undo Alice Liddell's mistakes, and along the way she meets the childhood friend she had forgotten and drags along the Prince who has never been. In the dark underground of Wonderland, grudges are held and oaths and promises are bound; motives are never as they seem.

Alyssa is vulnerable and innocent with strength that shines within. She is good-natured and sweet, always thinking of the best for Jeb. However, she has a dark side, the side of her that craves Wonderland and will venture into anything. Morpheus was one of my favourite characters, he was darkly mysterious and precise, he always knew what to do but you never knew whether to trust him or not; he was confusing. The aspect that intrigued me most was his history, he has lived a long existence with dates that are yet to be filled in; he revealed nothing!

The plot of the novel was addictive and dark, being fast-pace and packed with mystery Splintered becomes the magical world of Wonderland within seconds. Howard beautifully captured the key elements of Wonderland, but certainly drew out the darkness hidden within it with stunning and mind-blowing imagery that made you crave more. The twists and dark alleyways that were taken truly captured the essence of Wonderland, alongside the originality of its existence and how it is twisted into the living world.

A darkly beautiful and engaging novel, Splintered will leave you wanting to revisit you favourite childhood story.

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