Kati reporting in from baby duty. So recently I was able to read two books: Splintered and Unhinged by A.G. Howard. These books are based very heavily on Alice in Wonderland, but aren’t officially retellings.
Splintered is about Alyssa Gardner, a distant descendent of Alice Liddell from Alice in Wonderland. Alyssa’s mother is in a mental institute, and since Alyssa can hear what the bugs and flowers around her are saying, she’s afraid she’ll be ending up in an institute, too. When she learns that her family has a curse from Alice Liddell’s time in Wonderland, she jumps through the rabbit hole to try and break it.
Of course, this book wouldn’t be YA without its trusty little love triangle. On the one hand, Alyssa has Jeb, her childhood friend and crush, who follows her into Wonderland. Jeb is dependable and loyal…at least to Alyssa in this book, but he is the oh so typical dark and broody YA guy, and therefore a little boring. On the other hand, Alyssa has Morpheus. The description on Morpheus is the whole reason I picked this book up to read in the first place.
Morpheus is in every way a trickster…so in other words: totally awesome. He may not be dependable, or loyal in the same way Jeb is, but he is clever, and at least knows and accepts all aspects of Alyssa. He is Alyssa’s guide through Wonderland, and he has taught her through her dreams everything she needs to know to survive this twisted version of Wonderland, and break the curse that’s on her and her family.
Anyways, I really loved this book. A.G. Howard’s version of Wonderland and some of the familiar characters there are original and vivid. I liked Alyssa, even if she did from time to time drive me a little crazy, and I loved Morpheus. All in all, this book was really fun, and kept me interested enough to go and read the second book.
Unhinged is also about Alyssa, but it takes place in our world about a year after the first book. In this book, Alyssa is dating her long time, boring crush Jeb, who for reasons stated in the first book, has no recollection of the events that took place in Wonderland. As Alyssa tries to build up the courage to tell him about his lost memories, Morpheus gives her a warning: Queen Red is back in Wonderland, and will soon be coming for Alyssa in her world.
To avoid spoiling anything that isn’t already spoiled from reading the back covers of these lovely books, I’ll stop my synopsis there.
In a lot of ways I liked Unhinged even better than Splintered, which is rare since I can only think of one other series where the second book was better than the first. In this instance, I liked it better because there was surprisingly a lot less Jeb, and a lot more of Morpheus. Also, the ending to this book was very dramatic, even if it did leave off as a rather painful cliffhanger and the news that the third book won’t be out until January 2015. :*(
I really do highly recommend both of these books. However, it might be better to read them in about a half a year from now, so the waiting time to the next book is less.
On that note, I am now in search of other books with good tricksters (by good, I don’t mean they have to do good, just be clever, full of tricks, and a lot of fun). If you know of any, I’m open to suggestions. 🙂