Splintered by A.G. Howard
Published by Amulet Books
Genre: YA fantasy
$17.99 (US hardback)
What it's about:
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.
I have finally found a redone Alice in Wonderland that I liked! I never thought that this day would come. It makes me happy that someone was actually able to mix the odd Caroll Wonderland with a bit of their own and actually have it work.
At first, Splintered was a little slow. I remember thinking "wow, how am I only on page 40??" and thinking it would never pick up. Then all of the sudden, it did. Alyssa started seeing things and hearing voices and the weirdness of Wonderland was finally there and didn't stop till the end.
I've been seeing a lot of "If you love Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, you'll love this." and to that, I say "no." Just, no. I personally very much disliked Burton's version of AIW, I found it dull and none of the characters had any personalities, even Johnny. While Splintered had some of the darkness of Burton's AIW, it had a lot more too it. The characters had more depth to them and were even more odd. Howard's interpretation of the characters was very clever, I particularly liked the Mad Hatter and the Caterpillar.
I want to keep rambling on about how much I adored this book. This Wonderland was so bizarre and creative. While I was sad that some of my favorite characters didn't really play a part in this book (like Tweedle Dee and Dum and the Cheshire Cat), I loved the new characters and all the variations of the old ones. The twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing and was always one step ahead of me. Completely enjoyable.
My rating: 9/10
Just for the slow beginning.