Ten-Second Review: A creative, beautiful retelling of Alice in Wonderland that has it’s own vivid Wonderland and fascinating plot. Only flaw is that one of the characters was so annoying that I wanted him to get eaten by a Jabberwocky.
Wonderland. A curious world made by Lewis Carrol that has inspired many to make their own and retell the story of Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole. A.G. Howard is one of the many who were inspired. And she did a beautiful job at retelling the classic tale with Splintered, turning the story of Alice’s fun romp through Wonderland more twisted. Howard’s story is unique, creative, and ultimately, is very strange and curious.
Howard’s Wonderland is a stunning, vivid, and wonderfully-written world. It’s vibrant, strange, mad, and intriguing. The author seemed to have an endless fountain of creativity. The way she made Wonderland and twisted things up from the original Alice in Wonderland was absolutely breathtaking.
Alyssa Gardner, the Alice of this tale, can hear the voices of bugs and flowers, just like her mother, who is currently living in a mental asylum. Alyssa being able to hear bugs and flowers’ whispers is all because of a family curse, a curse that goes all the way back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the inspiration of Lewis Carrol. Alyssa has been able to keep herself together, even though she believes herself to be a little crazy.
But, when Alyssa’s mother’s mental health starts to worsen, Alyssa realizes that the fictional world of Wonderland might not be fiction, but actually very, very real and very, very grotesque and dark. And, in Wonderland, Alyssa must pass a number of tests and fix Alice’s mistakes.
The plot of Splintered was never boring. How could it be when almost every page is filled with dark and twisted strangeness? Splintered has perfect pacing and I didn’t want to put the book down. Howard had a lot of fascinating ideas and wrote them out so well. She truly did capture the essence of Alice in Wonderland, all awhile keeping Splintered her own story.
“I’ve been collecting bugs since I was ten; it’s the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.”
I really did like Alyssa. She was endearing and her quirks made her an interesting character. And I have to say that she had quite a bit of Alice in her. She tried to move forward, even when all sorts of mad things were happening around her. This girl might have not been the most incredible protagonist I have ever read, but she is an undeniably good one.
Morpheus, who is based off of the Caterpillar, is another character I liked. He’s suspicious, dark, and cryptic, and could possibly be called the “bad boy” of the story, but I thought him to be intriguing and I always loved it when he walked into the scene. Jeb… Well, he was another story. Jeb is a truly annoying character. In fact, I kept wishing that a Jabberwocky would swoop down and swallow him whole. I don’t like it when a love interest is dismissive towards the main character. I don’t like it at all when that happens.
The prose is gorgeous. The descriptions of Wonderland were vivid and came alive as I read them. I really felt as if I was in Howard’s Wonderland, rather than in my cozy room. Even the actual printed words were pretty to look at, as they were in the color of violet.
I love retellings of Alice in Wonderland, but I have always found it hard to find ones that interested me and actually built upon their inspiration. So I am so, so glad that I found Splintered. It’s a gorgeous and captivating book and I can not wait for the sequel!