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Splintered by A. G. Howard
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Splintered (edition 2013)

by A. G. Howard

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78211611,788 (3.98)30
Member:DarkFaerieTales
Title:Splintered
Authors:A. G. Howard
Info:Amulet Books (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Read
Rating:*****
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Splintered by A. G. Howard

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“For that is the essence of a soul. Hopes and dreams and love.”

Even though I'm not a fan of the original book, I have to say there's something charming about the old story of Alice in Wonderland. It's fantasy and fairy-tale to its fullest, a timeless story that has influenced much and will continue to live on through retellings. Splintered in the first in a series that brings the story of Alice to modern day, but instead the point of view is through her great-grandmother. The characters have been transformed and even further into the fantasy world - gone are the childlike tropes of the cute bunny to follow, the weird caterpillar to communicate with, the maddening tea parties. Now we get creatures to chase and eat alive, the caterpillar is handsome and sensual, and the bunny - well, let's just say this thing has gone all creepy.

Imaginative and colorful, Splintered tells the story of Alyssa as she ends up succumbing to temptation by going into the wonder glass to save her mother from electric shock therapy. Yes, really. See, the mother has been touched by the curse of Alice and sees what she shouldn't, swapping her sanity to save her only daughter. Now it's Alyssa's turn.

Characters are fun - Alyssa isn't your typical child. She's a teen with a crush and overprotective father, but she enjoys art with dead bug corpses, can hear insects and flowers speak, and spends her week visiting mom in an asylum and wondering what's real or fantasy for her now that evil puberty has struck. I thought I changed a lot when puberty hit, but she makes me experience seem like a walk in the park.

I like her our-world crush, he's charming and carries over that friendly boy next door vibe. I can't help but dig Morpheus either since he's that side of dark and tempting. There's a mini triangle brewing but it doesn't take from the story. The creatures they run into and fight are creative - loved the sea sponge scene (as disturbing as it was), the dinner scene was troubling, and the twist with the chest board? Wickedly twisted.

Even if the ending packs a whallop and some twists, I have to say the story loses me a few times because there's so much going on that's beyond me, accompanied by a fierce sense of urgency after she steps through the glass. It's rushed and the pacing is almost too fast to keep up with sometimes.

Overall it's a worthy read - action packed and fantasy filled, beautifully colorful and uniquely constructed, but sometimes the pacing makes me feel lost and a little emotion is removed for the sake of story speed.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Great start to a series. Cant wait to see what happens in the rest.
  xuqt2006 | Jun 11, 2016 |
All the squee and animated gifs in the reviews bother me. This also looks like it might have too high of a 'yuck factor' for me. And it's not in my library system at all. And I'm not sure that I like the idea of it being first of a series....

However, if I find it in my hands someday down the road, I'll try it, as it does seem like the story might be almost as magical & wondrous as the cover.... ;)
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Very exciting plot, but weak characters.
I really wanted to know what happened because the plot was so good, but Alyssa really irritated me. I couldn't identify with her at all. It's too bad, because I do want to know what happens next, but I'm not willing to suffer through another bookfull of these unpleasant characters, so I'm not going to bother. ( )
  NicoleSch | Jun 1, 2016 |
When I was a little girl I was always very scared to watch Alice In Wonderland, it was always my least favorite fairy tale. Only because I thought it was so scary. Maybe I was too young to appreciate the beauty and the meaning behind the story. Although, to this day I never forgot how creepy it was to me that I'm still a little gun shy at watching or reading the original or anything close to the original story.

Splintered should have been my chance to embrace the story of Alice as a grown up reminiscing, to experience this retelling with the fear of a little girl scared out of her wits. Unfortunately things did not go as I had hoped. I did not connect with this story and the characters at all, I found myself wishing to be creeped out of my mind. I just wanted to feel something for a memorable story from my childhood, even though those memories might not have been so fond.

Certainly Splintered was very well written, the writing was imaginative, fantastical, and very colorful but for me that's where the best thing about this book ends. I struggled to get through this book, I just couldn't connect with it and it's characters.

There is a negative with continuing to read a book your not liking very much as well as a positive. The positive was ever so often and very rarely but briefly, I did crack a smile or got hastily excited that maybe the story was taking a turn for the better, alas that was not so, it was short lived. And the negatives were that I started to dislike the characters more and more. At first I thought they're not so bad, but then the more I'm with them the more unlikable traits I see in them. I thought Jeb's character was very flat and didn't have any depth to him. It was like he just existed to be Alyssa's long time secret love. And Alyssa was too unresolved and too indecisive on her feelings for Morpheus. Speaking of Morpheus, I thought he would have been the one to make the story more interesting and he did at times but he made me second guess myself too much that I was over him pretty quickly.

All that being said I thought the cover was beautiful so I splurged for the hardback. It was almost a year since it was released so when the second book was available I decided to continue the collection; since the cover was equally as beautiful. So now I'm hoping that maybe the story will take a path that it more captivating than it's predecessor.

While an eloquently written story, Splintered left me unsatisfied, and disappointed. I was hoping to be spirited away to a magical, yet scary place that the kid in me wanted to revisit with the older me as a guide and come out with a newer appreciation for a well loved and popular fairy tale. Personally, I didn't get that from this book. ( )
  GigisIrieReads | Apr 20, 2016 |
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A descendant of the inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, sixteen-year-old Alyssa Gardner fears she is mentally ill like her mother until she finds that Wonderland is real and, if she passes a series of tests to fix Alice's mistakes, she may save her family from their curse.… (more)

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