“All I have to do is set the power free. Escape the chains of humanity, let madness be my guide. If I forget everything but Wonderland, I can become beautiful pandemonium.”
As most know by now Splintered was the book of 2013 for me and became one of my favorite novels featured in the young adult genre. Ever. Being somebody who grew up obsessed with any and all things Wonderland, I was very much so drawn to the first in this series due to its take on the world many of us know so well.
A.G Howard’s dark take on this tale is something incredibly fascinating and unique, it draws you in from the start and once you’re drawn in, you’re here to stay. At the very top of this novel the words “Wonderland Was Just the Beginning" greet you — and truer words have never been spoken. What we came to see in Splintered was just the start to the story.
Our story begins a year after the events of the first novel — Alyssa is trying to live a normal life after having been taken on an adventure to a world she’d once thought was purely fictional. She still has the memories, the powers, her art (in a varying form) and everything that makes her Alyssa. This time around, she is fortunate to have her mother back home — her mother and father together, at last! — and she is still together with the lovely Jeb.
Through some events that come about unexpectedly, the ever so sassy Morpheus makes his appearance and we discover that Wonderland is in serious trouble. And Alyssa, as a queen, is called upon to come back to Wonderland. But is she willing to leave behind her life in the human world?
What I love most about this take on Wonderland is that it’s different. It’s so unique and dark that you can’t help but wonder what will happen next. A.G Howard once again paints a picture of a magical, if a little scary and dangerous, world that will keep you interested through the very end. All of these things shown through the eyes of a very strong, powerful and overall awesome female lead in Alyssa. And unlike most sequels or additions to varied series, Unhinged is just as strong as Splintered.
If you enjoyed the first of the series, you’ll love the second no less.
And this is one of the rare moments when a love triangle of sorts is impossible to pick one side of. Alyssa works well with, and without, both Jeb and Morpheus. They each bring out different sides of her, as she does to them — and each males flaws are open to her, and the readers. Which is kind of awesome.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about both of Alyssa’s parents. Their pasts as individuals. How they met. Their romance. I’d love to hear more of both, really. You’ll come to respect Alyssa’s mother even more than you had in the first novel — and you’ll begin to further see the traits of Alyssa’s mother and just how they tie in with Alyssa’s own traits. And you’ll learn quite a bit of interesting, unexpected things about Alyssa’s caring father.
You know what they say: like mother, like daughter. And let’s just say that at the end of the novel, there’s a twist and a cliffhanger (can it be January 2015, yet? I need the third book!) that leaves your jaw hanging open and one thought among the rest: Alyssa and her mother are so alike. And “damn, that was mad!”
I would recommend this book, this series, to any and everyone. I won’t rest until it gets much more recognition — it’s so good. And until then, I will be twiddling my thumbs and drinking tea. Waiting. Curious to know what happens to Alyssa, her family, her friends and Wonderland.