This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. 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.
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
This is the first retelling of Alice in Wonderland I have ever read and I’m definitely impressed with this debut author. I loved the twists on all of the Wonderland staples and the mysteries surrounding Alyssa’s heritage. And that cover? It’s probably my favorite book cover of the year.
Readers are likely to be blown away by the world building in Splintered. Although the author takes her inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, she adds her own dark and disturbing spin on things. The imagery in the book was chilling and a far cry from the beloved children’s book. The bandersnatch especially was one of the freakiest and scariest creatures I’ve ever read about.
The characters were a mixed bag for me. Alyssa grew on me. At first, her character came off as kind of clichéd and I found myself rolling my eyes at how “punk” she was. After her transformation in Wonderland, I grew to like her and found she had more depth than I originally thought. Her love interest Jeb was a yawn and I didn’t find myself invested in their relationship. I found Morpheus much more interesting and there scenes together drew me in more than the sweet moments with Jeb.
The pacing was just okay for me. At times, I felt like I couldn’t stop reading while others I grew bored and found myself eager for the scene to end. I especially felt like this in the beginning. The second half, especially after Alyssa’s arrival in Wonderland, was a much more captivating read.
The ending was pretty good, but it seemed like it was kind of open-ended and made me wonder if there’s a possibility for a sequel. There are plenty of stories left to explore in the Wonderland universe.
I would recommend this book to fans of Alice in Wonderland and individuals who love books filled with fantastical creatures and amazing world building.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!