Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Published:  January 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: Paperback

What is Splintered about?

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


Splintered was a wonderful and frightening retelling of a very twisted Wonderland.  The premise of this book is something that I was interested in, because I am always ready for a retelling of any kind.  I wasn’t sure, though, if I’d be able to understand or appreciate this, seeing as I haven’t read Alice in Wonderland.  However, even for someone who only has basic knowledge of the story of Alice In Wonderland, Splintered was still incredibly enjoyable.   The book took a little bit to set it all up, until we got into the action.  But once it did, I didn’t want to put Splintered down.  I enjoyed so much following Alyssa through her various quests and obstacles that she encountered in Wonderland.

The world of Splintered was amazing and twisted, and A.G. Howard did a fantastic job.  I became so invested and sucked into this whole other world.   It was frightening, yet beautiful and intriguing.  Once Alyssa set foot in Wonderland, I was captivated.  I didn’t want to put this book down.
The only downside was that it got a little hard to keep track of at times.  Trying to remember whether the Red queen or Ivory queen was evil.  Or are they both good?  There are also flashbacks of Alyssa’s childhood, which got perplexing.  The worst part was trying to keep track of the “real” Alice in wonderland story as it was revealed.  Remembering what Alyssa’s great great grandmother did and what happened between her and Morpheus, the Red Queen, etc…

The characters in this book were all pretty quirky and so much fun.  Alyssa, the main character, is going through so much in the real world with her mother.  And to be thrown into everything that is happening in Wonderland, seems like a lot.  Alyssa is a strong and loyal character who will do anything for her family.  She ventures through Wonderland and goes on all sorts of crazy missions, with the hopes that she can break the family curse.  Alyssa discovers so much about herself and her family in this book, and I can’t wait to see her character progress more throughout the series.  In Splintered, the whole “Wonderland” thing was as new to Alyssa as it is to the reader.  However, I think Alyssa has so much potential to become an amazingly kick butt character, once she embraces it instead of running back towards the mortal world. 

There are so many other characters and creatures that we meet along the way. 
  They are all slightly scary and twisted, but great!  However, my absolute FAVORITE was Morpheus.  Let’s just pause for a second to appreciate the greatness that is MORPHEUS.  He allies with Alyssa and helps her with all kinds of crazy quests.  He is dark and mysterious and sexy (always flirting. seriously) and snarky and sassy. I LOVE IT.  Throughout the book, Alyssa is never sure of Morpheus’s real intentions.  He is sneaky, and appears to have his own agenda.  Also, he seems to have gone to the Obi-Wan Kenobi school of purposefully giving warped information (OH, my father was killed by Darth Vader?  Really?) and not really feeling sorry for it one bit.  BUT, GOSH I LOVE HIM.  I just wanted Alyssa to say “heck with this” and embrace Wonderland and run into Morpheus’s arms.  One can always hope. 
As you can tell from the above, I am team Morpheus all the way.  However, Jeb did have good intentions.  I just don’t think he’s right for Alyssa.  He is was to possessive and over-protective of Alyssa, which I didn’t like at all.  Alyssa can take care of herself, and frankly, doesn’t need him.  The whole thing reminds me very much of the Adam/Warner situation from Shatter Me.  However, Jeb will always be 100x better than Adam.  Don’t even get me started on him.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, Splintered was an amazing tale of a twisted Wonderland.  I had heard so many incredible things about Splintered, but hadn’t appreciated until now how amazing it is.  I understand now why everyone who reads this book becomes pretty much obsessed with this series.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes retellings or fantasy books.   Read it for the amazing world, the wonderful characters, and the captivating story.  Read it for the Alice in Wonderland references.  Read it for Morpheus!


Have you read Splintered?  What were your thoughts?  LET’S FANGIRL ABOUT MORPHEUS TOGETHER!  


  1. Yay, fellow team Morpheus friend <333

    I read Splintered a WHILE back but there's a lot that goes on in terms of characters and worldbuilding for sure! I totally get the high rating. This book is really full, if not a bit overwhelming at times. Yes, I totally got confused multiple times because of all the fantasy aspects.

    Great review!

  2. Morpheus is the best! I mean, is there really any other team BUT Morpheus?
    YES- I feel the same way. I really loved it, but all the fantasy aspects and the worldbuilding did get somewhat confusing. However, I do think A.G.Howard did a wonderful job and I can't wait to continue the series.
    Thank you so much!

  3. YAAAY FOR TEAM MORPHEUS IS ALL I CAN SAY. XD haha, actually I can say a lot more. I LOVE THIS BOOK. It's like one of my top favourite series of all time and book 2 focuses on Morpheus a LOT and I lovelovelove him so book 2 was bliss. ^-^ The world building is so incredible though, right?! When I was reading it i felt so sucked. The detail! The imagination! SHEESH. This book got a million stars from me. xD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. YESSSS MORPHEUS IS THE BEST! I'm so excited for that - I was worrying that Morpheus wouldn't be in it as much, since supposedly book 2 doesn't take place in Wonderland. I'M SO EXCITED NOW. A BOOK FOCUSING ON MORPHEUS? GIVE IT TO ME NOW. It was incredible. SO much creativity and imagination! I don't want Alyssa to ever go back to the real world. Can't wait to read and review book 2!
      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!