Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books; 400 pages
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.
That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.
As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.
If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
Let's talk about the obvious - that being the cover. I absolutely loved the cover of Splintered. I'll be honest, it's what drew me to the book; it wasn't being of it being a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, I'm not a fan of that 'fairy tale' but the cover was brilliant and the book synopsis sounded good, regardless of what it's based around. It was one of those books I was so glad I decided to give it a try, I really enjoyed it. My obsession over these characters was a gradual, always growing obsession. I was totally Team Jeb but there's something about Morpheus that makes you like him and then he gets the cover and I squeal. I don't know why I squeal but I do. This cover is just so . . . Morpheus; it's so fitting of him and it got me even excited for this book. The cover designer did the job they were supposed to do so kudos to them.
Now that that is out of my way, let's talk boys. Oh yes, we'll start off with a bang. Like I said, I was totally and utterly into Jeb throughout Splintered and after but there way always Morpheus, creeping in the back of my mind. Oh he creeped right on up to the forefront in this book, though I'm still Team Jeb, I really like Morpheus, as a character. He's dark, he's mysterious, he's unlike anything I've ever come across and he's totally unreliable yet totally loyal. It makes no sense, I know but it does make sense in his weird, twisted way. It's hard to explain but he's just so frustrating but loveable. Then there's Jeb, whose loyal to the death (as we saw in Splintered), absolutely trust-worthy, everything you'd ever want in a guy and totally and utterly in love with Alyssa.
Alyssa has a lot of problems in this book. Shocking, right? She has her mother back, who is overly protective but it's so nice to see her parents together and so in love. She's been dating Jeb for a year now and she loves him but she wishes she could tell him about their time in Wonderland, since he no longer remembers. This huge secret is putting such a wedge between them in their relationship, especially since Jeb is ready to take them to the next level as a couple. She's got the Red Queen coming after her, wanting her dead. Not to mention there's Morpheus, whose willing to do whatever it takes to have her to himself. Oh, don't worry, there's plenty more she's got to deal with but those are the main issues. You ever think you're having a shitty day, just read this and know it could be much worse.
Now, being honest, I wasn't as in to this book as I was the first book. Where I'm obviously interested (a lot) in the characters, the story was just lacking a lot of excitement for the first half. I mean, it took me a few days just to get through the first half and that's really rare for me. Once I got to a certain point, it was nearly impossible to put the book down.
Not to mention the ending. Oh man, THE ENDING. Second books have got the worst cliffhangers, ever. Yet I crave second books and maybe because I like to torture myself, I don't know. I shouldn't have been so surprised with how this book ended but yet, I was. My emotions were all over the place but I can safely say, the book ended and there was a smile on my face. You know that's a good thing, right?
If you haven't read Splintered, clearly you're missing out and I think you should fix this as soon as possible. If you've read Splintered then there shouldn't be any hesitation to pick up this book. While I don't find it as great as the first one I am in the minority (as of now) but even still, I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait for the final book. The waiting is what sucks. Any fan of re-tellings will enjoy this book (I think) or if you've never read a re-telling, then if you're a big fantasy fan, you'll get a kick out of this series.
Thank you so much to Abrams for allowing me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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