Oh my goodness. I have been reading Splintered by A.G. Howard. It kind of a retelling or a revisit of Alice in Wonderland. We meet Alyssa Gardner, who is a descendant of Alice Liddell. Her mother is in a mental institution for hearing and talking to bugs and flowers. We soon learn that Alyssa shares this ability, and thinks of herself as also going insane, but this is not insanity. It is a curse.
To break the curse, Alyssa must travel back to Wonderland to right the wrongs of her ancestor, Alice. She takes on this task with her friend/protector/love interest, Jeb, in tow. Guided by caterpillar turned moth turned humanoid, Morpheus, and supported by Jeb, Alice must find her way through Wonderland and back home. While in Wonderland, they meet the expected Wonderland characters, but they are anything but expected. Their appearances are gruesome, and nothing like the soft, friendly characters described in Lewis Carroll’s story.
This book was very interesting in that it plays off a familiar story. Even if you have never read the Alice in Wonderland books by Lewis Carroll, you had to have been touched by it in some manner, whether it be through verbal storytellings or popular movies. This book takes what you’ve learned and came to love and turns it all on it’s head.
The descriptions are surreal. Resemblances to our familiar Wonderland characters ties the stories together, and one can only read on to see how things evolve. There are twist and turns at every point in the book. Throughout the story, I found myself rooting for Alyssa and her relationship with Jeb, but then the happenings made me question the truth in his feelings. The reader is often torn, as Alyssa is, on who to believe….her protector or her guide. So many times in the story I’ve wanted to yell at the characters, knowing they couldn’t hear me. The author, Anita, draws readers in with every task and tale. I recommend this book for any reader who likes re-interpretations of other books, and who enjoys stores with a dark, fantastical and paranormal feel. I now anxiously await the release of the sequel, Unhinged, in January 2014.