Splintered by A.G. Howard | REVIEW

SplinteredSplintered by A.G. Howard
Published by Amulet Books on January 1st, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance
Pages: 371
Format: Hardcover

Splintered Rating

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-ReviewSplintered by A.G. Howard is the first book in the Splintered series. It is a re-imagining/continuation of the classic fairy tale of Alice in Wonderland. It follows Alyssa, the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Alice who is curesed like the rest of her family that they assume is making them go crazy. After falling down the rabbit hole, Alyssa must pass a series of tests in order to lift the curse from her family and they can finally go back to being normal again.

So can Alyssa pass all the tests and relinquish the curse? Let’s find out!

“No one knows what he or she is capable of until things are at their darkest.”

Splintered-Plot-+-WritingSo I came across this book when it was first released back in 2013, but for the life of me I couldn’t finish it. In the beginning of the novel it progresses very slowly and I guess it just didn’t keep my attention. But as the third book in the series approached the release date I decided to give it another try.

I love the retelling and re-envisioning of old fairy tales, so I pushed through the first couple chapters determined to like this book. And I’m glad I did. This novel is amazing.

It was darker, scarier then the cartoon from Disney and the original story by Lewis Caroll. The Wonderland creatures were exactly that. Creatures. I thought it was a very creative twist on what everyone already knows about the tale. Howard’s writing and world building were splendid. To make a reader such as myself feel like I was actually with Alyssa and Jeb as they journeyed through Wonderland on their adventures was incredible!!

“Sometimes a flame must level a forest to ash before new growth can begin.”


Alyssa, the main protagonist, is pretty much a punk rock version of her great great great grandmother Alice. Which fits in with the scarier Wonderland that A.G. Howard has so masterfully recreated. She was definitely one of my favorite characters throughout the novel. Her strong will and courageous attitude is what drew me to her. Her fighting spirit to do everything she can to help save her mom and the rest of her family from their treacherous curse is admirable.
Jeb, Alyssa’s best friend and love interest is a sexy hunk of man. (Err, if you consider a 19 year old to be a man) The way he does everything to protect Alyssa from Wonderland’s psychotic inhabitants makes me kind of jealous. He is definitely the definition of a knight in shining armor. Tall, dark and handsome… my favorite type.
And finally, Morpheus, the cool mysterious anti-protagonist. (I guess) You never really know if his intentions are good or bad. To be truthful I really hate Morpheus. He gets on my last nerves and I wish he would just disappear. (Very mature of me, I know) But come on… It feels like he always has some conniving plan up his sleeves. And those hats have got to go, seriously.
“Because he believes in me. He lets me take chances and learn from them. That’s something a friend does.”

Splintered-SettingOh how scary Wonderland really is! The talking flowers are actually zombie human eating flower monsters, The scary spider sisters made me want to crawl under the blankets. Gosh I hate spiders! Howard absolutely took the world of Wonderland and flipped it to a darker/creepier side. I loved every minute of exploring the setting with Alyssa and Jeb. The vivid descriptions made them feel realistic.

Don’t even get me started on how creepy the white rabbit is. If you can even call it a rabbit anymore. With that said I’ll let your imaginations wander a bit! But I do want to bring focus to at that gorgeous cover! Matches the book completely and I can’t get over how cool the title font is. Then you dive into the rest of the book and its printed in purple ink, with cool designs for every chapter.

Splintered-In-ConclusionI want to leave this review as spoiler free as I can, so I won’t dwell too much into the end story. But damn. That twist at the end through everything in a loop for me. It really is my favorite part about reading novels is to think a story is going to end one way, but the author throws in that last twist at the end. BAM. Story has changed.

To wrap things up, I really loved Splintered by A.G. Howard that I had to jump straight into the second book. I never thought that Alice in Wonderland could have been retold with such a scary world like the way this book is explored. A little slow to start but was definitely worth it in the end! If you guys have read it, I would love to hear what you have to say about it.
Until next time,

Splintered-About-the-AuthorA.G. HowardA.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. Her pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

SPLINTERED & UNHINGED, & ENSNARED, the first three books in her urbanized /gothic Alice in Wonderland series, are now available from Amulet Books. A companion novel, UNTAMED, launches Dec 2015.

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Jesse Nicholas lives in Toronto, Canada. He is an aspiring writer and one day wishes to have a novel published. Along with writing, Jesse enjoys music, travel, trashy TV, and is an avid reader of anything in the Young Adult and Fantasy/Sci-Fi genres. He is currently posts reviews on the novels he reads on his blog, and spends hours upon hours coming up with ideas for a future stories.

26 thoughts on “Splintered by A.G. Howard | REVIEW”

  1. I cant wait to read this book! It looks so promising. Basing on my username, you’ll know how much I love Wonderland. How I have not read a retelling of Alice in wonderland, i could never be sure. But I love how you reviewed this book5! 🙂 need to get my hands on this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Woah, this sounds awesome! This reminds me a little of the video game Alice: Madness Returns, which is pretty much Alice in Wonderland with a psychological-horror twist. This sounds super interesting though; I love retellings and am always struggling to find some good ones. I’ll add this to my TBR – thanks Jesse!


  3. Yes! I’m so glad 1. that you read it and 2. that you loved it! I read this on 2014 and it instantly became one of my favorite books and series. I wish more people would dive into it because it’s a really great retelling. I still haven’t read the third book because I’m really nervous about the ending and what’s going to happen. I’m probably going to read it in December during my Retellings month

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This book sounds fantastic! I love dark fairy tale retellings so I definitely have to give this one a go! I especially like the sound of the heroine, and I suspect I might actually like Morpheus because I love them antihero XD

    Liked by 1 person

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