Review: Splintered (DAC)

February 7, 2013 Review 15 ★★★★½

Review: Splintered (DAC)
Splintered by A.G. Howard
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Abrams
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 384
Release Date: January 15th 2013
Series: Splintered #1
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Young Adult
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 is a modern retelling of the classic Lewis Carroll tale, ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Alyssa Gardner’s ancestor was none other than the original Alice of the famous story, but this version is darker, creepier, and deliciously evil.

Alyssa’s mother lives in a mental hospital, for hearing voices that aren’t there and seeing things that aren’t real. The problem is, Alyssa sees and hears the same thing. Convinced she will end up like her mother, some sleuthing uncovers secrets and lies, and Alyssa finds out nothing is what it seems.

 I scroll past images every bit as violent and beautiful as Jeb’s paintings: luminious, rainbow-skinned creatures with bulbous eyes and sparkly, silken wings who carry knives and swords; hideous, naked hobgoblins in chains who crawl on all fours and have corkscrew tails and cloven feet like pigs; silvery pixielike beings trapped in cages and crying oily black tears.

Ohmygoshthiswasnearperfect. I put off writing this review for three days, wondering if the stars would fade from my eyes and I could gather myself to write a coherent review. I still love it just as much, so that’s got to be a sign that it was really that great. It definitely brought me out of a reading slump.

If you have read my other reviews of popular retellings, you’ll know I absolutely love them. If done well. Alice in Wonderland was probably one of my favorite kid’s stories when I was younger. The Cheshire cat was creepy, sure, but the story was original and captivating. Dare I say that this is better than the original? It just has so much imagination!

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

I respect books that come up with new worlds and characters, because having fresh ideas is so difficult, especially in literature. It takes a great mind to think of all the disturbing, fantastical things in this book. It has so much personality and guts. I’m still not quite sure if I understand everything that happened! There was things you need to connect in your mind and I LOVED that.

Everything in this is twisted, it seems poor little Alice retold the story to Carroll a little…incorrectly. Turns out the White Rabbit is a little more…skeletal. And rabid.

It was a little slow in the beginning, but things pick up fast. Once Alyssa “falls down the rabbit hole,” the action and mystery is non stop until the very last page.

Alyssa is a great protagonist, all the characters were written excellently. Even the secondary characters were lovable and had their own backgrounds. The romance was a little iffy but it grows and makes sense later on.

I really can’t sing my praises for this enough, so go check it out for yourselves! The only thing I ask is, be open to the story, because it has teeth! Metaphorically, of course.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.5

15 Responses to “Review: Splintered (DAC)”


    A retelling of Alice In Wonderland? Seems Interesting. I wonder if they’ll make a movie out of it.
    I like the ancestor part of it though, any book that includes a powerful ancestor is a good one. XD

  2. Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)

    This book and this cover! How I want to read it so much. It sounds a bit more demented than usual especially with the White Rabbit being skeletal and all. You must have been even more excited to read this book because of your blog name and since you loved Alice so much when you were younger. I never got to read the story when I was younger. Not even the animated movie :/ My parents have seriously deprived me :P
    Huh. I think this would make a great movie but I don’t know if they will attempt it after the last Alice movie to come out so soon and I don’t know if they could do another one as good.

    • Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

      It is definitely a creepy twist! Yeah, I was kind of excited because it had my name! :) Don’t feel bad, I’ve never been to Disney! World OR Land. I agree, I think they would want to make it a movie but not so soon.

  3. Sunny Duvall

    This sounds even MORE amazing, which I didn’t think even possible. It sounds wonderful, seriously. And the quotes? I almost drooled, the writing looks great. I love retellings and I can’t wait to read this!
    GREAT review!

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

  4. rivie bleu

    I love the cover, it’s just so fascinating and colorful! It seems very creepy, I didn’t read this story (the original) and I may have seen the movie but not all of it or a long time ago that I don’t remember it well. But I am moved by the cover and I do think it could be a very interesting book, specially if it’s different from the original. I like new ideas as well but I like reading new ideas on classical fairy tales

  5. Rachael

    I really wish that I loved this book, but in all truth I just didn’t. I couldn’t get over the writing style and it made it really hard to enjoy the book. I just didn’t form any bond with the characters either and that made it really hard to enjoy. Thanks for commenting on my review.

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