Splintered Review

June 23, 2014 Reviews 12 ★★★½

Splintered ReviewSplintered by A. G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Publisher: Abrams
Date Published: 2013-01-15
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 384
Audiobook Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
Rating: three-half-stars
Description: 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.
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Julie Review Avatar Julie’s Review:

Splintered is kind of hard for me to review because I both found it unique and exciting, but at times a little overwhelming. Maybe that’s why I only rated it 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the premise and thought the idea to have the modern day retelling be centered around the descendants of Alice Liddell to be really clever. I also liked how the book kept you guessing about who to trust and what the true story really was. I liked the characters quite a bit. Alyssa, who always thought her family had a history of mental illness, who goes on her quest to help save her mother. Jeb, who goes above and beyond to help Alyssa. And then there’s Morpheus. He definitely does everything to help Alyssa on her quest, but the whole time leaves you wondering whether he has ulterior motives. The characters are likeable and interesting. I also liked how the story wrapped up nicely and left me wondering what happens next since this is a trilogy. I like when books in a trilogy do not end in a massive cliffy.

What I think gave me trouble and what I called overwhelming were all the things that happened in Wonderland. Some of it was cool, and I enjoyed seeing the Alice story in a new light. But while the Alice story can get a bit weird and a little boring at times, this plot line had similar issues for me. Some of the trials that Alyssa went through were just eye rollingly weird to me. I can only handle so much before my attention starts to wander. Then there’s a potential plot hole that kind of bugged me. Alyssa goes through a lot of trials to prove herself, and each trial fulfills a prophesy. Well there is one specific prophesy that was fulfilled with the help of a friend, and without going into details and giving anything away, when Alyssa makes a wish to help save her friend, she still ends up in the same place with all the tests passed. But that one specific prophesy should not be possible to pass by herself, so um, it was either not explained well, or that’s a plot hole. Also, I’m just not a fan of this particular audio narrator. Her voice just kind of grates on my nerves.

So, overall, it is an interesting story, but I had some issues with some plot points.

 



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Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Romance
Narration
Overall: 3.5

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12 Responses to “Splintered Review”

  1. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Oh, Julie. You hit the nail on the head for me with, “the Alice story can get a bit weird and a little boring at times.” BRAVO. I’ve been struggling for YEARS to come up with a good way of describing how I feel about Alice–weird and boring, LOL. But despite that, I still got this book. I want to like Alice, so I keep hoping that this one will finally get me to, but my hope is equal to my reluctance, so here we are a year and a half later, and I still haven’t read it. One day . . . 😉 Fabulous review!
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

    • Julie

      *takes a bow*
      Seriously though I love the elements of the Alice story, but after reading it as an adult, and watching the Disney movie (which was one of my faves) as an adult, it comes across as creepyfied and at times is a yawn fest. But, still, take little pieces out and stick them anywhere as a reference, and it is super cool. This is definitely not a one sitting kind of book but I think if you take it a bit at a time and enjoy the weirdness that is the Aliceverse, you might enjoy it too. I listened to it wayy to quickly and that might be why I was overwhelmed with it all.

  2. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun

    Hmmm – I actually have this audiobook on my list to read this summer. It seems like everyone has raved about this series and that always scares me – like I’m setting myself up to not like it. So I’m kinda glad to see a review that lowers my expectations just a bit lol! I have my fingers crossed that the narrator won’t bother me though, that would be a bummer. Great review Julie 🙂
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Teaser Tuesdays | Awakening Foster Kelly

    • Julie

      Thanks 🙂 It is the same narrators as Of Poseidon and Uninvited and many others. I just happen to not like the um texture? of her voice lol.

    • Julie

      I’d be curious to see what you think of it when you get around to reading it 🙂

    • Julie

      I am curious about the next book since this one wrapped up so nicely. Glad to hear you thought it was so much better. I’ll have to get around to it soon.

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    Nice review, Julie. I’m glad there were things about Splintered you enjoyed. I can understand what you’re saying about the plot and the ‘too much’ going on. This is a book I’ve meant to pick up (love the cover & premise) but for whatever reason, I haven’t yet. I think I’ll still give it a try but it’s good to know I may have some trouble with the ‘weird’. 🙂
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Blog Tour Guest Post ~ Dangerous Reflections ~ Shay West**

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