Series: Splintered #1
Date Published: 2013-01-15
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
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.
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.