Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Review of Unhinged

Unhinged (Splintered #2)

By A.G. Howard

 

Synopsis:

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of. 


That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn't show up for school one day to tempt her with with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland - where she (partly) belongs. 


As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus's unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he's forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won't be far behind.


If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5 / 5 !!!
My Thoughts:


After Splintered #1, I knew this series would be epic. I listened to the audiobook version of the first book and physically read the second book in this series and it makes a lot of difference. When listening to a book being read I paid greater attention to dialogue. In my mind each character's appearance was based heavily because of the narrator's voice and tone. Whereas, when reading I paid more attention to the narrative, imagining the characters as they were described and using my own imagination to 'hear' them speak. After reading book 2 I think I'll go back and physically read the first book again, just for that reading experience.  


I am entirely Team Morpheus! His cunning, cocky nature and countless half truths should be infuriating but he brings the spark into the story and it wouldn't be the same without him. Some of my favourite scenes were because of Morpheus' eccentricities and his witty comments. In Unhinged, we see a more vulnerable Morpheus.' Alyssa also comes to realise that she holds her two knights to completely different standards and tries to give Morpheus the benefit of the doubt rather than immediately thinking the worst of him (but in most cases he still somehow screws up!) 
"So what kind of hat is that?" I ask, unable to resist. He's adorable when he's showing off his wardrobe - like a puppy doing tricks. Although I remain cautious, knowing in the blink of an eye he can become a wolf again.
Annoying factor: Jeb! He irritated me for the first half of the story, when his passion for art was overtaking his life. Then he wonders why Alyssa is tempted by 'Mort'. As the story progressed Jeb went back to being the irritating Mr goody. I do like him, I just prefer Morpheus and wish Jeb would disappear (in the nicest way possible of course). 

We also see Alyssa battle with her netherling side. She thinks that because she's already beaten Red (book 1), everything is fine and she can go back to her human life. Pretending to be normal might have worked if it wasn't for the constant warnings from the bugs and flowers, her nightmares of a deteriorating wonderland and her chaotic art, which seems to take a life of its own. She can try to deny it all she wants but Alyssa has changed and she discovers that in order to be win and save Wonderland, she needs to embrace both sides of herself.  

I should trust Alyssa's mum but for some strange reason I can't bring myself to do so. She's always keeping secrets, and is far too good at pretending and preying on weaknesses. I have this odd hunch that she's still after the crown...

There are a gazillion other characters that I could talk about but this review would then be as long as the book. Special mention to Rabid the crazy-skeletal-rabbit-creature. Like all the other Wonderland characters, he is mad, odd and creepy but I love the way he talks, his loyalty to Queen Alyssa and how he brings in the cuteness factor. 

AG Howard outdoes herself with this crazily believable world and its fantastic characters, so much so that I can't imagine why someone would doubt Wonderland's existence! Her attention to detail astounds me, ensuring that each aspect of the story is perfectly explained so that the reader feels like they're part of the adventure too. 

It goes without saying that I am now going to read Ensnared. Although I might need to sleep for a while since I'm finishing this review at 4am!


Favourite Quotes:

"You'd do well to reacquaint yourself with their true nature. It might remind you of your own."

But what if he's wrong, too? How can being half of something be better than being whole?

No one knows me well enough - really knows me - to jump to my defense when rumors abound.

"You didn't leave me," I utter in disbelief. "I thought you would leave me."He releases my dace and looks out the opposite window while rubbing his hand on his jeans to wipe off my mascara. "Nonsense. I stayed for the car."

"...For the only way you'll be able to defeat Red is by learning to be merciless. Compassion has no place on any battlefield...magical or otherwise."

Weighed down by all the secrets I've been carrying for almost a year, by all the new ones piling up, I stare at myself in the mirror, hoping to find something other than the dress to like. Because right now, I'm not my favourite person.

He bites his lower lip, a gesture so minute I might've imagined it. "Nothing can break the chains you have on my heart. For you are Wonderland."

His gaze locks on mine, and the bottomless depths flicker - like black clouds alive with lightning. For that instant, I'm bared to the bone. He looks inside my heart; I look inside his. And the similarities there terrify me.

"Little blossom trapped in between, wearing malice like a queen; hide the truth, be cruel and tart, still all the more, you rule my heart."

I am mad, and I embrace it. Madness is part of my heritage. The part that led me to Wonderland and earned me the crown. The part that will lead me to dace Red one final time, until only one of us is left.


1 comment:

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