The Harry Potter series had got me back to reading again after a long time. But it also caused me to stop. After Harry Potter, I tried two more books, but they just didn’t capture me as much as Hogwarts’s world did. Harry Potter made me spoiled.
But there were still sixteen books left to read for me to complete my reading goal. I had to find something that would make me read again. And I did. I joined a book club.
One of my pen pals in our pen pal Facebook group suggested to start a book club, since a lot of us enjoy reading. This was perfect! Just the push I needed to finish some books again. So I didn’t hesitate and joined the book club immediately. They even happened to start with my favorite genre: fantasy.
Well, I call this my favorite genre, but besides Harry Potter and some Narnia books I hadn’t read any fantasy yet. It was about time, don’t you think? I love fantasy! I was also a bit afraid though. I’d read some pretty great fantasy books. What if this one just couldn’t live up to it? I wouldn’t know unless I read the thing, right? And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.
SPLINTERED – A.G. Howard
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Alyssa Gardner, one if the descendants of Alice Liddell (yes, the one from Wonderland) can hear insects talk. It’s driving her crazy and she’s afraid she might end up just like her mom, who spends her life heavily sedated in a mental asylum. Until one day she realizes her and her mom are not crazy, but cursed. Wonderland is a place that really exists and the only way to free her family from the curse is to travel there and fix Alice’s mistakes. But Wonderland turns out to be a much more twisted land than Lewis Carroll ever described…
I love the fact that A.G. Howard used a fantasy world from a well-known story and gave it a really wicked twist. She has done a very remarkable job there! The Wonderland Lewis Carroll described was still completely intact, it just had a much darker side. The land was more dangerous, the characters more creepy.
But before I got to be endured in this Wonderland, I had to read a good amount of chapters with Alyssa in the real world. I was a bit disappointed by that. I had hoped to step into the fantasy world much sooner. Or at least let Alyssa embrace the bits of Wonderland that were present in the human world. But she didn’t. Instead, she killed it and fought hard to keep it away. I understand her choice as a human, but as a reader I had wanted to see her accept her fantasy quest much sooner.
Once I was in a Wonderland though, the book was hard to lay down. Everything was described so vividly. I could easily imagine all the things surrounding Alyssa, even though she was in a world so much different from our own. Her character started to grow on me as well. In the beginning I found her a bit whiny, but she developed into a very brave young woman.
All the dangers she encounters were described so realistically, it was as if I was there. But the book wasn’t only about action. It was also about Alyssa’s inner struggle. A struggle of who she really is, of who she wants to be and of whom she loves. She was literally torn between two worlds. Her inner struggle was written so well, I really could relate to her.
But what was even greater than all of the above, was the character Morpheus. He was someone I loved and hated at the same time. I could feel drawn to him the one second and despise him the next. I was wondering if he was good or evil, until the very end. It takes a really good writer to create a character so contradictory.
This book was mysterious, creepy and unpredictable. I loved to be tossed back and forth between different truths and wondering which truth was real. I loved all the wicked manners and how the author managed to make them all seem plausible. She had perfect explanations for the weirdest things going on there. I loved to be torn between love and hate for Morpheus. I loved to be torn between love for one man and another. I loved the sacrifices being made. I loved it all. Okay, I may have found the beginning a bit dreading, but in the end it was all worth it.
And you know what’s the best part? This book has sequels! Three sequels and one in the making. I need to read them all now! I secretly hope they will make a movie out of it in the future. I would so love to see everything in this book ‘for real’.
If you haven’t read this book yet and you like fantasy and a bit of creepiness, I would definitely recommend you to read this.