The Splintered Series
Author: A. G. Howard
Published by: Amulet Books
Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
“I’ve been collecting bugs since I was ten; it’s the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.”
The bugs and flowers whisper to Alyssa Gardner. Alyssa is an artist. She creates imaginative landscapes with the bugs she collects and pins to her pieces. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s recreating images from the real Wonderland—not the cutesy Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Everyone knows that Alyssa is related to Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired Carroll’s story. But what people don’t realize is that she also comes from a long line of women plagued with Wonderland delusions. Her mother, Alison, has been mentally unstable since she was a little girl. Alison even warned Alyssa about the day she would “become a woman” and the whispers would follow. Alyssa tries to ignore the whispers, but worries she’s going to end up committed like her mother.
These whispers are part of a curse that was put on the Alice line of women, and when Alyssa sets out to break the curse, she discovers there’s much more to the story. Wonderland is a simultaneously dark and vibrant place. You’re introduced to many familiar characters from Carroll’s story, but their true characters are more freakish than the fairy tale. Madness still reins in Wonderland and Alyssa finds herself drawn to it.
Her childhood friend, Jeb, who she loves, and a new mysterious acquaintance, Morpheous, accompany Alyssa on her journey. Jeb is a faithful protector. Morpheous is a deceiving, self-serving, snarky-snark. Throughout the books Alyssa is drawn to both men. Jeb appeals to her human side, and Morpheous ignites her wonderland side. It’s a love triangle. I don’t really like love triangles, and I was frustrated with this one. I thought that Alyssa could actually easily give up one of them and still manage to balance herself, but you’ll have to read the series to find out how this web is unraveled.
Did I mention that Morpheous is a bug? This series totally reminded me of this song:
I'm not sure how I even know Ugly Bug Ball, but I REMEMBERED THE WORDS. I feel so old.
I borrowed these books from the library, but I just noticed that the first book in the series, Splintered, is only $3.99 on Amazon for Kindle now.
Would I let my teen read this series?
The Splintered series is imaginative, mysterious, and exciting. I liked A.G. Howard’s unique take on the Alice story. I would’ve preferred a little less romantic tension, and I thought the books dragged in some areas, but I like the series overall. I think these books are appropriate for high school students. There’s some sexual content. Most of the sexual content is referenced to, and there’s a few heavy kissing scenes.
Age recommendation: 14
Language – mild
Drugs & Alcohol – none
Sex – Morpheous, particularly is a fan of sexual innuendos; Alyssa and Jeb plan to do “it.” Several heavy make-out scenes where characters are pressing up against each other; Sex is often referenced
Violence – Some, mostly referenced with little graphic detail
Buy Splintered on Amazon.com, now only $3.99
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.