Ah, the cliffhanger!
As you probably know, I am completely infatuated with anything Wonderland, hence my love for A.G. Howard’s Splintered series. At first, I didn’t know there were more books – I just thought Splintered was a lone novel. Imagine my joy when my dad bought the whole series!
So following Alyssa’s adventure down the rabbit hole last summer, Unhinged follows the netherling queen through her day-to-day human life. As she vowed last summer, she hasn’t used a single insect in her artwork – in fact, her mosaics are now being created out of her own blood. Thanks to her crown magic, these pieces feature images from the future, but Alyssa doesn’t know their true importance quite yet.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but Morpheus arrives in the human realm – and he isn’t alone. As the queen of the Red court, Alyssa must save Wonderland – and defeat Red. It doesn’t sound easy, and yet it still proves easier said than done.
Worst of all, it isn’t just Wonderland that is now in danger. The whole of the human realm is now at risk, thanks to the netherlings that have left the rabbit hole. Alyssa’s boyfriend goes missing, and her mother’s secrets begin to emerge, giving a new depth to Alyssa’s problems.
I really do love this series. The Wonderland vibe has really been captured, with all its great eccentricity intact. Every little twist on the classic novel is fantastic, and every character is so wonderfully unique.
Expanding on my point about the characters, I am even more in love with Morpheus than I was at the end of the first book. His mixed emotions continue throughout the book, but there are some lovely insights into his true feelings. There is such a great depth to Morpheus’s character! Alyssa realises that too, and her own feelings begin to surface more after she is told of Ivory’s vision.
Jeb is clearly very fond of Alyssa, but he’s caught up in his own little situation with his artwork. This leads to a little bit of trouble… But once he has his memories of Wonderland back, Jeb is back to being overly protective of his girlfriend. He’s as defensive in this sequel as he was in the first book.
And Alyssa. Ah, Alyssa… She’s finally accepted her mad side. She’s accepted herself for all that she is, and although she faces a few rough patches, this acceptance helps her through her battle. But as much magic as Alyssa uses, there’s nothing she can do to change the fate of her friends and family…
The ending was superb. Like last time, I just want to read on! I wasn’t expecting Alison, Morpheus and Jeb to all get taken away, and I was certainly not expecting Alyssa to end up in her mother’s shoes – or rather, her straitjacket.
As expected, this book joins Splintered in my favourites list. It’s wonderfully weird, even without Alyssa falling down the rabbit hole. The characters are fantastic, and each netherling is so unique and crazy and great. 5 stars for this, of course!