Splintered

Splintered by A.G. Howard

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Alyssa Gardner is cursed. Literally cursed. And it’s all because of her great-great-great grandmother Alice Liddell (of Alice in Wonderland fame) visited the land full of wonders and left it turned upside down.

Because of the first Alice, Alyssa can hear the tiny voices of insects and the ever so quiet murmurs of plants. In her heart of hearts, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she ends up like her mother – locked up in an insane asylum, eating any and all means out of tea cups.

When Alyssa’s mother tells her there’s buried treasure hidden deep beneath the daisies, she chalks it up to crazy talk. But crazy talk, it is not! Buried deep within the cushions of her father’s favorite, daisy covered recliner chair, everything she needs to right the wrongs of the first Alice.

So when she’s sucked through the looking-glass, following a beautifully colored moth named Morpheus, with best friend and crush Jeb trailing behind Alyssa find’s that everything she’s ever believed to be nothing more than fictitious ramblings of a crazy person, is a reality.

But Wonderland isn’t what she expected. It’s a terrifying place where danger lurks around every corner. Will Alyssa survive? And if she does manage to survive, will she be strong enough to bring peace and order to a land that’s full of, well, madness?

Splintered, author A.G. Howard’s debut novel, is a fantastically twisted retelling of Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice in Wonderland.

Howard’s writing is simply stunning. Not only did she successfully manage to take a known world, and flush it out further and to her own imagining, but she also made Wonderland come to life. Howard’s twisted version of Wonderland is vivid and lush. Readers will instantly feel as if, they too, were sucked through the looking-glass and into a world so terrifyingly beautiful. Wonderland, is modern, mysterious, yet guarded and dangerous. World building is a skill, and one that author Howard obviously excels at.

Beyond a world Howard has created memorable characters that readers will sympathize with, will root for, and will face both ups and downs with simultaneously. Alyssa, Splintered’s main character, is one tough cookie. No matter how much she would love Jeb to be her knight in shining armor, she really doesn’t need one. Alyssa has no problem saving the day or her family on her own terms.

At it’s core Splintered is a debut novel that if full of action, adventure, and of course suspense. But buried deep down, it’s also a novel about love. Through Alyssa, who loves as fiercely as she fights, readers get the chance to see that love really does conquer all. And that there’s nothing more important in life than family and friends.

Readers going into Splintered will easily assume that they have it all figured out. Afterall, it’s a retelling, isn’t it? Yes, but it’s so much more. Howard’s retelling, but doesn’t really need nor does it rely on its classic counterpart. Chock full of twists and turns, readers will be blindsided, but in the best way possible.

Splintered is a stunning debut that will both capture and captivate readers attention and hearts. And for fans looking for more, they’ll be happy to find out that Splintered # 2 – Unhinged – is due to hit shelves January 2014.

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