Sunday, December 29, 2013

Early Review: Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard

Release Date: Jan. 7, 2014
Published by: Amulet Books
Source: Digital ARC / NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author Links: Site | Twitter | Facebook
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 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.

The quickest way to sum up my feelings about Unhinged would be to tell you that without Morpheus this story would be a DNF. 

I can handle various types of imperfections in my heroines. They can be clumsy, a bit selfish or brash, they can involve themselves in love triangles even when it's obvious who the better man is.... I consider myself to be very forgiving. But they have to be smart. I can't stand a character who is slow on the uptake and chooses to consistently deny what is right in front of her. Throughout Unhinged Alyssa does this a lot. She ignores clues, tries to find other explanations for things that seem obvious and quite frankly just drove me to a point where I didn't care what happened to her.

Considering the events in Splintered and Morpheus' reputation for lies and manipulation, I understood Alyssa's hard feelings toward him, but not to the extent that she took it in this story. She went so far as to think him heartless enough to be okay with her committing vehicular homicide on a small child riding a tricycle in the street. Seriously...what?! Of course, she takes those feelings back later on, but that's how she is throughout the whole story. She's feeling a certain way, making lots of assumptions based on very little logic and then changes her mind later on. 

What I did like about this story was Morpheus, of course, and what was revealed about the past and the future. Alyssa learns more about her mother and the depth of her involvement in Wonderland and it comes with a surprising twist. She is also shown a vision of her future that has her feeling conflicted and may affect her decisions going forward.

If you're a fan of the Splintered audiobook, like I am, then I would suggest continuing to listen to the series instead of reading it like I did. I really enjoyed the narrator and she may have been able to help me like this story a little more than I did. 

I'm still a fan of the series and I'll definitely be reading Ensnared when it releases in 2015, but I wasn't crazy about this sequel. 


Carmel @ Rabid Reads said...

I thought about requesting this one on NetGalley but like you, I listened to the first book in audio. After reading your review I'm glad that I decided to wait and buy the audiobook instead. Thanks Cat!

Alexa said...

Oh darn! I love Morpheus and I really wanted this one to be as amazing as Splintered was. Now I'm sad because I love him. :(
Thanks for the great review though!

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