Review: Splintered by A. G. Howard



by A. G. Howard
Narrated by Rebecca Gibel
Series: Splintered, Book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published by Amulet Books, 2013
E-book & Audiobook, Purchased
371 pages
12 hours, 39 minutes
Grade: B+
Narrator Grade: B+
Synopsis: This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

He drops his forehead to the steering wheel. “Ugh. I forgot about the dance. I still have to pick up my tux.” He glances at the clock on my dash. “Jen said some guy asked you but you didn’t want to go. Why not?”

I shrug. “I have this character flaw? Called dignity?”

He snorts….


He’s a contradiction: taut magic coiled to strike, gentleness at war with severity, a tongue as sharp as a whip’s edge, yet skin so soft he could be swathed in clouds.


  • I got to the end and I thought, “Wow!”
  • Very creative take on the Alice in Wonderland classic.
  • The way Wonderland is similar to the Lewis Carroll story, but very different keeps the book interesting.
  • The narrator did a good job with all the different voices. Morpheus, Jeb and Alyssa are especially good. Some of the smaller creatures in Wonderland sound very similar, but there are so many different characters it would be hard to be completely original with each character.
  • The book is not predictable. I like the twists and turns.
  • Alyssa is a multifaceted girl–grown up in many ways, but still trying to figure out her life. Once she’s in Wonderland she realizes that things she thought she knew about herself aren’t entirely true.
  • Jeb is a stubborn, strong and loyal friend
  • Morpheus is a perfect mystery to the end. Every time I think I’ve figured him out he does something so opposite I’m as off-balance as Alyssa is.


  • I can’t decide if there’s supposed to be a love triangle between Morpheus, Jeb and Alyssa. I don’t really see Morpheus as a love interest.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is such a good book. I love the narration of the audiobook…so very good! Lark from the Bookwyrm’s Hoard brought this book to my attention in January when the second book in the series came out. I’m so glad she did. A very fun book to read.
  • I know a lot of kids are scared of the movie of Alice in Wonderland, but I wasn’t scared of it…other movies and books, but not this.
  • I can’t remember when I saw the movie, but perhaps my mom learned from my older brother and his friends who all had to leave the movie after Alice falls down the rabbit hole…LOL.
  • Mom had the books–Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass–and I liked them a lot when I read them.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

I’m participating in the following reading challenges for this book:

  • The 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapism blog.
  • The Book Bingo Challenge.
  • 2014 Audiobook Challenge hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs.