Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #2
Publisher: Amulet Books
Date: January 7, 2014
Source: For Review
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.
I am sad to report that Unhinged is suffering from middle book syndrome. I didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as expected. To be fair though, Splintered was one of my favorite books of 2013, so I was expecting something mind-blowing with Unhinged—and while it was good, it wasn’t great.
My main issue with this book stems from the fact that it all takes place in our world. Sure, there was plenty of magic and Morpheus, but who wants to be in the US when you can be in Wonderland? Certainly not me. Al was obligated to explain away a lot of things, there was all sorts of drama in the high school, and I just wasn’t feeling it.
Once Al figured out who “the bad guy” was and we learned more about her mother’s past, the story really started to pick up for me. I just found myself really enjoying it and I didn’t want to put it down. It was like everything I had been wanting from the story (for the most part) was finally starting to happen!
Despite Unhinged not living up to my expectations, I really, really loved the ending. It was that perfect Alice in Wonderland-level creepy that Howard captured in Splintered and I just know that we’re in for something special with the next book.
Even though I didn’t love Unhinged and it did not do justice as a Splintered sequel, I am so excited to see what the next book brings. If you loved Splintered, I think the series will still be great despite book 2. And if you haven’t read Splintered yet, I don’t even know how many times I’ve said it on my blog, but you need to. It was everything Tim Burton’s version wasn’t and even if it’s the only book you read in the series, it just cannot be missed.