Series: Splintered # 2
Published by Amulet Books on January 7, 2014
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.
Alyssa is back home from Wonderland, enjoying a normal (or what passes for normal in Alyssa’s world) life in high school with Jeb by her side. This relative peace comes to a screeching halt when a wave of water summoned by Morpheus sweeps her back to Wonderland. Queen Red has seized parts of Wonderland, and Morpheus threatens to wreak havoc in the human world unless Alyssa agrees to help.
Oh, wait a minute…that was just a dream…perhaps. A very vivid dream. Actually, Alyssa nearly drowned in a storm drain, and she wakes up three days later in a hospital, uncertain of what is real. She soon learns that Morpheus has inhabited a human form, and he’s posing as a foreign exchange student at her school. This serves as the source of enormous frustration for Alyssa and fun for us, the readers. Morpheus is the master of gentle tormenting, and he doesn’t hold back in dishing it to out to Alyssa and Jeb. Even though I’m firmly Team Morpheus, I enjoyed Jeb a lot in Splintered. But he definitely suffers here in comparison to Morpheus, although Morpheus is so charismatic and intriguing, that would probably be the case for any guy. It’s starting to seem that the main thing Jeb has going for himself is his muscles, and I suspect (and hope) that Alyssa will sever this love triangle soon.
Splintered gave us an incredibly imaginative look into Wonderland, but in Unhinged, the action takes place in the mortal world. Thanks to Howard’s writing, it is no less exciting, and there is still danger (and a CLOWN) lurking around every corner. I also love that some very surprising secrets involving Alyssa’s parents were revealed. It’s interesting how these secrets compare and contrast with Alyssa’s life, and I get the sense that there is still so much more to uncover.
Check out my review of Splintered.
Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.