Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Through The Looking Glass

"Alis Volat Propriis,
Latin for 'She flies with her own wings."
--A.G. Howard, Unhinged

Genre: YA Fairy Tale Re-Telling, Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Pages: 400
Publication Date: January 7th, 2014
Source: Borrowed from library
Find on Goodreads
Previous Books in Series: Splintered
Goodreads Description

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 World While we really didn't get to go down the rabbit hole, I still LOVE this world. The descrpitions, the twists, the plays on words, THE WARDROBE! Oh my gosh, I salivate just thinking about Alyssa's amazing and eccentric fashion choices. Like I said after Splintered, I want to be her friend and start wearing petticoats and crazy skirts and corsets. For realz. I love the otherwordly feel that AG Howard constantly provides us. I feel transported down my own little rabbit hole when I read these books. They are vivid and description and the setting is just palpable. But I would like a little--ok A LOT--more of Wonderland for the final book. K, thanks.

The Discovery I loved EVERYTHING about Alyssa's journey. Especially the end and how she plays the people around her to her benefit. Even if it is subtle, I found her to be just amazing at working her own angle and coming into her own. I loved how she got more memories back from her childhood and the role Morpheus plays in it. I think it was the perfect amount of flashbacks that helped aid her in this chapter of her adventure.

The Reveals I love the slow yet steady and always surprising reveal of secrets the plot gives us. It is never overwhelming but always makes you stop to scratch your head a little bit. In a good way! Because of all the false bottoms and literal word games, it is always fun to try and figure out what rabbit loop hole Morpheus and the rest of Wonderland use to get out of whatever situation they may be in. I love the manipulation of words and the ever-present feel that something else is always underfoot.

The Darkness It should come as no surprise that this world and plot is filled with suspicious characters and haunting images. Alyssa's art continues to represent this gothic horror feel to the story. I think it is SO unique and alluring in its creeptastic way. I loved reading about it and I cannot WAIT for the last book so see where this all leads us.

The Boys Oh my gosh, SO MUCH HAPPENS! I love where this part of the story is going. While I thought Jeb was super annoying in Splintered and while I'm not totally sold as a member of his posse yet, there is something so incredibly endearing about him. There were definitely parts of his story that melted my heart...and then he does something at the end that just ruined it for me. Cheese factor to the max. No bueno. MORPHEUS on the other hand. While he does some things I do not agree with and are a little more than shady, we all know he will always have Alyssa's best interest at heart. There is a MAJOR plot twist involving him and I LOVED IT. We will just have to see if this twist comes to be more than just a twist...muahaha.

The Pacing While I loved reading this book there were some plot points that I felt dragged a bit. I was still excited to read it but I wasn't tearing at the pages like I was in Splintered. Second books are hard and while the plot needed to move forward, and it definitely does, I wanted just a little more excitement to the mix. I wanted to not be able to turn the pages fast enough and it fell just short of that.

Yes This was an amazing follow-up to Splintered. I cannot WAIT to read the final book! Where is the final book?! I can't wait to fall down the rabbit hole and see how the battle to save Wonderland ends...dun dun dun. 


  1. LOVE this series so much. I think the world Howard builds is amazing. And I love how she really sticks with the Wonderland theme, but it's twisted for sure! I can't wait to see what the final book brings. Great review!

  2. I am excited to read the last book as well but I was so disappointed by this one. I hate to say that it all felt very forced for me. Of course, then that ENDING came and I was like SAYY WHAAA!!?? I didn't totally dislike it but I missed Wonderland and Jeb still annoyed me a bit. As you said, total cheeeese and I just feel like their "relationship" is very juvenile compared to how mature he comes across. Not sure. Morpheus though....OH HAI. Still don't think Alyssa deserves him but we shall see, amiright?!


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