Review: Unhinged & Ensnared by A.G. Howard

Posted August 28, 2015 by Lillian in Reviews / 3 Comments

Review: Unhinged & Ensnared by A.G. HowardUnhinged by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered,
Published by Amulet Books on 2013-12-17
Length: 387 pages
Reviewing eBook, Audiobook from TN R.E.A.D.S.

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.

Unhinged by  picks up almost a year after Alyssa and Jeb went down the rabbit hole to save Wonderland from Queen Red in Splintered. I split this book in two: I was traveling when I decided I needed to to know what would happen to this beautiful world Howard created. So I listened to half of the book and then read the last half. This was a good choice on my part because the first half of the book is a bit on the slow side.

Oh Alyssa….I didn’t care much for her in the beginning, but she grew on me this book. She’s still shallow, still concerned with herself, BUT she makes better choices AND she lets her Wonderland side come out to play. It’s kinda awesome! My biggest problem with her is her inability to choose between Morpheus and Jeb..

Alyssa, girl….we need to talk!!! Jeb is not right for you. Run to Morpheus! Run as fast you can and never leave Wonderland 😀 Ok that’s me on my soapbox. Now onto the love triangle…

Jeb has no memory of their trip to Wonderland, a side effect of Alyssa saving him. Yet somehow the two still managed to become a couple in the last year. Jeb however doesn’t give Alyssa the same attention as he does his art. He puts his fledgling career first instead of Alyssa who he claims to love.

Morpheus….OMG!!! WHY do I even need to explain why Alyssa should be with him?! Morpheus is Howard’s version of the caterpillar from Carroll’s original. He’s dark, uses Netherling logic and EVERY choice he makes is for the good of Wonderland. He also happens to love Alyssa, in his own Netherling way.

The plot of this book revolves around Alyssa’s failure to kill Queen Red in the first book. Queen Red is now destroying Wonderland and Alyssa needs to stop her, she’s the only one that can. Yet she refuses to answer Morpheus’s call. So Morpheus comes to her. Basically Wonderland has crossed into the human realm and now Alyssa finds herself with even bigger problems than before.

Personally I LOVED this installment. Give me more Morpheus any day of the week 😀 I could have done without the love triangle, but it worked in this book, giving drama and a bit of levity in otherwise dark plot. If you enjoyed Splintered, love Wonderland, and want more, pick it up asap!

Final Conclusion:



Review: Unhinged & Ensnared by A.G. HowardEnsnared by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered,
Published by Amulet Books on 2015-01-01
Length: 420 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from My Book Shelf

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world--a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?

Brilliant Conclusion even if I HATED the endingEnsnared by  is the conclusion to the Splintered series. Alyssa has to go to the looking glass world to find her mother, Jeb, and Morpheus after they were taken during the disastrous battle with Queen Red at prom a few weeks earlier. The problem is that she has been locked up in the same asylum her mom spent the last ten years at. Alyssa has to convince her father to take her through the looking glass and save her family and her kingdom.

Alyssa is now more Netherling than human, she’s embraced it. And I have to say I LOVE her this way. She’s the best of both worlds. Her human side is her conscience and the Netherling side is her strength. She’s fought hard in the last two books, now it is up to her to finish the fight before her time runs out.

There is so much I love about this book and SO much that I can’t even talk about without spoiling it for you! First off the little twist with Alyssa’s dad is perfection 😀 I didn’t see it coming AND it fits the story just right. The looking glass world that Jeb and Morpheus are trapped in is even more twisted than the Wonderland Howard has created. Seriously though the imagery in this series is reason enough to read it! It’s beautiful and haunting and this installment in particular will give you nightmares 😉 Then there’s the battles! Honestly this series has been building up to the ultimate battle and it is a success! So much action and angst 😀

Now lets talk about the ending for just a sec. I’m putting it in spoiler tags so if you haven’t read this book yet, don’t read the spoiler! (unless you don’t mind knowing the end of the book before you read it) View Spoiler »

Overall I LOVED this series! I love Wonderland and Howard does a fantastic job of bringing Wonderland to life. Honestly her version is a bit scary but beautiful in its madness. I highly recommend it for anyone that enjoys fantasy and young adult.

Final Conclusion:


This book fulfills #4 on the COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt.

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3 responses to “Review: Unhinged & Ensnared by A.G. Howard

  1. I’ve read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it. I have a copy of Unhinged and hoped to get to it by the end of COYER, but I ran out of time. It is nice to see that you enjoyed the rest of the series. Hopefully I will get to it soon.

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