Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Title: Unhinged
Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Book Two in the Splintered Series
Published By: Amulet (January 7, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book 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.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I have eagerly been awaiting the release of this. Ever since reading Splintered and absolutely being wrapped up in the beautifully dark world that Ms. Howard created, I craved more. 

While The Moth in the Mirror helped ease the pain of waiting, it did little to satiate my hunger for more Al, Jeb, and of course Morpheus. I couldn't wait to delve right back into the bleak, magical and dangerous world of Wonderland. I wanted more adventure, more danger, more action and more romance. Heck, I just wanted more.

Ms. Howard's writing is nothing short of beautiful and completely alluring and captivating. She holds my attention from the first page to the last and lately it seems very few authors are doing that, especially in this genre. She truly stands out with her skills and in her craft.

This really was deliciously dark. It had everything I fell in love with from Splintered and then went beyond my wildest expectations. I honestly didn't know if Howard would be able to pull it off, after all, how do you create two masterpieces with the same atmosphere and darkness without being in the same place? Without being in Wonderland? But she did it and pulled it off magically.

Morpheus is as cunning and smart and devilish as ever but we get to see a more caring side as well, dare I even say a more appealing side? I hate to say this because I adore Jeb (who is as fantastic as ever) but I couldn't help root for Moth Man. There is just something so alluring about him, something that pulls you in and makes you feel for him, that makes you just love him and can't help but want him to succeed with Alyssa ever bit as much as Jeb. 

This was one hell of a freakishly crazy messed up ride and it was fabulous. I loved every gruel-ish, horrifying and endearing moment of it. I missed Wonderland and all it's inhabitants. I missed Howard's lyrical, magical words and characters that come to life right off the pages and into your imagination and heart forever.

So much happened that it blew me away. So much left to happen that I am already stuck here, craving the next book and wishing the release date would come sooner. I am anxious, I am nervous, and I am on pins and needles in agony waiting for it to be here. Whatever will I do with my time until it gets here? I need to know what happens. I need to know that all will be well, that everyone will be safe and I am hoping like heck that they all (yes ALL of them) get their happily ever after, because I want it all. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*


  1. Ok you have convinced me that I need to add both of these to my wishlist :)

  2. Um. Ali? WHY HAVEN'T I READ SPLINTERED YET?! I need to read that so I can pick this one up asap. I'm such a fan of dark and twisted stories, and this is clearly that so I'm now dying to read it. And I love that this second book got a 5 star rating from you, it's always so nice when a sequel lives up to its predecessor:)

  3. Oh Kim and Jenny, you have no idea what you are missing. Pick this one up SOON! So worth it, you are both going to love it!

  4. I have the first but haven't read it yet. I have to say, I'm kind of wanting to drop everything to pick it up right now! You have me very eager!

  5. Great review. I still haven't read
    Splintered, but you certainly have me motivated to start. I've been seeing this book and really haven't thought much about it until I read your review.

  6. I'm glad this didn't disappoint you, Ali! I know how invested you are in this series and it's so good to see that you liked it eevry bit as much as the first one.
    Hmmm, I'm sure I'd feel the same way about Morpheus. I actually disliked the first book because I disliked Jeb so I wouldn't be bothered by M's persistence at all.
    Lovely review!

  7. I am so excited to read this now! I'm also Team Jeb, and in Splintered, I never understood Morpheus' appeal. I'm curious to see if my opinion of him is going to change. Great review :)

  8. I really enjoyed the first book and was sad that I was turned down for the sequel as I was late requesting :( I will be reading this soon as I can't wait to find out more, but it sounds like a cliffhanger is in store for me. Happy New Year, Ali! Hope you had a fantastic holiday. I missed you and I am glad to be back :)

  9. Thanks everyone for all the comments!

    This one definitely puts Morpheus in a new light and I think those that didn't like him as much will start to warm up to him more.

  10. man this series sounds vividly beautiful I am going to have to pick up book 1 asap, I have not done so yet shamelessly, but it sounds like I am missing out

  11. Ugh - okay, crap... I need to read Splintered. I was kind of wishy-washy about reading it, but it sounds like I need to just jump in. Great review, Ali.

  12. It has a darker side to it that I think you would really like Christy. ;)

  13. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. I can't wait to read it!

  14. I'm so glad to hear that you've enjoyed this sequel. I have never enjoyed this first book but that's due to my issues with retellings. This one sounds even better than the first one. Great review, Ali :)

  15. I'm so thrilled to hear this lives up to the amazingness that was Splintered! Now I'm dying to read it, I can't wait to get back into this world. Lovely review!