Unhinged by A. G. Howard. I’ll preface this review by saying that this is book two in the Splintered series. I am not going to review Splintered so I apologize in advance if you have not read it yet. That being said, this is NOT a standalone novel. You do need to read Splintered first if you want to understand Unhinged.
In Splintered we met Alyssa Gardner, descendant of Alice Liddell who was wrongly portrayed by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. Carroll’s version of what happened to Alice, all those years ago, was sweetened up and delivered to us on a silver platter. We were meant to devour it like a homemade cupcake, topped with extra rich frosting and a heaping pile of sprinkles. The truth was much, much darker. We followed Alyssa down the rabbit hole on her journey to discover why she can hear bugs talk to her, why the mysterious moth man plagues her dreams and why her mother has been sentenced to a life in the insane asylum. We are met with the real white rabbit, mad hatter and red queen who are more than what our nightmares are made up of.
Unhinged picks up with Alyssa ready to graduate high school and start her life with her long time crush and boyfriend of almost a year, Jeb. Alyssa chose the human realm, where she would be free from her duties as Queen. With her mother acting suspiciously and a familiar pesky blue moth haunting her thoughts, Alyssa wonders if she chose her path wisely. The journey to find out who she truly is comes with a price, one she’s not ready to pay. When Alyssa is shown her future but sworn secrecy, she realizes she may another option. Unhinged follows the dark tale of Alice beyond Wonderland and into the human realm where more than just the Red Queen threatens Alyssa’s crown and her kingdom. With her love life hanging in the balance does Alyssa have what it takes to save Wonderland and her loved ones in the human realm?
I am more than ready to admit that Splintered left a lot to be desired. I had hoped for so much more of the dark premise that A.G. Howard promised to deliver. Half way through and I found myself bored and lacking the motivation to continue. However, I purchased the first three books at the same time and decided to give the second book a go. I am so glad I did! Unhinged was 5x better than it’s previous companion. Howard managed to redeem herself and gave us the dark and twisted story I’ve been craving. Just enough romance, a lot of devious promises and half truths to keep me wanting more. Unhinged gives you more reasons to love/hate Morpheous, more netherlings to make your skin crawl and leaves you simultaneously satisfied and still wanting more. Alyssa faces catastrophic decisions with wicked outcomes and is threatened by the tragic memories don’t belong to her.
Whether you enjoyed Splintered or not, I encourage you to read Unhinged and give A.G Howard a shot at redemption.