I have been dying to read this for over a year, ever since I sailed through the ending of Unhinged only to be left clinging to the side of a cliff for a year as I waited (and waited…and waited!) to hear news of the finale of the Splintered series.
And then finally it came. My arc of Ensnared arrived in the mail, and I was beside myself with excitement. I dived right into the story as soon as I could (which was, unfortunately, nearly a month after I received the book because school and finals came along to ruin my happiness), and I say with conviction that the wait was worthwhile. Howard has delivered a fantastic and un-put-downable conclusion to her wonderful trilogy, and it’s even better than I hoped!
I wrote in my review of Splintered that A.G. Howard knows how to write a killer love triangle, and this holds true throughout the trilogy. It’s the question on everyone’s minds: will Alyssa choose Jeb or Morpheus? Which will win her heart, Wonderland or reality? Most love triangles are easy to figure out. There’s usually one guy the main character primarily prefers (think Bella and Edward: did anyone really ever think she’d ever leave Edward for Jacob?). Howard, however, likes to keep readers on their toes. I spent the entire trilogy trying to figure out which guy to root for, which one might be best for Alyssa. I was just as torn between them as she was, and there was never a moment of certainty about which guy (and which world) she’d end up choosing. Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no spoilers, but I, at least, was very happy with the way Howard chose to conclude this particular conflict.
One of my favorite things about this book was how much time I got to spend in Wonderland and the Looking Glass World. Once again, no spoilers, but I think it’s okay for me to say that the majority of the book takes place far from reality, and that was a welcome distance. I loved reading about the fantastic world that Howard has created around Lewis Carroll’s original one; her creativity and ability to make Carroll’s worlds her known know no bounds. Howard’s world is her own, but it’s not entirely unrecognizable to fans of the original Alice stories. In fact, I think it’s the intricate links to and twisting of the original story that make Howard’s take so fascinating. She’s clearly done her research: she knows these stories well, and she’s done the originals justice.
I can’t recommend this series enough. To those Splintered fans awaiting this book with bated breath: you won’t be disappointed. To those fans of Carroll’s Wonderland who haven’t read these books yet: what are you waiting for?! Ensnared is up there as one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. It was thrilling, weird, and wonderful, and I’m so excited to have taken the journey with Alyssa through these books. It was a fitting end to a mad ride, and I couldn’t have asked for better.
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 . . .
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole. She was crowned Queen of the Red Court and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the boy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly appealing Morpheus. Now all she has to do is graduate high school.
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl's pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers--precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before.
When Alice follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole, she finds herself in an enchanted world, filled with creatures like the Mad Hatter, the disappearing Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. Alice quickly finds out that nothing is as it seems in the wild world of Wonderland...