Synopsis from Goodreads
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. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
I am not going to go into details about the plot as you already know it is a re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland. I will say that the plot is deliciously dark adding a whole dimension to the world Lewis Carroll originally created. The imagery is mesmerizing, the descriptions coming to movie style life within the imagination. So vivid that you feel as if you are part of the story.
Taking the idea of descendants of Alice’s being driven to madness unless they help rectify the mistakes Alice made in Wonderland was a stroke of pure genius. The parallels between the mental hospital and aspects of Wonderland re-enforced both original plot and the re-imagining. Alyssa’s character development is the fundamental basis of the plot. Coming to terms with her ancestry, relationships and ultimately herself is what makes the story a masterpiece. The plot has a few surprises of its own that I am in no way going to tell you about ((I know I am teasing but seriously you need to read it or yourselves))
The most surprising and fascinating thing about Splintered is the romance and relationships within the pages. The soul-mate connection is in full force and utterly swoon-worthy. Yet there are moments of pure heartbreak that leave you reeling.
I don’t know whether the use of the name Morpheus was a deliberate reference to the God of Dreams but it fit the character so perfectly, remember there is a good side and a bad side to dreams 😉 I think I may be a little in love with him.
The multiple layers of the plot and depth of the characters leave plenty of scope for further development. I would love to see separate stories for some of the other characters as well as an update as to the main characters after the end of this story.
Splintered is an utterly captivating story on so many levels and I am sure is set to be a classic in its own right. A feast for the imagination as well as the eyes.