Author: A.G Howard.
Published: January 13th 2015 by Amulet books.
Sort: Conclusion in the Splintered series.
Splintered #1. Splintered.
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher.
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 sadistic netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the 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 even if everyone succeeds and comes out alive, can they all truly have their happily ever after?
The review is spoiler free for Ensnared, but contains small spoilers for the previous books.
Alyssa’s journey started in Splintered and finally comes to an ending in this conclusion. I liked how she developed and accepted her new role as Queen. She’s no longer just a human, but she has learned to embrace her Wonderland side and responsibilities. The insecure girl from Splintered has grown into a woman with an important role for both worlds – and Howard handled that with care. I wouldn’t say that I always appreciated her choices and her continuous struggle between Morpheus/Jeb got on my nerves, but she’s an overall good character.
Morpheus stays true to his manipulative and sassy nature. I’m going to stick with my previous opinion; I like him as a character, but not as love-interest. He is complex and unpredictable, which adds a great touch to the story. I definitely believes he loves Alyssa in his way, but I don’t find it healthy or shippable. He is still a better choice than Jeb, who continues to prove why I dislike him. I could understand why he acted so distantly, because Alyssa made some poor decisions, but he wasn’t fair. He could accept Morpheus as a new friend, but he never gave Alyssa a chance and he has a nasty attitude that made a bigger mess in an already out-of-control situation.
Unhinged was a bit disappointing because I missed Wonderland, but that’s not the case in Ensnared. We get to see Wonderland from another angle when Alyssa and her father go on a quest to save Jeb and Morpheus. The two of them are working together to survive the darkness that is taking over. Their new-found friendship was refreshing and I liked Jeb ‘magical’ powers.
The only thing that let me down was the plot. It’s slow. It struggled to move forward and got stuck in some situations, which provided me with some boring moments. I felt there was too much emphasis on Alyssa’s feelings towards the guys instead of the destruction of Wonderland. I still like the concept and the basics of the plot, but it could have used some more work in my humble opinion.
That leaves the ending. MINOR SPOILER: I’m not giving away details, but don’t read it if you want to know nothing like Jon Snow. I’m seriously still inconclusive how I feel about this. One part of me likes the creativity, because I don’t think this has done before. One part of me feels like it’s an easy way out to keep everybody happy. I just.. don’t know.
So, I have mixed feeling about this series as a whole. I'm not blown away, but I appreciate what the author tried to do with the original tale. Would I recommend this series to everyone? I would say I've read better retellings, but hardcore Alice in Wonderland fans might approve of this series.