Untamed

Author: A.G. Howard (website) (blogtag)
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retelling
Rating: 3 Stars
Splintered Series Reviews: Book One,  Book Two,

There are no spoilers in this review.

Summary Per Goodreads: A post-Ensnared collection of three stories—available in both print and e-versions. Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland.

This review has mild spoilers for the first three books in the Splintered Series, but not for anything from Untamed.

I don’t usually read novellas and the like, but when I heard that this was coming out – just after I finished the books – I couldn’t wait. I even went to the book store almost immediately after the release to pick it up. Then I went home, sat it on my shelf, and forgot about it. So I finally got around to reading it almost two months after the release date.

The whole book retains the odd, whimsical style that we’ve become accustomed to with the Splintered Series and it’s just as good. All too often sequels to popular books or movies – looking at you Aladdin 2 & 3 – aren’t as good as the first, and you go into them expecting the beauty you’ve become accustomed to, and you leave wanting to cry. Unhinged is not like that. Unhinged is every bit as good as the others.

The only odd thing is, that as much as I did love it, I could put it down. While I was reading the series I could barely wait to start the next book, even if it meant running to the bookstore. But with Unhinged I was able to put it down, several times in fact. It might be that my reading interests have changed or that the other options – like Harry Potter and Carry On – were just too tempting. In fact it took me several months to read it.

The Boy in the Web

Alyssa’s mother reminisces about her own time in Wonderland and rescuing the man who would become her husband in The Boy in the Web.

The first short story is The Boy in the Web, told from the POV of Alyssa’s mom as she views her husband’s memories of his childhood. I found it a bit trying, but I won’t deduct points for that because the writing and story telling was great, but it was just that I didn’t get into the characters. I never liked Alyssa’s mom and dad in the other three books (I also never disliked them), and I didn’t find them that interesting now.

The Moth and the Mirror

And Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories of the events of Splintered in The Moth in the Mirror, available in print for the first time.

This one was interesting, except that I kept forgetting whose POV it was meant to be. Most of it was Jeb’s POV with little to no mention of Morpheus, but then Morpheus would jump in and confuse me.

Six Impossible Things

In Six Impossible Things, Alyssa recalls the most precious moments of her life after Ensnared, and the role magic plays in preserving the happiness of those she loves.

I think this was my favorite of the short stories. It seemed to be the one that kept the most inline with the rest of the series, perhaps because it was originally intended to come at the end of book three (and I’m glad it wasn’t put there, it didn’t seem as though it would belong).

Reading Updates

  • 10/02 marked as: to-read
  • 02/18 marked as: currently-reading
    • page 24
      • 8.0%
      • “Courage paired with folly becomes abandon, which is an honorable trait where I’m from, and should always be rewarded.”
      • Gosh I had missed Morpheus.
    • page 24
      • 8.0%
      • “It doesn’t matter if I’m crazy, as long as the madness helps me survive.”
  • 05/15
    • page 94
      • 32.0%
      • “You’re not too far from the truth, Jeb.”
    • page 120
      • 41.0%
      • Beginning of story three: Six Impossible Things
    • marked as: read

Overall

If you’ve read the rest of the series, then this is a good book for you. If not, then don’t bother, it will just cause more questions than it will solve.

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