You know how much I love retellings of classic stories and fairytales, so I was pretty excited when I got “Splintered” from the library. It’s a very funky take on the original “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, with some crazy-wild twists thrown in that make “Splintered” very much the author’s own.
Inventiveness/Creativity: 9 (her admirable ability to wholly re-craft the story was what kept me pushing through to the end)
Overall Storyline: 7
Execution: 7 (this is a non-biased view of her actual ability, not my opinion of the story)
My Overall Interest: 5. I have to break it down into sub categories because I was a little torn.
Okay, first 200 pages: 8 for blow my mind creativity and a 6 for feeling detached from the actual story.
Once Morpheous was introduced (next 100 pages): 9 for increased interest—I hate to say I kind of loved him—though the story had its ups and downs quite a bit after that (I know; I am completely dissecting the book).
Ending: 4 Though it was technically a “happy” end where everything was tied up nicely, I was a little disappointed with how things were finalized. Call me a predictable sap, but I love perfect, even sometimes unrealistic endings. It’s fantasy for a reason, people!
Recommend: A one-time read, in my opinion.If you have other books to read, this one can definitely wait, unless you’re bored and just want some unique filler, then give it a go if you like funky and strange YA fantasy. But if you’re on a dystopian kick like I am, then maybe save this one for another time or read at your own discretion. (And now I remember why I usually steer clear of YA fantasy: What’s with the tongue kissing? Grodie!)
My take on it: Completely wild and crazy and unique as the story kicks off. Like I said, funky is the operative word. Most of the creatures the author imagined are a little more grotesque (?) than the original fluffy white rabbit and almost cuddly, albeit blubberous, walrus and other creatures in Lewis’ tale and the Disney film, though I kind of liked that about it. But the good creatures and fairylike characters were fascinating and very inventive, and even the sometimes grodie creatures the author presented in the story to block Alyssa’s path were interesting, though at times they were a bit much. However, I loved the fact that our bad boy/childhood friend and Wonderland guide, Morpheous, was the Caterpillar-turned butterfly. He. Was. AWESOME! In, like, a crazy way. And I mean, Kuh-razy! He was ultimately what pushed me to finish the story. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the tale, but mostly I stuck it through because I admired the author’s ability to completely spin the idea and create a 100% unique backstory for generations of Wonderland characters, while also—technically—staying true to Lewis’ original tale. “Splintered” is a little dark, though it’s almost a juxtaposition to the brightness of the story, which I did like, though I think sometimes it got a little too strange for my liking. I know I’m going back and forth on my opinion of it, but this is how I felt reading the book. I wasn’t sure whether to be grossed out, roll my eyes, keep reading, drool over Morpheous, or applaud the author’s aplomb and finesse with such a crazy—dare I say strangely awesome?—storyline. I think I liked it more because I honestly was amazed and sometimes took a moment to marvel at the author’s craftiness. Praise for her talent aside, I can’t necessarily recommend this book, since I had to force myself a little bit to finish it—and Morpheous completely stabbed me in the back!—but if it sounds like something you’re interested in, don’t let my entirely confused and fickle review stop you!