{Book Review} Ensnared by A.G. Howard

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{Book Review} Ensnared by A.G. HowardEnsnared by A. G. Howard
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Abrams on January 6th 2015
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
five-stars
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 violent netherling outcasts.In the final installment of the wildly popular 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 if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?

She survived the prom-pocalyspe, and now Alyssa is on her way to London to retrieve her mother from Wonderland and save Jeb and Morpheus from AnyElsewhere. She’s finally accepted her Netherling side; embracing the madness within, and trying to learn how to let both sides of her coexist. In order to save her world and the ones she loves, she’ll have to defeat Red at her own game. With the rabbit hole destroyed and underlying secrets resurfacing, she will be dragged into the deepest, darkest types of magic she’s ever experienced. With so much going astray, is it possible for everyone to have their happily ever after?

“Wonderland is violent and bizarre, but charming in its own way. AnyElsewhere is a whole new level of cruelty.”

The final installment of the Splintered series offered a new kind of insanity. After the shocking, tantalizing ending of the second novel, it was impossible not to get swept away in the madness. From the first page, Alyssa rushed to save those she loved, no matter the cost. Throughout the entire series, she had been struggling to come to terms with both sides of her—the human side and the Netherling side. The story became more enthralling when she’s propelled into the psychedelic AnyElsewhere where Jeb and Morpheus are being held prisoner by the iron dome and grotesque creatures—or are they? (You’ll have to read and find out!)

I learned more about Alyssa’s dad, and their delicate relationship had the opportunity to piece back together. Whereas the beginning of the series focused on the problems with Alyssa’s mother, it was interesting to learn more about the other side of her life—the one that everyone had discarded. It added a new, engrossing piece of the story, which only increased the inability to put the book down.

Choosing between Jeb and Morpheus had been a main issue for Alyssa throughout the entire series. By the end of the Unhinged her choice remained ambiguous and only became more clouded as half her heart ached for Jeb and the other yearned for Morpheus. Even though the calamitous relationship was integral to the story, she knew what she decided affected two possible futures that included more than just her. How her decisions would affect others played at the corners of her mind, making each step more delicate and thought-out. The series has been a growing experience for her, and she had to learn to be a queen and remain the skater girl Jeb knew. Toss in a few life-magic vows, and Howard took me on a roller coaster of emotions. I loved both of the guys, but like Alyssa, for different reasons; however, I enjoyed how Howard choose to end it.

This was a wonderful way to end a heart-pounding series. “This book is ruining my life” would be an appropriate way to describe my thoughts as I was riveted by the Wonderland masterpiece. Once I turned the last page, I still wasn’t ready to let these characters go.

“’…what a wonderfully powerful force an imagination can be.’”

But do not distress! A.G. Howard previewed the cover for the Splintered companion at the North Texas Young Adult Book Festival, and my feet are already twitching to jump back down the rabbit hole.

Moriah (1)

About A. G. Howard

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A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. Her pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

SPLINTERED & UNHINGED, books 1 & 2 of her urbanized /gothic Alice in Wonderland series, are now available from Amulet Books. Book 3, ENSNARED, launches 2015.

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