Author: A.G. Howard
Format: ERC/ Audio
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
Date of Publication: January 6th, 2015
Rating: 5 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? -Goodreads
One of the most difficult tasks that any author can undertake has to be that of topping themselves. Particularly when the author in question just happens to be A.G. Howard, and the anticipated work is the final installment in her fantastical reworking of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland classic.
What authoress Howard has managed to present to audiences in this, the third offering in the Splintered series, is nothing less than literary perfection.
This third tale sees Alyssa and her father on the Memory Train, in an effort to help him find his missing memories of his time in Wonderland. As this branch of the storyline is explored, Alyssa's father is truly able to take his rightful place as an active player in the Wonderland side of things. As opposed to standing on the sidelines, or functioning mainly to anchor Alyssa to the human world.
It is in large part the revelations made through the uncovering of these lost aspects of Alyssa's father's past that work to set the stage for the major events of the story. The time that the two spend together, also works to shore up the father daughter bond that has been a common thread throughout previous books.
With this book taking place in the no man's land of AnyElseWhere. There is a urgency to get back to Wonderland that drives that plot, and helps to maintain a very good momentum throughout the course of the read.
Because AnyElsewhere is a place where chaos and savagery are given to ruling the day; Howard's flair for the darker and baser motives and actions of her cast is allowed to reign unchecked, with delicious and disturbingly decadent results.
Jeb, though still tied to his role as the long suffering 'White Knight', is allowed to wield a surprising amount of creative power. This does nothing to negate the fact that try as he might, Jeb is forever destined to play a very distant 'second fiddle' to Morpheus in the grand scheme of things.
Speaking of Morpheus. This is the when readers are treated to a kinder and more emotionally expressive, albeit nonetheless manipulative side to this most lovable rogue.
He it seems, is doing all he can to ensure his future as both a part of Wonderland, and the man in Alyssa's life.
To that end...
It must be mentioned that the 'love triangle' that has plagued this series from the beginning is dealt with in a most unusual way.
And then there is Red.
Nasty as ever, and ever on the lookout for a chance to destroy. Red is allowed to be the villain that only she can. Her scenes of murder and mayhem provide much of the blood and gore found in this tale. Readers are also treated to a look 'behind her mask' as we are made privy to her memories.
She is the source of the epic 'good versus evil' battle that no self respecting conclusion can be without.
Ensnared is the perfect title for this last book. It have everything that a great story needs to captivate, charm, enthrall, and fascinate readers of all ages across the whole of time.
About A.G. Howard