I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Ensnared by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #3
Published by Amulet Books on January 6th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Source: 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 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?
I adore this series. I’ve never made a secret of this. I described Splintered as “morbid, creepy, and utterly fascinating to read” and I stated that “A.G. Howard does magic, romance, and madness like no other” in my review for Unhinged. I had no idea what to expect from Ensnared. I was incredibly excited to read it, for obvious reasons, but when I pondered on how the story was going to end I blanked. Now I’ve read it, I truly would never have seen this coming.
While I loved Unhinged, I am so thrilled that Ensnared took place in Wonderland again. The twisting and bizarre world is back in its full glory: with its beautiful and creepy creatures that have this edge of insanity to them. We get to see Wonderland from a different angle, the looking-glass world–the parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. Everything described is just so wonderfully insane and bizarre that I just can’t help but love every single aspect of it. A.G. Howard’s writing and world building is so incredibly good. She has this way with words that make a story come alive.
Ensnared opened up with Alyssa’s dad’s story. Which is a great thing. Where Unhinged focussed a lot on her mom’s story, I’m incredibly happy that we get to know more about her father as well. I feel like parent’s often play a role in the background of the story. They’re there, but you don’t actually know much about them. I loved learning more about where her dad actually came from. We know Alyssa’s mom saved him from his fate in wonderland, but who was he before that? Ensnared holds the answers!
Alyssa became this whole new person. She’s developed so much since the first book, and in Ensnared she finally accepts her role as a Queen. She’s ready to take on Red, and she’s not going to back down. She’s embraced her responsibilities that come with her Netherling side. She’s darker, slightly more mad, and far more edgier than the girl we know from the previous books. She’s awesome.
Alyssa’s continuous struggle between Morpheus and Jeb was the one thing that had me worried. I couldn’t see how it would play out. I’ve been rooting for Morpheus since Unhinged. But then Jeb kinda grew on me again while reading the last book. Alyssa struggled, I struggled, and that got on my nerves because I don’t normally like love-triangles. Morpheus was his manipulative and wicked self. And I love his character, and his unpredictability. Jeb was distant. Which was a bit understandable, but he just wasn’t being fair. View Spoiler » I mean, he could accept Morpheus as a new friend, but he couldn’t forgive Alyssa? Those are some serious double standards. His attitude was extremely nasty at times and it was hard to like him when he was purposefully being mean. « Hide Spoiler
The ending. I’ve never seen an ending like this before. I think a part of me was expecting this to happen. It’s creative. But there’s this part of me that’s puzzled and a bit confused. View Spoiler » Maybe I would’ve liked for Alyssa to have picked one of the guys, because that’s what would happen in real life. « Hide Spoiler I don’t think this kind of ending has been done before. In the end, I think the ending fit the book. Creative, unexpected, and a bit bizarre. It fits with the wonderland A.G. Howard created.
Ensnared. But then again, I love the world and it’s characters. I absolutely love what A.G. Howard has done with the original tale. The ending was creative and while I have mixed feelings about it, it fit the madness of Wonderland. I love the Splintered series, and I loved Ensnared.