This review can be found on my blog.
Howard creates a “darker” twist to the fairy tale we know as Alice in Wonderland. So everyone claims in the reviews, I for one don’t agree that it’s entirely dark. I think it’s just a different twist to the world. One that is quite similar to Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland.
The summary of the book was completely different from what I felt the book was like. The summary described the book to be way more interesting than what Howard actually created. The cover did not represent the book well. Howard could have picked a better cover to represent her novel. The cover looks like a mash-up between children toys and slime. It’s completely awry from the theme of the book. I try not to judge a book by its cover which is why I read the summary before deciding if I want to read the book.
The story is told in Alyssa’s view, which allowed a closer look in to her “insanity”. I did not connect to Alyssa at all. There wasn’t any characters I could even relate too. I found Jeb to be a shallow, boring, flat character. The reader was basically forced fed information about him. I liked Morpheus better than Jeb. Both were annoying but at least his character had a bit of depth compared to Jeb.
Like any other YA novel, this one has romance in it. Splintered not only has romance, but there’s a love triangle in it too. SURPRISE! Anyone? Not surprised? Me either.
It was obvious the author would be taking this route. Alyssa is in a similar situation as another character I know. Bella Swan, anyone? Alyssa likes both of the guys but manages to choose one for the time being. Through the story, it was evident that there was more focus on the romance, causing the book to unhinge from the highly spoken of plot.
Howard’s writing is a long way from good. Splintered is plain, simple and often very dull. I felt like some of the literary devices were placed in very awkward positions. And sometimes it felt like Howard pulled out a thesaurus and just picked the most impressive word to use.
The exposition was difficult to plow through. I thought that once I finished the boring exposition that it would get better, it kind of did. But, I had to drag myself through certain poorly written passages to follow the plot.
The pacing was rough.
I started to feel that certain scenes lost its impact with unnecessarily babble. I really hated when Howard stopped the flow of the novel just to give the reader a description dump. The novel starts to lose its focus as more and more when that happens. It’s very clear that it is her debut novel and hopefully she’ll continue to improve in writing before publishing another one.
By all means, Splintered is not as dark as others and Howard claimed it to be. I guess I had over expectations on how the novel would be. Still Splintered is a fairly interesting read once we get in to wonderland. And when the pacing is just right, it’s a delight. But since the pacing is rough, it was quite uncommon to get those delightful moments. Although truth be told it’s definitely something to keep you busy until something better comes along.