First, I need to thank Amulet Books; I was so excited to be one of the winners of an advance copy on Goodreads! So thank you very much. I loved Splintered, and could not wait to get my hands on this book. Please keep in mind: although I do not claim to be “Team Morpheus” or an “Alyssa/Morpheus shipper,” I really enjoy Morpheus and do not like Jeb. You have been warned.
NOTE: This review will container spoilers for SPLINTERED, the first book in the series.
THE PLOT: We pick up about a year after Splintered left off. Alyssa and Jeb have been dating for a year (gag), and Alyssa’s mother has picked up the reins of motherhood after her release from the mental hospital. But Morpheus contacts Alyssa…just happening to break up a romantic interlude with Jeb…to tell her Wonderland is in trouble and needs her. When she refuses to help, Morpheus comes through to the real world (stealing a mortal’s body, natch) and proceeds to make life difficult for her at school. But what IS going on here? Is Red really the culprit? And what part in all this is Alyssa’s mother really playing? There’s a couple of very interesting secrets there. And a vision of the future that turns Alyssa’s world upside down. I just LOVE where Alyssa ended up at the end of this book. Such a shock, and yet perfect.
MY TWO CENTS: I love the macabre setting of this world, the clothing descriptions, and the weird art. The author seems to paint a very vivid picture without ever putting the reader into detail overload. I know pro-Jeb readers will probably hate that I loathe him so much and try to convince me what a good guy he is. Don’t. I don’t like him. Sure, he’s done some good things, but I don’t think he’s a fundamentally consistently good guy. He’s also got the drawback of being a regular old human. When he does stupid and selfish stuff, he doesn’t have the benefit of being able to say, “Hey, I’m a mystical creature from a magical land!” I guess I expect better from a human. I just can’t root for him.
That doesn’t mean I’m necessarily campaigning for Alyssa to end up with Morpheus, though, either. Sure, he’s tons more charismatic, and I think, despite his MANY flaws (he’s a chronic lying manipulator), he better completes Alyssa’s true identity. However, I personally think the best thing for Alyssa would be to walk away from them both, at least for a while. I feel like Alyssa needs time to grow up, to grasp who she REALLY is before she makes any kind of permanent choice. Alyssa may get some of that time at the beginning of Ensnared, since I don’t know that she (or the reader) will see either Jeb OR Morpheus right away. She’s off on a rescue mission, plus there are some issues with her parents.
BOTTOM LINE: I wish Ensnared wouldn’t be the last volume, but I can’t wait to get my hands on it in any case!
TEACUP RATING: Five out of five cups full of magical tea. Enjoy!