Ensnared Cover Reveal!

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love the Splintered series by A.G. Howard, a modern-day Goth spin on “Alice in Wonderland.” The trilogy, started with Splintered (reviewed here) and Unhinged (reviewed here), will conclude with Ensnared in January. The author has been doing a week-long cover reveal that concluded today on Two Chicks on Books. The cover showcases Jeb:

Ensnared Final Cover

Ensnared Final Cover (Amulet Books/ABRAMS)

If you saw the preliminary cover, which was yanked after it was accidentally posted on Edelweiss, you should agree that this is a big improvement. I generally don’t care for Jeb as a character (I’m a Morpheus fan), but this Jeb looks sympathetic and vulnerable (as opposed to the almost villainous looking Jeb on the prelim cover). I love that it’s red, so it looks great with the other two covers from the series.

Splintered Series Covers

Splintered Series Covers

Ensnared will release in hardcover and ebook formats on January 6, 2015. Are you excited? I’m excited!

 

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard

Unhinged Front Cover (Amulet Books)

Unhinged Front Cover (Amulet Books)

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!

Unhinged Sample Chapter by A. G. Howard

Unhinged Front Cover (Amulet Books)

Unhinged Front Cover (Amulet Books)

If you read my previous review of Splintered by A. G. Howard, you already know that I love the character of Morpheus. So I’m wildly excited to see that the sample chapter for its sequel, Unhinged, features Morpheus and not Jeb. WHEEE!!!!!

Morpheus interrupts a particularly intimate moment between Jeb and Alyssa (that’s my boy!) to pull Alyssa into Wonderland…and looks damn fine while doing it, wearing a black duster coat, red suade pants, and a poet shirt with lacy cuffs. (I’m getting a cross between Captain Jack Harkness and Duran Duran, which is pretty close to perfection for an 80s freak. If you’re too young to have appreciated Duran Duran, go find the video for “Come Undone” and you’ll see what I mean. DO IT NOW!) Anyway..without giving away too many details from Splintered, Morpheus wants Alyssa to return to straighten Wonderland out. Some of the loose ends are ruining the land, and it falls to her to put things right.

Alyssa, of course, refuses because she wants to be with Jeb (because she’s crazy), so Morpheus threatens to come live in the real world instead. Which, from the description of Unhinged, seems to actually happen.

I am all but giddy over this delicious sample chapter, and wildly excited for this book. Mark your calendars: it is scheduled to release on January 7, 2014. I give just the sample chapter 10 out of 5 teacups. (Hey, I can do that…it’s my blog. )
Note: This review is based on a sample chapter provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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