Friday, 3 January 2014

ARC Review: Unhinged


Publication Date: January 7th 2014    (Also Jan 13th) 
~An Advance Readers Copy was provided by Amulet/Abrams & Chronicle in exchange for an honest review~

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.


Following the events in Wonderland, Unhinged starts off almost a year after Splintered's events. Alyssa's been down the rabbit hole, defeated Queen Red, taken her rightful crown and came out the other end a survivor-and intent on staying human, and to live a life with a now clueless Jeb, her Mother home and keeping her hands out of Wonderlands antic's. But, a certain Moth isn't ready to let go just yet..

Now Wonderlands leaking into the human realm and Alyssa might just lose her head.

I can't tell you how much I loved Unhinged, I can't say I loved it more than Splintered, because it seems to have, though a sequel, a completely different feeling. The characters, although familiar, had a different flare to them which reflected from the outcome of Splintered and the way it changed them made them stronger. The atmosphere was intense, and creepy and all things Wonderland, and I loved every minute of it. We got to see more of the way their world works, and another different side to it, an impossibly even more twisted side.
I loved the growth of Alyssa this time around, just like last time, she's a strong character, and she's still learning, but she knows who she is now, and that now, more than ever, she embraces it and doesn't want to hide it. The switch of medium through her art, in Splintered she used bugs for her outlet, not just to shut up the jabbering things but it was a way to centre herself, the same way Jeb does. In Unhinged, now Al's use is of clear glass beads and her own blood. Which, also takes a centre role, and it much more important than Alyssa ever thought, such a clever entwine.

Although I love Jeb, for the first half of it I was getting frustrated with him just as Al was. One minute he's the Jeb that made me fall in love with him in Splintered, and the next he's...different. More focused on his work, but it's for the right reasons and he way more than makes up for it. And then there's the fact that he's not technically the Jeb we had in Splintered, since through Alyssa's wish he never went down the rabbit hole to begin with , so we're relearning him, and I still loved him after. There's also darker workings at force.
I was loving the Morpheus distractions, too. Pretty, devious son of a bug Morpheus, what a wicked mouth you have. I'm torn between loving you and stabbing you, because of that which I can't say what because it will Unhinge (get it? I'm so sorry) the rest of the plot, but it's a massive one and important one to everything. He's devious and ruthless and...and I still can't hate him for it, though I wanted to. I'm team Jeb dammit,. I am I am I am. Okay, fine, I give in. I'm not team Jebpheus, happy?

I know I am. ;)

The perfect continuation from Splintered, Unhinged was madness and crazy combined into a pocket of badassery encased with gruesome creatures and magic. Suspense and a cliff-hanger that'll leave you wanting Ensnared the minute you finish reading, Wonderland really was only the beginning.
Rating: 5/5