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BOOK REVIEW: FTN reviews Unhinged by AG Howard

February 13th, 2014 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

Author: A.G. Howard
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books (1 Jan 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419710478
ISBN-13: 978-1419710476.

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’ 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.

Dark, delightful and deliciously macabre. As a huge fan of Lewis Carol’s original Alice in Wonderland, I was skeptical about how a re-imaging would work, however Unhinged hooked me from the minute I had the book in my hands and saw how amazingly beautiful the cover was. By the time I had reached halfway through the novel I was hooked, the characters are so well imagined and delightfully dark and twisted. I was incredibly impressed with Howard’s genuine respect for Carol’s original novel and her inventive, but explainable, reasons for the differences of her Wonderland.

The plot is an emotional roller-coaster; every character goes through such a long and difficult journey. The book is centred on a wonderful love triangle that is not black or white just many chaotic shades of grey. It’s a really interesting plot that racks up the drama and excitement and unlike other novels doesn’t detract from the life and death matters of the rest of the novel.

In short, the characters are well imagined, the plot is thrilling and the re-imagining of the world of Wonderland is divine. Unhinged takes the madness that is Wonderland and seeps it into our world, drop by delightful drop.

5 out of 5 nerds



I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.