Alyssa has returned from Wonderland, but her adventures are far from over in this convoluted sequel to Splintered (2013).
After defeating Queen Red and rescuing her artist boyfriend, Jeb, Alyssa hopes for a semi-normal finish to her high school career. With her mother back from the mental hospital after 11 years, prom and graduation on the horizon, and Jeb’s burgeoning art career ahead, Alyssa works hard to forget about Wonderland and her netherling powers. Though jealous of Jeb’s rich, young female patrons and worried about his memory loss, Alyssa believes they have a future together, even as Morpheus, her childhood tutor and creepy suitor, demands that she love him and fight Queen Red. But when Alyssa won’t come to Wonderland, it comes to her, in a perverted medley of Carroll’s creations. Howard excels in sensory and sensuous descriptions but prizes details over plot. Readers who appreciate a Gothic love triangle, body modification, eerie art and brooding-artist types will enjoy this colorful but creepy offering and await the next installment. Anyone seeking Alice will have to look elsewhere.
A world of weirdness that, sadly, necessitates a sequel. (Fantasy. 14 & up)