When I saw that cover, and that tagline, I knew I had to read this book. It was love at first sight. I actually got an e-book of this, which I regret because I saw the physical copy for sale at my local bookstore and kicked myself because it is so, so utterly beautiful and was just begging to come home with me. And when I read the summary and saw that it was a retelling of Alice In Wonderland, I was even more intrigued. AIW was never my favorite story as a kid, in fact I found it kind of creepy, but as I grew up I understood it better and enjoyed it. I haven't read the book, but I might eventually. I've never been great with classics.
The author, A.G. Howard, seriously has all kinds of talent with describing Wonderland and all its quirky traits. I really saw everything in my mind vividly - the rabbit hole, the sea or clams, the talking flowers. And when a book can transport me to another world in such a way, I immediately take a strong liking to it. So for this, it gets an extra star. Wonderland reminds me a lot of Faery. There are obviously differences (the aversion to iron, for example) but they also feel very similar in their craziness.
I liked the heroine of the book, Alyssa. I questioned some of her decisions, but overall she was alright. There's a love triangle presented here, though it borders on the whole villian-is-taking-part-as-a-love-interest trend we seem to be seeing a lot of in YA lately. Honestly, I haven't really minded this happening, because I feel like it makes them a little more interesting and less cliche than usual. If I absolutely have to read a love triangle, which I do in this genre, let it be one like this.
The two boys of the book are Jeb and Morpheus. I've seen Jeb get some hate in other reviews because of his help in making Alyssa's father demand that she stay where she is rather than move to London like she wanted to. And while I guess that bothered me, it didn't seem like a huge deal. I did, however, get a little irritated with him and his girlfriend, Taelor (I think it was spelled a little differently than normal, not sure). She's pretty mean to Alyssa in general, and I felt like Jeb didn't do very much to defend Alyssa, who is apparently his close friend. And then later in the book it is revealed that Jeb dated her as a distraction because he really loved Alyssa but couldn't be with her for some reason or other. He could have picked someone a little less vicious. Just saying.
Morpheus was an interesting character. I was a little thrown off at first with the whole big black wings thing and obsession with hats, but once that was out of the way I pictured him much easier. I love people in books whose intentions and motives are hard to guess, and he is such a person. I won't lie and say I wasn't disappointed in the end with Alyssa's choice. I understood why, and the reasoning behind it, but that doesn't stop the wanting.(view spoiler)
The pacing of Splintered is good, though there were bits and pieces here and there that confused me, eventually it all got put together rather nicely and now I understand what happened (I think). I believe this book is a standalone, but there is definitely room for sequels, and I will definitely be looking into them should A.G. Howard ever decide to write them.