Friday, January 29, 2016

Book Review: Untamed by A.G. Howard

Title: Untamed
Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered Series #3.5
Genre: YA Retelling (Alice in Wonderland)
Release Date: December 2015

Goodreads' summary:

Cover of Untamed by A.G. Howard on Amber the Blonde WriterA post-Ensnared collection of three stories—available in both print and e-versions. Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland. 

In Six Impossible Things, Alyssa recalls the most precious moments of her life after Ensnared, and the role magic plays in preserving the happiness of those she loves. Alyssa’s mother reminisces about her own time in Wonderland and rescuing the man who would become her husband in The Boy in the Web. And Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories of the events of Splintered in The Moth in the Mirror, available in print for the first time.

This collection expands upon Ensnared's epilogue, and includes some deleted scenes to provide a “director’s cut” glimpse into the past and futures of our favorite Splintered characters.

My review:

I couldn't get enough of Ensnared when it ended, but this collection helped carry me over and heal some of the pain of leaving Morpheus behind. The stories were divided into Alison, Morpheus, and Alyssa's memories, and while I wanted a little more from Alyssa, I liked how Howard arranged everything.

The first two stories have been available before, showing readers glimpses of scenes that weren't shown in the series. Alison's parting with Morpheus is completely different from Alyssa's. Morpheus and Alison had more of a partnership with minimal friendship, and I loved seeing his original fae personality when he simply wanted to avenge Alice. Even seeing him in "The Moth and the Mirror" showed a little more of his political savvy where Wonderland is concerned.

The reason I gave this book a less-than-perfect rating is because of "Six Impossible Things." I know so many readers wanted to know what Alyssa's life with Jeb was like, and Howard delivered. This story highlights not only the beginning and the end of Alyssa's time in the human realm, but the small moments in between. It was a very sweet and heartbreaking goodbye to those we grew to love in the series.

However, I was selfish (as always) and wanted more of Morpheus. I wanted to see his and Alyssa's day-to-day life in Wonderland. Instead, it also highlights the scenes left out in the books. I appreciated a glimpse into the night they spent together before Alyssa returned to the human world in Ensnared, but I wanted so much more post-Ensnared.

That being said, there was nothing wrong with the story in any way: I just want an entire 10-book series dedicated to Morpheus' daily life. This collection is a wonderful way to say goodbye to not only Alyssa Gardner and her knights, but also to the life she lived as a human. Her netherling side is fantastic and wonderful, and I'm so glad we ended with something to pay homage to it. 

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Last note: I will be seeing A.G. Howard tonight at Barnes & Noble to hear her  talk about Untamed. I am beyond excited and so happy to meet and hear her! Expect a post tomorrow about all the awesomeness that will ensue!

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