Saturday, January 23, 2016

#Saturday Review - Untamed by A.G. Howard (Young Adult, Fantasy)

Series: Splintered # 3.5
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Release Date: December 15,2015
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

A 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.

Untamed is a companion novel to the Splintered Trilogy which ended with the release of Ensnared. Untamed features a collection of three stories that feature Alyssa and her family. The stories look into the future after Alyssa left Wonderland, and what happened next to Alyssa, Morpheus, and Jeb who continues to get so much hate mail, that it really saddens me. 

The Boy in the Web is from the perspective of Alyssa's mother Alison Gardner. This story tells Alison's story from the time she first met Morpheus and was tricked into trying to become Queen, to falling in love with her own knight in shining armor (Thomas Gardner who spent 10 years as Sister Two's prisoner), to becoming mortal for the first time since she was 16 years old. I liked this story because we really didn't get a full scope of what really happened between Alison, Wonderland, and Morpheus. Although the story is relatively short at 73 pages, it fills in story gaps and that is perfectly acceptable. Especially the adorable romance between Alison and Thomas.

The second story is called The Moth in the Mirror. This story has a good name actually. Morpheus's machinations. We get a look at Morpheus looking into Jebediah's life and trying to ruin any chance he has with Alyssa. Perhaps this story can enlighten readers as to why you should cut Jeb a break. Morpheus played Jeb like a violin time and time again to get him to go away so that he, Morpheus, could have Alyssa all to himself. I respect Jeb after reading this. I respect him because he gave up everything, including his muse, in order to protect, and be with Alyssa. I've always felt funny about how the trilogy was left off with Alyssa having (2) people in her heart, and being "allowed" to have a normal human life with Jeb, before having an immortal one with Morpheus.

Six Impossible Things is the longest of the three stories and the most emotional as well. It begins decades into the future with Alyssa as an old woman knowing that her life as a human is coming to an end. Alyssa has had a full life with children and grandchildren of her own, and a life with Jeb with no regrets. The story slides back in time to important periods of Alyssa's life with Jeb, and the memories they made together. Author really got me with the chapter called Memory 3; Stardust. Definitely one of the more emotional chapters in this entire series. I warn you, have tissues nearby. Don't discount Stones, or Seashells for their importance to Alyssa and her human life. The book ends with Alyssa's new immortal life with Morpheus and being the Red Queen once again and a nice surprise for readers who stood by these characters from the first book, forward.

Overall, I respect that author Howard wrote this companion novel for her fans. I respect that we get more than just a simplistic Epilogue at the end of Ensnared. Although I still have anger issues towards Morpheus at times, you can't just ignore him, or his love for Alyssa, or how much he got her ready to become the Red Queen. 

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  1. OOoh nice review! I still need to read this one but I have already read The Moth and the Mirror as an ebook when I was originally reading the trilogy. But I am excited for the new stories.

    The whole romance issue was an issue for me as well. And instead of getting into a long ranting commentary/debate on it all, I'll just say that it is quite possible that I am agreeing with you, if I am reading the context right here! LOL!

    Lovely review! Looking forward to this last glimpse of this particular Wonderland!

  2. Great review. My friend just gave me this trilogy to borrow and read.

    1. Awesome! I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did!