By: A. G. Howard
Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
Published by: Angry Robot and Brilliance Audio 1/08/2014
13 hrs and 12 mins
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole. She was crowned Queen of the Red Court and faced the Bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the boy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly appealing Morpheus. Now all she has to do is graduate high school.
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 at school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland – where she (partly) belongs.
Could she leave Jeb and her parents behind again, for the sake of a man she knows has manipulated her before? Will her mother and Jeb trust her to do what’s right? Listeners will swoon over the satisfying return to Howard’s bold, sensual reimagining of Carroll’s classic.
©2014 A.G. Howard (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc
Unhinged Audiobook Sample
If you are new to the series, you can read my thoughts on Splintered (book # 1) HERE.
While the world of Wonderland was offstage in Unhinged, the relationship between the characters, the progress in their development, and Alyssa’s parents back story made Unhinged an entertaining listen despite its slow beginning.
Unlike its predecessor Unhinged (book # 2 in the series) lacked a little of the wonder and the richness I enjoyed so much in Splintered, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I did.
If you are a big fan of Splintered you might be a little disappointed, the human world could never be as entertaining as Ms. Howard’s Wonderland; nevertheless, the advances in the story make Unhinged a worthy sequel of this fascinating series.
We still see and enjoy much of the magical imagination from Ms. Howard. Her story telling is unique, dark, creepy and original as ever.
There is a spin on a main character that might have felt awkward and not really believable since it’s so different from the impression I got in Splintered, but Ms. Howard managed to make it work in Unhinged, adding an unexpected twist that just enriched the story.
Ms. Howard teases and pulls our streams in two different directions, although, in my case, I know which way I want it to go; I’m a big fan of that cover, so you can imagine my heart’s direction, plus I just love mysterious, dark and a bit unreliable characters; those are the kind that keep me on my toes……And I love that!
So yes, I got a favorite, but I don’t blame you for falling for the good, and all too loyal boy.
No crazy trip down to the rabbit hole in Unhinged, but that doesn’t stop wonderland for coming for Alyssa, and for making this entry another thrilling ride.
Morpheus, the constant companion and what seems to be a permanent fixture in Alyssa’s mind, is determined to make her come back to rescue Wonderland, and between the eminent danger Alyssa faces from the Red Queen, and the added strain in her relationship with Jeb (due to her inability to talk to him about what transpired in Wonderland) we find our little heroine struggling to find her placement, when she should be just a happy teen getting ready for her school graduation.
Just when we think we know where the story is heading, another twist derails our thoughts…. And that’s another part I found very enjoyable
I’m not a huge fan of cliffhangers, but yet again, I found myself in another one, and I’ve been left with my heart torn, and dying for the next book.
My thoughts about Unhinged are just from a listener’s point of view; I have only experienced this series on audio.
I’m happy to say once again that narrator Rebecca Gibel does a terrific job with the interpretation of the story and its characters.
Her tempo, pace, and her array voices make these books a great listen.
Although, when I first listened to Splintered, I thought Ms. Gibel’s interpretation of Morpheus was just adequate, I LOVED it in Unhinged. She really makes you feel the devilish nature behind the character.
She does a wonderful job with Alyssa; she delivers a likable character by softening some traits that I might have found frustrating if they weren’t delivered in such sympathetic manner.
And a big YES for Jeb’s fans, she does a great interpretation.
All in all, this is a good performance by this talented narrator that once again knows how to get out of the way, and just lets the characters tell the story while she nicely transports you to the setting and accurately lets you experience the magic in A. G. Howard’s writing.