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Unhinged Review

1103 words - 5 pages

You may remember that I really liked Splintered, but that my issues with the love triangle meant it got a 4/5. In Splintered, I didn't particularly love either Jeb or Morpheus, but the love triangle wasn't too big of a block for me because of the fantastic world-building going on as well. Unfortunately, the love triangle felt like a huge part of this story and by the end of Unhinged I had a definite preference for one side of the triangle.

The imagery in Unhinged is beautifully done, just as it was in Splintered. A.G. Howard has a knack for making scenes come alive, for evocative, powerful writing that never feels forced or flowery. Although we don't get to see much of Wonderland, we do ...view middle of the document...

She explores her netherling side, treads dangerously close to overstepping a few lines and tries to come to terms with the fact that she's not 100% human. She goes from sticking her head in the sand to fighting for her life, and she discovers some uncomfortable truths about Wonderland, about herself, and about her mother.

My real issue with Unhinged was Morpheus. He is a huge part of this book, and of the love triangle, and I just didn't like him overly much. He felt too extreme - sort of like if you crossed (a small part) Spike from Buffy with (a large part) Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter. He had lots of characteristics I'd normally like in a bad-boy ish character (see Spike, above): the cockney accent, the coats, the ego...but when you add in all his netherling traits as well, and make him change from good to bad every hour, it was too much for me. It felt like a lot of this book was taken up by Morpheus does bad thing, Alyssa hates herself for trusting him, Morpheus turns out to have done good thing (or bad thing for good reason), Alyssa hates herself for doubting him. Repeat.

I understand the need to have a character who's not black and white, and even to have a character whose allegiance you're not quite sure of (Snape, anyone?), but in Unhinged, it felt overdone to me. By the end of the book, I'd sort of expect Alyssa to either a) have decided once and for all whether Morpheus can be trusted or not or b) have ditched him because his constant changes are exhausting.

Jeb, the other side to the love triangle, really grew on me throughout the book. He’s got some faults, and he’s occasionally overly concerned with his career but his motivations are good. He’s desperate to do well, yes for his own sake, but also so that he and Alyssa can afford somewhere to live in England next year, and to impress her dad so that he’ll see Jeb as responsible and allow Alyssa to go. He’s...

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