Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday Reviews: Untamed by A.G. Howard


Title: Untamed (Splintered #3.5)
Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Format Read: Hardback
Rating: Five Stars

Description from Goodreads: 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 Heb'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.

I started this book in tears. They were unintentional tears, brought on by A.G. Howard and her dedication page, and they pretty much set the tone for how I was going to feel whilst reading UNTAMED.

Fans of the Splintered Series know where this book starts off, and they know where ENSNARED ended. There were a lot of mixed reactions to the ending of that one, which is one of the reasons I was so over-the-moon-excited for UNTAMED's release. A peek back into Wonderland was just what this fandom needed, and it's exactly what we got. 

Now.

For those of you reading this review who have NOT read the Splintered Series... Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil anything. I'll be vague in my review, because for me, this book was an experience. It wasn't just a read. It was a trip back into a world that I love as much as my own, that I did not expect to get. It was getting inside the heads of characters that I hadn't previously had the chance to get inside. It was seeing things from different perspectives, and coming out of it loving each of the characters a little bit more (I didn't even think that was possible, so...)

The thing about UNTAMED is that you absolutely have to, must, are obliged, and have now been forced, to read the first three books... well... first. UNTAMED is life after book three, and it should be treated as a fourth novel. Though it's contents are three novellas, they are, if read out of order, extremely spoilery. And this is not a series that you want spoiled for you, let me TELL you.

So, about the book.

As mentioned above, UNTAMED is chopped into three short stories. The first is THE BOY IN THE WEB, which is a story told from Alyssa's mother's point of view, and it is a mixture of past memories and post-ENSNARED... things. There is content in this novella that gives you a new perspective on the lives and actions of both Alyssa's mother and father, and really helps you to see why certain choices were made. Though it was pertinent information, this was my least favorite story of the three, for no other reason that my attachments are more to Alyssa/Jeb/Morpheus than Mr./Mrs. Gardner.

The second story, THE MOTH IN THE MIRROR, I've been waiting a long time to read. As you probably know if you follow the blog, e-reader bug my eyes, so it's a difficult thing for me when novellas are released as e-book only. But on some occasions, gems like UNTAMED happen, where an e-novella is printed, and my problem is solved. The excitement to read this story, (The shortest of the three) was extremely high, and it was everything I wanted it to be. Set between SPLINTERED and UNHINGED, it is of course from Morpheus' point of view, and mostly based on his struggling to win Alyssa over in comparison to her Mortal Knight. It leaves you feeling some things for the moth, a ball of emotions that you can't seem to pin down, and that is why I love it. This was my second favorite story in the book.

Last but certainly not least, SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS. 
Let me just. Be still my heart. I cannot.
I need a moment.


Okay, I'm back. SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS was phenomenal to read as a fan of this series. I can't touch much on it because it is definitely chock-full of spoilers for ENSNARED, but I can tell you that this story alone makes buying UNTAMED worth it. There are so many things, so much more information to the ENSNARED ending that we didn't previously know or get to see, that we now have complete knowledge of. It's an absolutely beautiful novella, definitely my favorite of the three. Hands down. 

And so emotional!
But then again, this whole book was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I deeply adore these characters, and to get an unexpected chance to relive moments from this world that I didn't even know existed... it was incredible.

Five glistening stars to UNTAMED, and a huge hope for more, someday. If you haven't read this series,you need to. If you have, but haven't bought UNTAMED, you don't understand what you're missing.

Happily,
Stephanie

P.S. Rabid White is my favorite and he is mine and you will never love him as much as I do, never never ever!

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