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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Audio #Review: Ensnared by A.G. Howard - 5 Wine Glasses



22447220Title: Ensnared 
Series: Splintered #3
Author: A.G. Howard
Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins 
Format: Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:01-07-15
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Audio Book Jukebox 
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world--a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after? 



Linda's Thoughts:
"Your kingdom needs a queen, not a corpse..."

ENSNARED by A.G. Howard is the third and final book in the author's Splintered trilogy gifting the reader with a truly spectacular ending. It has something for everyone addicted to this series: It's action-packed, fast-paced, emotional and  imaginative beyond belief; It is a wild and chaotic roller coaster infused with swoons, creepy quirkiness and betrayals; and it's a macabre, obsession-inducing ride that gave me heart failure repeatedly. Whereas the first book was centered around Wonderland and the second book in the human world, ENSNARED starts out in the human world but quickly moves on splitting most of its action between AnyElsewhere and Wonderland. I loved it!

This is a series that needs to be enjoyed in order. I speak from experience as I initially tried to jump right into this book and was immediately hopelessly lost. When it hadn't gotten any better by the third chapter, I stopped. However, I was so determined to read this series, I purchased the first two books and started listening from the beginning. I'm so glad I did as the series is awesome. Just know that while there are series that can be enjoyed without reading the prior books - this is not one of them. 

The works of art that the author has utilized for her covers are what drew me to the series in the first place. I was so mesmerized that I did a bit of research on them. Credit for the creation of the bizarrely offbeat covers are due to the combined talents of cover designer Maria Middleton and artist Nathalia Suellen. KUDOS to both of them! The covers are magnificent!

The story begins shortly after UNHINGED had ended. Alyssa and her Dad are resolved to leave the human realm to rescue Alyssa's Mom, Jeb and Morpheus. But, first, they must retrieve Alyssa's Dad's memories. The action is fast-paced almost from the beginning and never lets up as the tangled web of required tasks gets more difficult and dangerous as long-held secrets are brought to light. 

I am grateful that all three books in the trilogy are available now so I was able to read them consecutively with no breaks between them. It would have been a challenge to remember everything that had happened previously if I'd had to wait a year or more between books.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes:

“Jebediah has given up on you, but I never will. I can offer you the security you desire. If you'll but be mine, your heart will forever be sheltered in my care. Yes, we will quarrel incessantly and fight for dominance. And yes, there will be ravishes of passion, but there will also be gentle lulls. That is who we are together. You'll never need fear that your love is not reciprocated. For although you've made me feel things I am not equipped for... I cannot stop feeling them.”
---

“Jeb is an anchor; he holds me grounded to my humanity and compassion. But Morpheus is the wind; he drags me kicking and screaming to the highest precipice, shoves me off, then watches me fly with netherling wings. When Jeb's at my side, the world is a canvas--unblemished and welcoming; when I'm with Morpheus, it's a wanton playground--wicked and addictive.”
---

“Netherling logic resides in the hazy border between sense and nonsense.” 

I started this series in audio, and, once I did, I could not imagine reading it. The savvy narrator, Rebecca Gibel is the perfect voice for this series. Her range of netherling voices was beyond amazing. Her voice was spot on for each character - and that's saying something since there's quite an array of characters. Her voicing of Jeb made me swoon each time while her voicing of some of the creepy characters gave me the chills. I would be remiss if I didn't mention her talented rendition of Morpheus' cockney accent. Wow! She made me feel like I was listening to multiple narrators when, in reality, it was her alone. Rebecca spun this wickedly inventive adventure with appropriate pacing, pauses, accents, and tones that held my rapt attention. After listening to Rebecca's narration of this trilogy, I can't imagine reading these books without Rebecca's interpretation.  Her narration most definitely increased my enjoyment of the series.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my sojourn with Alyssa, Jeb, Morpheus and all the quirky characters from Wonderland and AnyElsewhere in this brilliantly imaginative, enchanting, weird and wonderful series. I loved the ending and wrap-up to the love triangle even though it wasn't a complete surprise. Thank you, A.G. Howard, for the delightful epilogue that left me with the warm fuzzies. I will never think of my childhood classic tale of Alice of Wonderland the same way again. Now, though, I'm going to go enjoy a cup of tea and wish I was enjoying it in a magical Wonderland tea party. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys entertaining, vividly dark fairy tales!

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