Monday, March 21, 2016

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

25105196Title: UNTAMED
Series: Splintered, Book #3.5
Author: A. G. Howard
Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
Format: Unabridged Audiobook, 8 hrs and 43 mins
Published: Blackstone Audio, Dec 15, 2015
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Audiobook Jukebox
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

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.

Linda's Thoughts:
"You're exquisite. You're transcendent. And you are mine."

I loved, loved, loved UNTAMED by A. G. Howard. I have listened to the author's entire Splintered series and it's truly awesome audio entertainment. UNTAMED is a collection of short stories expounding on events and the characters in the Splintered series. For that reason, I would not recommend it as a stand-alone read. Without knowledge of the individual characters and what transpired in the series, UNTAMED would be confusing and disjointed. The series was so fantastic. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the entire series in order. IF you love fantasies, you will be mesmerized.

UNTAMED consists of three short novellas. Each includes snippets of memories. I thoroughly enjoyed each one. The first was entitled 'The Boy in the Web.' It was told from Alison's (Alyssa's mother) point of view. This story goes back to when Alison saved Thomas from the clutches of the ruthless Sister Two and her horrifying dream webs. Reading how the plight of Alyssa's father touched Alison's heart and how Alison rescued him was tender and adorable. Morpheus was in this tale and this story exemplified how different Alison's relationship with Morpheus was from Alyssa's.

The last two stories in UNTAMED were my favorites. The second was entitled 'Moth in the Mirror.' It had been previously published only in ebook form (Book #1.5). I had not formerly read it. It is told from Morpheus' point of view. In it, Morpheus goes to the memory train to discover Jeb's weaknesses by watching Jeb's memories of Wonderland. However, while looking for Jeb's weaknesses, Morpheus comes to the realization that Jeb is actually honorable, admirable and truly in love with Alyssa, and only wanting the best for her. I freely confess to being on Team Jeb and I was a happy camper with it.

'Six Impossible Things' was the final novella. The first part of it delved into Alyssa's life with Jeb after Book 3. Again, being on Team Jeb, I was thrilled reminiscing the memories of Alyssa's and Jeb's  human lives together. However, parts of their story literally had me bawling. I was driving home when I was listening to this particular story and had to stop listening as I was crying too much to drive. The last part of this same story focused on a happy event in the life of Alyssa and Morpheus in Wonderland. Even though I wasn't onboard with Team Morpheus, their story was funny. It touched my heart and left me with a huge smile... and even wiping a tear or two. I may have even gravitated a bit to Team Morpheus for a short while. 'Six Impossible Things' was what I would consider a true epilogue to the Splintered trilogy and ends with a very satisfactory second happy ever after ending.

Following please find a few of my very favorite quotes from this wonderful listen:

“Human emotions can be a powerful thing. They can make you see things in an entirely different light.”

“An old childhood playmate once told me ‘second guessing every step prevents any forward momentum. Trust yourself. Forgive yourself. And move on.’”

"You think this is a corsage? How adorably human of you."

"Is this a Netherling flu?"

Rebecca Gibel returned as the excellent narrator of UNTAMED. After listening to the entire series voiced by Gibel, I cannot imagine reading it. Truly, if you get a chance to listen to this series, do it! Gibel is the perfect voice for the series. Her range of netherling voices is beyond amazing and she seemingly effortlessly differentiates between each and every character. She makes it seem like there are multiple narrators when, in reality, it's her alone. Her pacing is spot on every time. Her narration most definitely increased my enjoyment of this whole series and I cannot applaud her performance of the series enough.

The story of Alice in Wonderland has been one of my favorite fairy tales for as long as I can remember. A. G. Howard's fractured retelling of Alice's story is addictive and purely superb! The characters are drawn so incredibly. It was a pure joy to visit with them again. I'm going to miss this world and these characters terribly though they will always live on in my heart. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves epic YA fractured fairy tales.

Suggested Reading Order: 
UNTAMED, Book #3.5

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