I *hate* how long this took for me to finish. Seriously. It wasn't the book's fault, but man. I really wanted to know how it all ended, yet I didn't want to know because I really didn't want it to end. Before I was even finished I wanted to go back to the beginning and read it all over. I wanted Alyssa to realize her dreams, wishes, but at the same time I was anxious because as dark, terrifying, and confusing as the world was, I didn't want to leave it yet.
I really liked that it wasn't just a retelling, but that it happens later, down the ancestral line. I think that made it more interesting for me. I don't know if it's because I've never read the original (own, never read. Sad... but true story) or if I would feel that way even if. We shall never know.
The writing. Oh, the writing. Descriptions galore. I loved how Wonderland seemed so beautifully dark. I'm not sure I have ever been so captivated by a place in a book. I definitely want more of that.
I also want more of AG Howard's chemistry. It was palpable, visceral. I sincerely went back and read parts just to feel it all over again. The characters were flawed, real. They had attachments for one another that were 100% believable. I'm not sure what will happen in the future, but as of now, I'm totally down for Jeb and Alyssa. The tension, the chemistry, the unconditional love... I can't wait to see what Howard does with it all.
But nothing is ever black and white. I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate that Howard has me questioning my utter dislike of a certain character. We shall see how the story progresses in Unhinged, but I'm hoping my dislike can continue. :) Speaking of continuing... in order to continue this one must end, right? Of course. And the ending to this one? Superbly done. It was plausible, believable, sad, heartwarming, and made me angry all at the same time.
I would recommend this book to lots of people, whether they are a fan of Carroll's Wonderland or not, and especially if they like dark fantasy.