Sunday, November 10, 2013

Short stories are awesome.  They give us in-depth insight into characters, providing anecdotal proof of why some characters are they way they are.  They entertain by creating a certain mood or focusing on a singular effect...some instance in a previous body of work (or one to follow) that might have been glossed over or ignored completely in a longer novel. 

And so I would like to highlight some short stories and novellas set in worlds I've already come to love and learn a little more about some of the secondary characters in my favorite novels.   In addition to offering up a mini review of these short works of fiction,  I'll be underscoring some of my favorite aspects.

This week I'm featuring The Moth in the Mirror, an alternate perspective to certain moments in A.G. Howard's debut novel:

Title: The Moth in the Mirror
Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered, book #1.5
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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An original ebook-only novella in the Splintered series, told from the points of view of both Jeb and Morpheus. Morpheus wants to know more about his rival for Alyssa's affections, so he digs into Jeb's memories of his time in Wonderland. But he may be surprised by what he finds.

This brand-new story and perspective from A.G. Howard's dark, magical world stands alone, but also provides a tantalizing glimpse of what's to come in Unhinged, the sequel to Splintered.

I just finished Unhinged, and I wasn't quite ready to leave this world yet, so I downloaded this novella.  I'm aware that it should have been read prior to Unhinged, and I completely concur, but it didn't impede my enjoyment of either story any that I didn't read them in order.  I should also point out that it's not necessary to read this novella before you pick up Unhinged and that a lot of what's covered in both Splintered and Unhinged is present in this story, just from a different perspective.

With that said, I have to admit that my loyalties have changed with each installment of this story.  I love both boys for different reasons, and it's clear that both boys care very deeply for Alyssa, though I think it's clearest in this novella.  For that reason alone, I think it's a worthy read.  Worth $1.99?  Maybe, maybe not. Depends on how much you love this series, I suppose.  My other sister -- the one who's the hardcore Alice fan -- begged me for my advanced copy of Unhinged, and so I'm sure she'll be purchasing this short.  But if the rivalry between Jeb and Morpheus doesn't have you excited yet, this story might not be essential for your continuation of the series.

Because The Moth in the Mirror is an exploration of the relationship each boy has with Alyssa and what each is hoping for...and what they're willing to give up.  Honestly, if you read Unhinged, you'll already have read some of this, just not in the same context.  Morpheus wants to know exactly what he's up against when it comes to Jeb, what his motivations, his strengths and his weaknesses are, especially when it comes to Al. So, he takes a ride on the train of lost memories, experiencing pivotal moments from Jeb's point-of-view.

Does this change anything for Morpheus?  I'll let you be the judge, either based on your reading of this story or when you get to Unhinged.  Either way, the truth is there, in his words but mostly in his actions. Morpheus may not be mortal, but he desires what one mortal has above all else.  And despite his single-mindedness, his sheer arrogance, I still want Morpheus to come out on top.

Splintered (Splintered, #1)The Moth in the Mirror (Splintered, #1.5)Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

About the author:

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. Her pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Her debut YA fantasy, SPLINTERED, a dark Alice in Wonderland spinoff, is now available from Amulet Books. The sequel, UNHINGED, is due to launch January 2014.

Find Anita:

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  1. This series is seriously my favorite. I just love it. I absolutely loved this novella, too. I wanted more for sure!

  2. While Splintered was a book that was out of reach in terms of enjoyment, I'm curious to find out what Morpheus thought of Jeb. I mean, besides the obvious, that is.

    Makes me want to read this book and Unhinged. :) Great review, Jen.

  3. did I not about this one? Just downloaded the nook book--I am beyond excited for Unhinged!

  4. It's weird that a short story would have such a high rating, given that they're sometimes not relevant to the actual story. I'm dying to read Splintered, so I'll be sure to read this one BEFORE I read it ;D Great review, Jen!
    -Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

  5. Oh dear, I'm a big fan of Alice in Wonderland and have been excited to start this series, except for the triangle. I was told it's not that much of one in the first book (i.e. her choice is pretty clear) and I was hoping it would continue to lessen, but now I'm not sure I'm going to start the series at all. Is supposed to be it 3 books? :( I'll have to wait until it completes to decide what to do. Thanks for your thoughts!


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