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The Boston Globe

Books

for children | liz rosenberg

‘Splintered’ by A.G. Howard

A.G. Howard’s Goth-infused, fantasy novel “Splintered’’ is in many ways a brilliant debut, in others a disturbing one. Brilliant, because it is ambitious, inventive, and often surprising — a contemporary reworking of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’’ with a deep bow toward Tim Burton’s 2010 film version. Disturbing, because it’s so filled with predictable TV-style images, poor writing, clichés, and homilies. “Look inside yourself. Because finding who you were meant to be? What you were put into this world to do? That’s what fills the emptiness.’’

Even before it was published, “Splintered’’ generated buzz and established a fan base. A movie version, unsurprisingly, is in the works, as is a possible book sequel. The question is: Will “Splintered’’ find success despite its many flaws, or because of them?

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