Book Review – Ensnared by A. G. Howard

★★★★★ 4.5 Stars

“When you turn your back on everything that you once thought was real, you will find illumination.”

A glance into a psychedelic and demented looking glass. Ensnared is a deep and addictive sort of madness, wrapping the series up with a final concoction of surreal horror and romantic whimsy, with few heart-seams visible. I think there are totally not enough YA books that utilize surrealism and horror as this one does.

Additions I particularly love are the excursion into AnyElsewhere, a world of criminal mutants and rejected species, as well as its tyrant queen.
I enjoyed this one a little more than Unhinged, due to the larger focus on the weird elements – Ensnared reconnects with the deranged fantasy but with fewer pacing problems. Ironically, being the heftiest book in the series, to me it was the faster read.

I like the characterization of Morpheus and Jeb, and of course the two mad queens, but Alyssa’s characterization and lack of “getting the hint” is frustrating. The amount of times other characters have to shake her by the shoulders to get points across is very reflective of this reader, anyway. But I still like Alyssa as a protagonist.

In short, a worthy, intense and faintly bittersweet ending to a fantastic series.

Writing – 5/5
Characterization – 4/5
Plotting / Story – 4.5/5
General – 4.5/5

 

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