Ensnared - A.G. Howard

With Morpheus and Jeb trapped in AnyElsewhere and Alyssa’s mom trapped in Wonderland which is on the verge of destruction, Alyssa must move quickly if she wants to save everyone. She has to defeat Queen Red and stop her from destroying everything she loves. But Alyssa still has one important decision to make—will she return to the human world or remain in Wonderland as their queen?


There’s no question that the writing in this series has been lovely, and the final book continues that trend. The reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s work captures the darkness and bizarreness perfectly. I always loved seeing what would show up next. The series is at its strongest when dealing with Wonderland stuff.


Unfortunately, there’s Jeb, Alyssa’s human love interest who tends to drag the plot to a halt. I genuinely cannot see what Alyssa sees in him. He continues to be the same controlling and violent person that he’s been since we first met him, yet Alyssa keeps insisting that he’s so kind, gentle, and forgiving. Because kind, gentle, and forgiving people always use violence as their first response to a problem. Though, considering we see in this book that Alyssa’s father’s first response to a problem is violence as well, maybe Alyssa does think that. Or at least that’s the proper response for guys. Alyssa’s dad repeatedly chides Alyssa for responding to problems with violence at the start of the book, which I didn’t mind. Until he faces someone he doesn’t like and immediately goes to violence as the appropriate reaction. It’s really no wonder her dad likes Jeb so much. They even continue their trend of going off on their own to make Alyssa’s decisions for her.


And despite being the protagonist of the story, Alyssa sure didn't get to do much at the end.

Shortly after getting back to Wonderland, Alyssa goes unconscious and wakes up to find most of her problems fixed for her. Morpheus, Jeb, and Ivory saved Wonderland for her. She was healed in such a way that she was forced to live half her life in the human world and half in Wonderland, so the boys have to accept sharing her. Jeb made it so that human children didn’t have to be kidnapped for their dreams anymore. The only real decision left to her was what to do with Red’s spirit. It was a bit disappointing because I came into this book wanting to see Alyssa do all that. Not to be told about it all having been accomplished while Alyssa was unconscious.

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The ending just felt a bit rushed. Although when a large chunk of the book is spent on Alyssa’s love triangle, I suppose it’s no surprise that the plot had to take a hit.


Morpheus continued to be the only character I consistently liked. He remained his ever manipulative and charming self, but he was always open about the fact that he was manipulative and would always put Wonderland (and himself) first. And Alyssa could actually stand up to him when he did something she didn’t like. It’s much easier for me to enjoy bad behavior when the other characters actually acknowledge it as bad behavior. And he kind of stole the book here by having most of the best scenes.


As for the solution to the love triangle,

I don’t mind that she chose both guys. Well, I do mind that she chose Jeb because Jeb was awful (except for at the very end where he suddenly had a personality change and was totally cool with sharing Alyssa. Although I suspect the fact that Alyssa would literally die unless she spent half her time with Morpheus is the reason for the sudden change. Can’t control her life if she’s dead after all). However, I do think the ending was unfair to the guys. Throughout the series both of them were very adamant about not being okay with sharing Alyssa. It’s only when it’s literally share or she dies that they agree to share. I just can’t help but feel that’s going to create resentment, particularly on Jeb’s side. After all, Jeb’s dead by the end of the book so Morpheus gets an eternity of Alyssa’s undivided love. Jeb, not so much. Although that might be my favorite part of the ending—Jeb’s dead and Morpheus ultimately wins.

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I also didn’t really like the fact that the book was so insistent on the fact that Alyssa needed Jeb specifically to connect her to her human side. Apparently being raised as a human by human parents (well mostly human for her mom) with a human best friend (who doesn’t even show up in this book) was not enough to tie her to her humanity. She needed a guy to do that. Morpheus being her tie to her netherling side was more understandable since he was literally the only netherling she knew for the first 16 years of her life, although still annoying that she needs a guy to ground her.


Ensnared continued the lovely writing and wonderful reimagining of Wonderland. Unfortunately my Jeb problem continued as well, and Morpheus was only able to do so much to counteract it. Although the ending felt rushed to me and I was disappointed by certain aspects of it, I also felt it was better than the rest of the book. Although Morpheus’ scenes were always the best for me.