Untamed is a short story collection from A.G Howard's Splintered-universe, taking the reader back to Howard's mad Wonderland, a slightly more cynic version than that of Lewis Carroll. In this collection, made up from three short stories, we again meet Alyssa, Jeb, Morpheus and Alyssa’s parents.

The first story is called The Boy in the Web and is the tale of how Alyssa’s parents met and fell in love. The second is The Moth in the Mirror and tells the story of when Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories from events in Splintered. Last is Six Impossible Things, were Alyssa remembers life as a human before taking her place as Queen of Wonderland.

All the stories give something to the series, more depth and understanding for the reader. I liked seeing certain parts of the story from the perspective of other characters and I liked seeing how Alyssa lived and viewed the world as an old woman. Normally, when a series is over you don’t get to know what happens in the “happily ever after”, but Alyssa’s life doesn’t end when she ‘dies’ in the human realm. She lives for an eternity in Wonderland and it was interesting to see this play out as well.

Just like the trilogy, these short stories are dark and heavy, showing a more brutal Wonderland than the one we might remember from Carroll’s tale. Howard has a lot of imagination and the entire series is fantasy in every way. Strange creatures, magic, a whole new world. It’s like Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups. Freaky and weird yet fun.

It’s not my favourite series by far but I read all the novels, I like short story collections and I was very interested in The Moth in the Mirror, so I got the collection anyway. I liked how Howard managed to show Jeb, in his perfect imperfect human form, viewed by Morpheus who almost understood him and gave up something important for himself, only to go back to his vicious netherling ways and prioritising himself. She created two men who love Alyssa and are so alike yet so far apart. It was very interesting to see a softer side of Morpheus only to be reminded that he puts himself first always. It shows how great Howard is at creating characters who are not only fascinating but also complex, thee-dimensional and relatable.

I think it’s always fun to go back to a world you’ve enjoyed through short story collections, I have quite a few myself and hope there will be more published in the future. This particular one is certainly something a fan of the Splintered trilogy should check out, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!