by Gene Showalter
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles #1
Published by: HarperCollins
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever. Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. Her father was right. The monsters are real….
I have read many of Gene Showalter’s adult novels and was anxious to see what she would deliver in the young-adult genre. Alice in Zombieland was a deliciously humorous romp into the paranormal world and I quickly found myself enthralled. Her unique twists on Zombies, endearing characters and action packed tale had me screaming for more. “Off With Their Heads!” There is a white rabbit but fans of the childhood fable Alice in Wonderland who are looking for a retelling, will find themselves disappointed. This unique tale is sure to delight paranormal and zombie fans.
The tale begins with a horrific tragedy and the realization for protagonist Alice Bell, that her father’s whispered fears of monsters in the night are indeed very real. As Alice embarks on her new life, home and school she must decide whether to fight or hide. Moving through the motions of living, she is forced back into reality by her snarky friend Kat and bad-boy Cole. Visions, visits from ghosts and monsters quickly have Alice taking sides and in a fight to survive. This well paced tale was filled with danger, romance, hilarious moments and zombies.
The characters in Alice in Zombieland were fun and likeable. Ali Bell’s world has been totally rocked and I initially felt sorry for her, but I came to admire this head-strong, protective, loyal, zombie kicking chick. Cole Holland is a bad-boy and head of a group of teens who are notoriously late, getting expelled and have girls swooning for them. While I would not call the relationship between them insta-love, there were some unusual supernatural elements that caused their initial attraction to each other. We quickly learn there is a lot more to Cole then his persona. Kat becomes Ali’s bestie and quite frankly I adored this snarky, outspoken wisp of a girl. If you ever need someone to be in your corner, Kat would be perfect. I found the secondary characters to be entertaining and hope to learn more about them.
Showalter offered up her own unique twist on zombies and I found it interesting. The zombies are not the kind we typically see, but exist in the spirit world. They cannot be seen by everyone, you cannot touch them and yet they can kill you…Eep! I really enjoyed this aspect of the tale, and while the storyline itself is not wholly original, Showalter’s twist on battling these zombies was. I loved how they fought the zombies, the rules and the abilities that developed. She introduced Watchers and I am hoping we learn more about them. Two teams battling these zombies, we learn an epic battle is coming and that both sides have different motives. This created plenty of tension and cool battle scenes. We learned about the two sides as Ali did, causing you to question who to trust. The romance was volatile, sweet and moved at a nice pace. While this is YA, there are plenty of hot steaming scenes that push this genre to the limit. The characters were not as fleshed out as I would have liked and at times the tale felt a little cliché but I walked away wanting more. I am anxious to see how the tale develops.
If you are looking for an entertaining and unique zombie fix with a hot little romance on the side, you will love Alice in Zombieland. I was highly entertained and zipped through the novel. I plan to continue this series with Through the Zombie Glassbook two in the White Rabbit Chronicles series scheduled to be released in 2013.
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