ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND
(White Rabbit Chronicles #1)
Paranormal Young Adult
Available September 25th
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
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….
avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she
must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole
has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might
just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….
As she does so effortlessly with her adult Lords of the Underworld series, Ms. Showalter impeccably combines darkness and humor in her newest young adult series; crafting a world that becomes all the more terrifying the more we learn about it, but also filling it with individuals from whom charm and wit wafts in delightful waves. Her protagonists are fierce and determined, tragedy marking each and every one of them with permanent physical and emotional scars, but instead of succumbing to their pain they instead forcefully remove themselves from Death’s loving embrace, shoving his arms away and continuing on with life despite his constant presence by their sides. Making the battle to remain free of Death’s clutches difficult is Ms. Showalter’s take on zombies, a fascinatingly horrifying version of the living dead who wage their war on the spiritual plane rather than the physical one, and we’re easily swept away in their macabre tide.
Alice is a standout heroine, bolstered after the death of her family by an equally standout character in best friend Kat, the two of them causing many an unladylike snort to escape our lips as the banter between them flies back and forth at records speeds. Despite the pain of learning her father’s rantings were not those of man losing his grip on reality, but rather those of a man of sound mind and body fighting to protect his family, she never crumbles or despairs of her past mistakes, instead she vows to join the fight as a way of honoring his memory. Though Cole is intimidating and has the type of personality that easily swallows people whole, she never once backs down from him, seeing his demands and orders and raising him a constant barrage of questions about her newly discovered supernatural world.
Cole is cause for a bit of concern initially, his bad-boy status and Ali’s intense draw to him instantly setting off warning bells in our heads that suggest he might be the type of brooding love interest we’ve seen again and again. Our unease continues with some soulful glances across a crowded cafeteria and some stalker-like tendencies, but once he and Ali clear the air between them on the zombie front, he morphs into a character all his own, shedding the initial clichés and leaving them in a rumpled pile at his feet. Ms. Showalter has a gift for creating extraordinarily sexy male characters–men who practically singe the pages with the heat they throw off– and Cole is certainly no exception. His more intimate moments with Ali are enough to have us getting up to drop the air conditioning down a few degrees before continuing, but with the sensual side of him also comes the emotional side, combining to ensure we never have cause to doubt he’s anything other than genuine in his pursuit of Ali.
Though we’re definitely left with a few general questions as to how the zombies in this world function and what role our villains so desperately want them to play, they’re questions we expect to have left at the end of a first installment, and we’re content when we reach the final page to wait and see what Ms. Showalter will bring to the table moving forward. A monstrously entertaining beginning, Alice in Zombieland has readily claimed a spot on my shelf of favorites.