Alice in Zombieland
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
2 of 5 stars
Alice Bell always thought that her father’s fear of monsters was some sort of crazy paranoia, until after the death of her family, when she suddenly can see these flesh-eating ghosts, and starts experiencing strange visions concerning the tough-as-nails bad boy that seems to have an interest in her.
I spent the rest of the night in a daze, roaming the house, checking the doors and windows, with weapons strapped all over my body. After all those years of doubting him, I’d become the image of my father.
Alice in Wonderland this is not. I kept trying to draw parallels between the Carroll story and this one where I’m pretty sure it wasn’t intended (Cole always wears hats! Maybe he’s the Mad Hatter? Is Kat the Cheshire Cat? Wait… that doesn’t make a lot of sense…), and kept expecting the arrival of an evil zombie overlord who only feasts on hearts (Queen of Hearts, anyone?) But, alas, my knowledge of classic lit seems to have been unnecessary with this one, as the rabbit hole seems to be purely metaphorical.
Despite my disappointment in the lack of classic lit tie-ins, there were things to enjoy about this book. The narrator has a unique voice and I’m a big fan of her best friend, Kat, who is incredibly frank, egotistical, and endearing. The concept behind these zombies (not your typical virus) is creative, and I give the author kudos for that.
I did, however, find quite a bit of the novel to be rather off-putting. The first half felt like Twilight all over again (ugh) —
- Somewhat mopey teenage female protagonist who is instantly popular and desirable at her new school? Check.
- Mysterious and dangerous “bad boy” whom female protagonist finds herself irresistibly and inexplicably attracted to, despite the fact that all he does is scowl at her? Check.
- Overprotective parental figures who are at the same time rather oblivious to all that’s going on around them? Check.
- Female protagonist getting herself into all kinds of hazardous situations because of her ignorance and/or stubbornness? Check.
- A lot of “flirtatious[?]” growling, snarling, and bickering between the two lead characters? Check.
- Dramatic tension as two lead characters can’t seem to keep their hands off of each other? Check.
Once we worked past the typical “paranormal romance” half of the book, we finally get into some action, including Ali learning a lot of strange and seemingly arbitrary “rules” that zombie-ghosts and zombie-ghost-hunters have to follow, which we all know as soon as we read them are going to become major plot devices later on. And it all ends a bit predictably.
Overall: Don’t expect a classic Alice story — this one’s what happens when you mix zombies, ghosts, and paranormal romance.
Other books in the series:
Through the Zombie Glass (coming in Oct 2013)