Friday, 6 September 2013

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Title: Alice in Zombieland
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: September 25th 2012
Pages: 416 (Kindle)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

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….

To 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….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.

This is not a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I feel like maybe this statement is the first thing that should be on the synopsis? A lot of the low-rating reviews I have come across are from disappointed readers who expected a book-version of the video-game Alice - the only thing Alice in Zombieland has in common with these other franchises is a main character called Alice and a rabbit-shaped cloud. However, that certainly doesn't mean that this book isn't good - on the contrary, it is actually amazing. If I wasn't a fan of Showalter's before, then I definitely am now.

For as long as she can remember, Alice's dad has been paranoid - paranoid over zombies, something she never believed in until the car crash that killed her family. Orphaned, alone, and seeing these creatures who seem to be attracted to her, Alice needs help. Enter Cole and co. - a gang of ruthless and downright sexy zombie killers, the leader of whom Alice can't help but be attracted to, and vice versa. But how can she concentrate on romance and building new friendships with zombies on her tail? All too soon, Alice will find herself face-to-face with an enemy she thought she would never see again.

Although I love Alice in Wonderland and desperately want a zombie retelling of it, I honestly wasn't disappointed that this wasn't it. At times it did feel like Showalter pushed some Wonderland themes in there (a rabbit-shaped cloud? Seriously?), and I did kind of want to say either go the whole way with the Wonderland theme, or just don't. Otherwise, it seems like the author was promising a retelling.

I actually really liked all the characters. Alice is the definition of what a strong heroine is - and I guess in that sense, her curiosity and spunkiness mimics that of the original Alice. She's very feisty, very in-your-face, but likeable at the same time. The same also goes for Kat.

I really need to stop collecting book boyfriends, but swooooon: Cole. Cole was perfection. You know when authors try to make a character badass and fail? Showalter didn't - she got it spot on. Cole was gorgeous but bloody terrifying! Can I have one, please? Pretty please? With cherries on top?

Every paranormal story I've ever come across is slightly different - every author has a different idea surrounding the backstory and creation of the mythical creatures, and I loved Showalter's interpretation of zombies. When you think of zombie, you think of the dead coming back to life. These zombies...they had a ghost-y, spirit-y twist, meaning that they can only be fought when a human is in their spirit form, too. This twist opened up a whole new avenue of ideas, and I really hope that we learn more about it in the sequel.

Leading on from that...why don't I have Through the Zombie Glass already? I need to get my hands on it as soon as possible! If you love addictive, well-written, action-packed stories with a few zombies thrown in, then add Alice in Zombieland to your TBR list immediately. Showalter is an author to look out for.
Rating: 4/5


  1. Great Review Nina! I love the whole Alice meets Zombie aspect as I loved the AIW movie and I love Walking Dead. I'm quite surprised because I would have thought there would be more Alice in Wonderland similarities. Cole sounds perfect and I love when a character whose fiesty was written well. I'm really excited to read this and your review has convinced me to pick up the copy in my library :)

    - Sunny @ A Sunny Spot Blog

    1. So did I! I kind of wish it was a retelling with zombies, but it's still pretty amazing. I really hope you enjoy it ^.^ I'll look out for your review!

  2. I wasn't a fan of Alice in Zombieland. I was actually more disappointed in how "sparkly" and nondangerous the zombies were than the fact that this wasn't a true retelling. It isn't a bad story, but it wasn't anything like o hoped for. Granted, if you like paranormal romances, you'll probably like it.

    1. Even though I disagree, I understand what you mean :/ I do prefer my zombies more gruesome, so heavier action sequences would have been nice, but I still enjoyed it ^.^

  3. This is an awesome review :)
    Before I read this review though, I was under the impression that this was a zombie retelling of Alice in Wonderland. And I am kind of disappointed to hear (read?) that it isn't. I definitely agree with you that the author should have gone with all or nothing. I mean, the name is a false lead if it's not really a retelling.
    Nevertheless, it sounds like a good read - I am very intrigued :)
    Chiara @ Books For A Delicate Eternity

    1. I know, that did irritate me just slightly - don't market it to be something when it obviously isn't. I'm hoping that if Showalter is going with the AIW theme, then in the next book she kicks it up a notch.