Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Title: Alice in Zombieland
Author: Gena Showalter

Goodreads Summary:
"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….

Main character: 3.5/5
Alice was a well-developed character. I could relate to everything that she was feeling and going through; including her self-pity at times, which was not overwhelming the way that some main characters are. Alice had the perfect blend of feeling sorry for herself and understanding the need to eventually get over it (it's hard to read that much pity partying). The one main knock on Alice is that she didn't have anything that made her supremely memorable in my mind, which would have taken her character to the next level.

Secondary characters: 4/5
Kat was fantastic; I wasn't sure if I would like her at first because of her directness and almost over-the-top confidence, but I ended up really enjoying her as a character. I wished that some of the "gang" had been further developed, but I realize that sometimes the author needs to choose who best to develop further. Cole was frustrating at times in an Edward Cullen type way which I hated, but he improved throughout the story.

Writing style: 4/5
One of my favorite aspects. Showalter made a long book fly by with her vivid descriptions and fantastic action scenes. Everything was believable and I bought into the story, which I think has a lot to do with the way that the author presents the story. Showalter did a beautiful job of painting the setting and plot.

Plot: 3/5
I wish that the Alice in Wonderland motif had been used more! The connections were very minor and I would have loved more crossover between the Zombies & the Alice in Wonderland tale. Regardless, the plot could have been overdone but Showalter's take was fresh and well-told. I loved the mix of romance, mystery, family drama & action-adventure thriller.

Ending: 2.5/5
While the ending accomplished it's purpose, I just felt that it advertised itself too much as opening for a sequel. To be fair, the conflict was solved and Showalter did a good job of leaving mystery open for the sequel without leaving us with a cliffhanger, but something was just unsatisfying.

Cover: So pretty and just the right amount of light and dark. And you gotta love that tagline, "Off with their heads".

Rating: 6.8 / 10 (4 stars)

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