Alice Bell has never experienced what you’d call a normal life. Her whole life her family was held captive by her father’s paranoid ramblings about monsters, never allowed to go out at night and living in a highly secure but permanent state of fear. Except that he wasn’t delusional and monsters are real. It is bad enough that Alice loses her entire family in a car accident on her 16th birthday but on that evening she finally sees the monsters with her own eyes and she realises once and for all that her father was anything but crazy.
Alice in Zombieland is Gena Showalter’s latest foray into young adult fiction, following on from her as-yet-unfinished Intertwined series. Despite the play on the title of the Lewis Carroll classic, the book has little to do with Alice in Wonderland and it is not a reimagining of that story. In a sense, this might be misleading to readers as the front cover proclaims “Off with their heads” and the series is called The White Rabbit Chronicles but apart from Alice’s sightings of a white cloud in the shape of a rabbit, further references to Alice in Wonderland are extremely tenuous.
This suited me perfectly as there is a time and place for parody mashups but I think Gena Showalter is a better writer than that. However, therein lies the problem with Alice in Zombieland. It is probably worth mentioning that I am a great fan of Showalter’s Intertwined series to the extent that it is the first series in years that I have read several times. The supernatural world that Showalter creates in those books along with her characters’ natures and abilities is incredibly entertaining, unique, and interesting. It is safe to say that I had high expectations of her with this book.