The monsters are real. Alice Bell can’t quite believe it, but she’s seen them, and now she knows her dad wasn’t as crazy as she thought. Feeling responsible for the death of her family, Alice knows she has to do something to fight the evil that destroyed her life. Then she meets Cole Holland, another teen who knows the truth about the dead that walk at night. Together, Alice and Cole continue the war between good and evil that slayers and zombies have been fighting for decades.
I don’t read zombie books very often. I read World War Z awhile ago and it scared the beejeezus out of me. But I couldn’t resist a book that promised inspiration from the world of Alice in Wonderland AND zombies at the same time. The story was not what I expected. The “style” of zombies was different than any I had read before: walking corpses whose spirits (not bodies) are infected with the evil zombie disease, and it’s that evil spirit that fights the spirits of the slayers, who are also the only people that can see the zombies walk. Very cool concept, I thought, and one that was written well. I also liked Alice’s character. She suffered such tragedy, and reacted in a believable, logical way. She was also determined to seek her revenge and do everything she could do fix what she considered her mistake in whatever way possible. Finally, a female heroine who was smart, had common sense, and made logical, reasonable choices. Yay! I liked Alice’s friend Kat, too. I kept thinking she was not a person I would be friends with in real life, but then she would say something crazy, and I (like Alice) would think she was awesome. Cole was a great character too, who starts as the dark, mysterious, dangerous bad boy, who then breaks those stereotypes without turning into an unrealistic pile of romantic mush. Great job with character development, Gena Showalter.
There were a few things I didn’t like so much about this book. While I thought the three main characters were well-developed and fun to read about, I thought there were other plot points that were not made very clear. For example, (SMALL SPOILER AHEAD) Dr. Wright ended up being a traitor/double-agent. I think this was supposed to be shocking, but since we never really got to know Dr. Wright, I just thought “OK, whatever” and moved on. There were a few other moments like that. This was cleverly disguised by how much I liked the characters, so I didn’t really notice the plot holes until, well, now, when I sat back and really thought about it. I suspect many of these plot holes will be cleared up in the next book, so I’m not super bothered by them. I believe the next book, Through the Zombie Glass, releases in October of this year. It’s going to be a long wait!