Alice in Zombieland

I wasn’t expecting to like Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter very much, I mean not all mashups are successful and sometimes it seems like they have outlived their novelty.  However, I came away with more positive feelings than negative.  Maybe part of it was there really wasn’t much reference to Alice a la Alice in Wonderland other than her appearance…pale blond hair, blue eyes and tall.

This Alice is a teen girl living in the UK, not Wonderland.  She has parents and a cute little sister, Lily, but there is some strangeness to her home life.  Her father refuses to let anyone in the family be out after dark, you see he believes in ‘monsters.’  Now that Alice is a teen it’s particularly frustrating and she doesn’t believe dear old Dad because Dad happens to drink heavily, so she thinks he is just crazy and can’t understand why her Mom hasn’t left him.  However Alice’s Mom fiercely loves her hubby even though she admits to Alice that she has never seen these monsters herself.

So this is the status quo for the family until one day her little sister begs her to talk her Mom into letting everyone attend her dance recital which is in the evening.  Somehow the Mom convinces the Dad to let them go, but on the ride home something terrible happens which then places Alice into a situation where she goes to live with relatives and attends a new school. At the school she meets Cole and his seemingly delinquent friends, but Cole is the most frightening of the group and when she looks at him she experience intense visions.  Are these visions of the future?  And why do Cole and gang often show up at school looking so beaten up?  Also, what is Alice glimpsing out in the yard at night?   While the answers to the mysteries were pretty obvious early on, what I liked about the book were characters like Alice and her best new friend Kat and their snappy remarks.  Basically, the book had some of the elements of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I love me some Buffy.   This is the first book in several sequels known as the White Rabbit Chronicles.  One of thing I am curious about is if there will be more references between the character Alice Bell and the Alice from Alice in Wonderland…