24 March 2014
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Once I got over my unmet expectations, I really settled in and enjoyed the story for what is was: a fun, YA, SFF, romance, action novel with enough twists to keep it interesting.
Quick plot synopsis: Alice loses everything when she convinces her family to ignore her father's insane monsterphobia and go out at night. Oops. Daddy was right, and now Alice finds her in the middle of a zombie nightmare accompanied by a very hot, very badass boy and his gang of zombie slayers.
The characters really made this story for me. Ali's won't-bow-down attitude is both admirable and hilarious, especially when she gets all kinds of snarky with Cole despite her serious obsession with the guy. Cole himself is pretty impressive as he is badass rather than kissass, and while he wants Ali safe, he thinks teaching her to fight is a better bet than locking her in a padded room like so many male leads. Then there's Kat who is like the sweetest mean girl ever: super confident and sassy, not that nice to people outside of her group, but her attitude is almost admirable.
I also like the three-way conflict presented in the book: we have the zombies and two separate and ideologically opposed zombie slayers. Many times having a third-party, typically the "bad" version of the good guys, frustrates me - like that side group in Stargate SG-1 who were government but not and kept getting in the way and influenced Michael Shanks to leave the show for awhile; yeah, I didn't like them. Whenever you have two groups of people, who at their foundation are trying to accomplish the same goal - say protect humanity - but going about it in completely different ways, you have the makings of 1) an awesome obstacle in the overall conflict or 2) an unnecessary obstacle that feels contrived. In this instance, the extra antagonists feel like they could be awesome. We'll see as the series progresses.