Author: Gena Showalter
Narrator: Natalie Gold
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
If, like me, you were expecting a zombie-rific retelling of Alice in Wonderland, you might be disappointed in that respect. There are several references to the classic story, and Ali does "chase" a white rabbit with a clock, but Alice in Zombieland stops short of trying to emulate the original story and instead only alludes to it at times -- especially in the chapter titles, which I actually found clever. Also, these aren't your typical zombies. They're of the spirit world -- yeah -- which means not every one has the ability to see them. But despite the fact that this novel wasn't quite what I was expecting (or hoping for), I still found it fun and entertaining.
I haven't actually had the pleasure of listening to any of Natalie Gold's prior audiobook recordings, so I had no idea what to expect from her narration of Alice in Zombieland. But I can tell you after listening to her rendition of this novel that I would listen to the rest of her repertoire in a heartbeat. Her voice is perfect to portray the teenaged Alice Bell, and she hit all the right notes where Ali's wry sense of humor was concerned. It was also easy to distinguish between the characters just by the simple variations in her tone of voice. Plus, she made Cole sound as sexy and sultry as I imagined him in my head. =)
Speaking of Cole...why does every guy named Cole in YA have to be the dark and brooding type but ultimately sexy as all get-out? I've never known anyone named Cole, so I can't speak to the truth of this in reality, but it seems to me that not every single guy with this name would fit this stereotype. Right? I don't know...it's just, well, the second I saw the name Cole in the synopsis, I knew how this would eventually play out: brooding but sexy guy is drawn to protagonist but pushes her away "for her own good" but then plays hot and cold with her feelings for most of the story. Sooo...maybe this story did play out a little like I was expecting. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it...it was just a tad predictable.
Just like Alice in the original story, Ali is very inquisitive and more than a little curious by nature. Like the Alice in Tim Burton's remake, Ali is fierce, and with a little convincing, ready for a fight. Ali is funny and sincere and overall endearing, even in the way she handles her frienemies. But the way she is with her newly acquired friend Kat shows just what kind of person she is. While all others have abandoned Kat for her romantic associations, Ali finds herself even closer to Kat, not simply because she, too, has been ostracized for who she associates with, but also because she genuinely likes Kat. Kat could never replace the sister Ali lost, but she definitely makes the loss easier to bear.
This was my first ever Gena Showalter novel -- gasp! I know! -- but I'd definitely call myself a fan now. I found Alice in Zombieland clever and humorous and it was an all around good time. I finished the audio in record-time, even doing some extra chores just for extra listening time, and I can't wait to see what's next for Ali and the rest of the slayers.