Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Alice Through The Zombie Glass

Alice Through the Zombie Glass
Rating: 5 out of 5 is not enough!
Buy or Borrow: BUY. You WILL want to read it again.
File Under: Book Hangover material.

"Ali Bell doesn't play hide-and-seek. She plays hide-and-pray-I-don't-find-you"

Alice Bell has lost so much since we first met her in Zombieland. Family, friends, and her home. She thought she had nothing else to give, but she was wrong. She has her soul, and her very self. Not to mention Cole her boyfriend. After a strange new zombie attack, weird things begin to happen to her. Mirrors begin to come to life, she has strange urges, she's not acting quite like herself when her emotions are heightened, and the whispers of the dead begin to assault her ears. But the worst thing is the terrible darkness blooming inside her, urging her to do bad things, trying to take over her. She's never needed her team of slayers, her friends, and her boyfriend Cole, the slayers badass leader and ultimate bad boy, more. But there's two new slayers in town to help out after the losses the slayers endured in the battle. Veronica, Cole's ex girlfriend, who's determined to get her back and he's been getting closer to, and Gavin, a certified he-slut and unashamed of it. When Gavin and Ali lock eyes for the first time, they share a vision, something that's only ever happened with Cole, and what they see, causes Cole to withdraw from her, then dump her entirely because of a future that may never happen. He doesn't trust her  or her feelings for him, and instead trusts the visions, and jumping back in to Veronica's arms. That doesn't stop his jealously from rearing it's head, and both of them from being entirely miserable, but Cole has ulterior motives in his closeness to Veronica, linked to a secret he's not told anyone.

Now Ali only has her  best friend Kat at her side, and her other friend Reeve, who cannot be anywhere near Zombies or know anything about them, and her new boyfriend is certainly strange. Ali must kill the zombies, uncover what's going on with Cole, win back the trust of her slayer friends after an incident, and learn to fight the darkness. It turns out she has an unlikely friend in Gavin, and Cole isn't going to give up easily when he realizes he's been wrong. When Anima's new president steps up a plan Ali also has to keep her friends safe. The clock is ticking, and not in a metaphorical way, if she fails any one of her tasks...they're all doomed, but no-one more than Ali herself.

Zombie Glass picks up mere weeks after the events at the end of Zombieland, with her healing from her wounds. I would recommend doing what I did, and re-reading Zombieland so everything's fresh in your mind as there's an important event in the previous book that's relevant to Zombie Glass.

Zombie Glass is everything you simultaneously love and hate in a book. It's a legit throw-at-the-wall-while-screaming book. Then, ya know, running to pick it up and lovingly cradling it to your chest while murmuring apologies right before you get stuck in to it and read it all over again because you loved it so much.

In Zombie Glass relationships are tested, broken and made, and you want to punch a couple of characters in the face, and bang a few heads together. Truths will come out, some shocking, some you knew all along and you're elated at the confirmation.

All of the characters we came to know and love in Zombieland are just as strong and loveable in Zombie Glass. The fantastic characters created, did what I thought was impossible, and got even better. In Zombie Glass I came to love them more, as much as a certain one frustrated me, and we learn that each of the characters has hidden depths to the depth we saw in them originally. More than one character has more sides that come out in this book, and another one is a lot stronger than anyone was giving her credit for. I love these books because all of the characters are strong,  intelligent and someone to look up to, and Ali proves that again in this book.

The plot was strong, and even more complex than Zombieland. We all get that anxiety when we really love a book, and then the sequel comes out and it's either going to be kind of a crappy let down, or mind blowingly good. Zombie Glass is the latter, and the series continues to be going strong. There's plenty of threads to the plot in Zombie Glass, and they're all woven together expertly, with plenty of plot twists that I promise you, you will never see coming. And I'm the girl  that's had many a book ruined because I'm either too pessimistic or i'm just that good at guessing. I tried, believe me I tried, to guess what was going to happen next, or what a character was doing and why, but I fast realized it was fruitless and just rolled with it, being hand-over-the-mouth, gasping out loud shocked at every turn.

Although, I must admit, I called Ethan out right away. Not in a "I know exactly who you are what you're up to" way, but in a "you are incredibly dodgy, and I know there's something wrong with you" way. My brain started referring to him by his very own title....Shady Ethan.

A large chunk of the book is a huge angst fest, but it's done so that you don't get bored or annoyed at it, you just really want to punch Cole in the face (but it's okay because Ali does it for us), and bang Cole and Ali's heads together. The added bonus of the angst is that you keep reading, glued to the page, waiting for the moment to come when all is right again, and Cole stops being a raging idiot.

I think Gavin may be my new favourite character and I loved Ali's descriptive words of him, and the fact he freely embraces the fact he's a he-slut, but is kind of sweet and adorable at the same time.

"Wait. The he-slut of the great South knew how to cook?"

Now so far, a few of you may be panicking about the romance we know and love between Ali and Cole, but don't worry, there's plenty of the cute romancey bits that melt your heart, and manage to make you fall slightly in love with a fictional character and ruin real life boys for you. There where so many points where I wanted to throw the book and then jump on it, the plot, the writing and the characters are THAT good. You get THAT invested in the characters and that connected to them that you feel a huge intense emotional connection to them. You get so many emotions when reading the book, it's a bit of a roller coaster, your heart soars for Ali and then drops for her the next moment. I cannot crow about how well the characters are created enough!

Zombie Glass is truly hilarious, however, so despite the angst and book throwing, you find yourself laughing until tears are streaming down your face and filing away one liners to use when the situation arises. Ali and Gavin really do have the best one liners, and I found myself re-reading the same sentence and laughing my ass off. You will rage at Cole, not going to lie, and you will feel sad at a few parts. Zombie Glass makes you want to scream at one point, and then gives you the warm and fuzzies the next. The characters become your best friends, and the world created becomes the world you inhabit entirely while reading.

Zombie Glass is fast paced with a fantastic flow, incredibly cinematic (still rooting for a movie!) and atmospheric prose from cute to incredibly creepy in 0.6 seconds flat; and world building that is expanded on from Zombieland, and continues to suck you in from the first page for hours on end. There's plenty of intrigue to keep you engaged, tonnes of action and zombie slaying, and an incredible amount happens in this book. Showalter has this way of having millions of things happen in one book, having characters go through tonnes and loads of events, and it feels like you've been in this world forever, totally absorbed, but in reality it's been no time at all. You never get bored, once you start reading you're hooked until the last page when you want to start reading it all over again because you don't want to leave the world or the characters. That and when you're done you're faced with a book hangover nothing can cure, a sense that no book will be able to match up, and the incredibly long wait for the next book that you know is going to destroy you.

A new development occurred that I was kind of rooting for in Zombieland, and totally loved in Zombie Glass. Kenzie became friends with Ali. No seriously. She did. It happened. And it was awesome. You see a totally different side to her when she's being there for Ali and offering to be her friend. You really see the real Kenzie in the scene after everything goes down at Anima. The scene with Kenzie, Lucas and Trina coming to see Ali, not only do you see Kenzie in a new light which i'm excited to be explored in the next book, but that scene will seriously have you wetting yourself with laughter and struggling to breathe. When reading that scene it was like 1 in the morning (I already told you...once you start you can't stop) and I learned the skill of the silent laugh. I seriously had the book practically glued to my hand and finished it at 4am, wrote the bare bones of this review (aka essayed this) on my phone then promptly fell in to a deep sleep peppered with Zombies.

Zombie Glass has fantastically built the grounds for the next book (I figure if I keep mentioning a next book it will definitely happen!), with Veronica's "ace up her sleeve". I just know she's not done, and she's gonna be devious. Gavin sticking around should be very interesting, and I love Ali's friendship with him. Then we have Kat's condition and her illness, and seeing where that goes in the next book, not to mention the threat of Anima becoming bigger, badder, and an all round pain in the ass.

There's plenty of new things to be explored that I'm really excited about. The whole slayers curing themselves with fire thing, why it works or doesn't, Ali's friendship with her former enemies Jaclyn and Kenzie. The journal and it's many many secrets, and the link we discovered, and the secrets about Ali's family. With each book we are given more questions, more to look forward to, and more to sink our teeth in to in the next book as the plot really does thicken.

I mean, I'm sure you can tell from my rambling, and probable repeating of myself, that I cannot praise this book nor it's previous one enough, let alone the author. I get truly excited at the prospect of reading a new book in the series, and I get over-excited about sharing my love for the books with you all, because I want you all to love it. Zombie Glass and Zombieland are books you truly want to read again and again. There's so many awesome things about it.

All I've got left to say is...Gena. Please please please, for the love of my heart and my feels, leave Ali and Cole alone! And ya know...congrats on ruining real life blokes for me forever more!

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