The White Rabbit Chronicles #2
Paranormal Young Adult
Available September 24th
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Inspired by the childhood classic Alice in Wonderland, this harrowing and romantic story features teen zombie slayer Alice Bell who has lost so much—family, friends, her home.
After a strange new zombie attack, Alice fears she may be losing her mind as well. A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do wicked things.
The whispers of the dead assault her ears and mirrors seem to come frighteningly to life. She’s never needed her team of zombie slayers more—including her boyfriend, Cole—than she does now. But as Cole strangely withdraws and the zombies gain new strength, Ali knows one false step may doom them all.
Through the Zombie Glass is a pulse-pounding sequel, the heat and action dialed up to an extraordinary degree so that the cadence of our rapidly beating hearts turns into a repetitive soundtrack that accompanies the dark and light, the highs and lows, and the love and pain on the page. Though there are some familiar second book elements–such as the dissolution of the main romantic pairing–they never stay confined to their neatly labeled boxes, instead spilling out in grand fashion to fit this story specifically, forcing us to evaluate what happens within in the context of this narrative and leave all comparisons to other books at the door. This second installment is a challenging read in many ways, a darkly foreboding prologue from Ali letting us know that the coming pages will leave marks, shaping and changing our emotional topography until we emerge from the concluding chapters different than we were when we went into the beginning ones.
The catalyst for our change in this book is Cole himself, a young man who has fully embraced his bad boy status and driven it to new heights, but in this story the pleasant sheen of fiction that grants us the freedom to crush on someone dangerous is startlingly removed, leaving behind the rough surface of reality we didn’t quite see in book one, too distracted were we by the heat and intensity of his presence. Where he was seemingly infallible he is now humanly flawed, where he was previously invincible he is now vulnerable, and where he was before a protector he is now the hand that delivers a staggering emotional blow, the force of which not only hits us where it hurts but also temporarily knocks him right off the pedestal of swoon-worthiness on which we had previously placed him.
While his fall from grace, so to speak, is a bitter pill to swallow, it’s also one of the highlights of the book for the effect it has on Ali, allowing her to step fully into the shoes she was testing out in book one and become the badass of this series we had mistakenly thought Cole to be. When Cole seems intent on pushing her away, blowing hot and cold, Ali remains even keel, refusing to stoop to his level and instead waiting patiently for him to find the strength and courage to meet her on the high road she’s currently walking. She has a few understandable rough patches in which she allows herself to feel the sting of his rejection, but she always pulls herself back from the edge, turning her focus to the other not-insignificant problems with which she’s currently dealing. She never wavers in her feelings for him, even when a new temptation presents himself, and she admirably continues to protect her heart even as Cole begins to realize his mistake, respecting herself enough to say no to him when it would be so very easy to just say yes.
The romance is certainly a prominent element, as it is in any of Ms. Showalter’s fabulous books, but there are also some significant developments with both the enemy and within the team of slayers, relationships changing and strengthening as Anima lays a few of their more terrifying cards on the table. The only thing keeping this book from a higher rating is the speed with which the issues of Ali’s darker half are resolved at the end, and though we’re certainly grateful it’s not an aspect that’s going to be drawn out unnecessarily, for all the problems it caused throughout the resolution seems a touch easy. That being said however, this second installment will likely delight and torture fans of the series at the same time, causing as much pain as it does pleasure as Ali and Cole battle for life and love.
*It should be noted that Ms. Showalter’s books are always on the sexy side. Sex is spoken of easily and casually, with lots of banter and innuendo amidst the teenage group of slayers, and while it’s in my opinion handled well and realistically, this series is recommended for older YA readers.
If you didn't get a chance yesterday, be sure and check out my 5 reasons why Cole is worthy of swooning over (even if he made me want to smack him while simultaneously drooling over him in this book), plus enter to win a copy of either Alice in Zombieland or Through the Zombie Glass!
This book was sent to me free of charge by the publisher for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.