Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: The Queen of Zombie Hearts

THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS
White Rabbit Chronicles #3
Gena Showalter
Paranormal Young Adult
464 pages
HarlequinTEEN
Available September 30th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.


MY THOUGHTS
The Queen of Zombie Hearts is a series of battles–physical and emotional–from first page to last, Ali and company barely getting a moment’s rest before Death is chasing them down once again. As a result, the 450+ pages of this final installment absolutely fly by, depositing us on the last page with a damaged heart, a wobbly smile, and a deep sense of denial that our time with these characters is actually over. Ms. Showalter is not afraid to raise the body count of both friend and foe in the final showdown between Ali and Anima Industries, but her books are always a beautiful combination of gravity and humor, ensuring we're never without a little light to see us through the darkness.

Ali is as strong as ever, in possession of zombie-destroying abilities no other slayers seem to wield much to our continued puzzlement. We get all the answers to our questions in this last book however, revelation after revelation ratcheting up the intensity to such a degree we seriously contemplate calling in sick to work the next day just so we don’t have to set her story aside for the night and sleep. She’s the type of young woman who abhors lies, so she’s always the first one to blurt out whatever is on her mind whether it be personal or zombie-related in nature, and we can’t help but want to hug her every time she uses her words instead of keeping them locked up tight.

Cole is much the same as well, delighting us with his alpha badassery and possessiveness even as we sometimes simply have to shake our heads at his posturing. Were he to exist in real life, his growling, smoldering, you’ll-do-things-my-way attitude would likely be extremely irritating, but because Ms. Showalter saw fit to give him a woman who snaps her spine straight instead of going weak in the knees under the force of his personality, all his alpha male characteristics take on that beautiful romantic shine that can only exist in fiction. He’s that enormously fun blend of hard and soft, all his pointed edges suddenly rounding in Ali’s presence, shifting him from attractively distant to charmingly approachable, and we can’t help but fall as hard for him as Ali does.

One of Ms. Showalter’s extraordinary strengths, whether she’s writing adult or young adult, has always been her ability to craft large casts of hugely well-developed secondary characters. While Ali and Cole shine brightest in this series, the crew of people surrounding them are every bit as vital to its overall success, their personalities distinct and layered, and we can only hope that maybe one day Ms. Showalter will give us the gift of revisiting them a few years down the line. Overall, The Queen of Zombie Hearts is the perfect end to this series, old friends lost and new friends found, and through it all stands a lead couple who just bring a smile to our faces.

Rating: 4/5


Find Gena:

*If you haven't already, be sure to check out my interview with the charming and hilarious River and enter to win any book in the White Rabbit Chronicles!

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

32 comments:

  1. I love that these books are thick and have a ton of action and humor-filled moments. Haha. Cole is the bestest even if I wanted to strangle him in #2 since he was so freaking stubborn. As is Ali. I guess that's why they suit so well. "He’s that enormously fun blend of hard and soft, all his pointed edges suddenly rounding in Ali’s presence, shifting him from attractively distant to charmingly approachable" YES YES YESSSS JENNY!!!! I hope we get more from this world since it's such a fun and awesome one. Great review, lovely!

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    1. HE WAS STUBBORN SIIRI! I wanted to throttle him, but Ali made it all okay. I loved how she dealt with everything:) I really hope we get more from this world too!

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  2. I have the first two books of this series and its one that a lot of people have recommeneded when it comes to re-telling of popular classics but with such a cool twist on them. I will definitley get around to reading this series for sure. This cover though, I LOVE it. Maybe it's because it has pink in it. I'm a sucker for that. But I'd day that's one of my favourites of the series. Lovely review, Jenny! :)

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    1. I hope you find the time to give this series at try Emma, it's such fun:)

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  3. I wasn't too fond of Cole in book 1 and so didn't really continue on with this series, Jenny, but it sounds like he's matured since then. I may have to give book 2 a try now and see if my opinion of Cole changes.

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    1. Cole was trickiest for me in book 2 Z, so this just may not be the series for you!

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  4. I'm always so impressed by authors like Gena who can juggle huge casts effectively, keeping all the players in motion without overwhelming the reader. And Cole: "alpha badassery and possessiveness even as we sometimes simply have to shake our heads at his posturing." YES, girl. YES.

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    1. YES!!! She's amazing with huge casts of secondary characters, I always end up loving them all:)

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  5. Once again, gorgeous, well written review Jenny! I haven't started this series yet but you have me excited to try it. :)

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    1. Thank you Ali! I hope you get a chance to try these books soon:)

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  6. I'm so late with this series. I really enjoyed the first book but I never read the others and book 3 is already here now. I really need to go back to it.

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    1. At least it's just a trilogy, so you won't fall any further behind now, unlike those series that go on for 10+ books where you suddenly have to read 8 books to get caught up.

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  7. I never got the appeal of this series. There's something about it that doesn't work well for me, but I'm extremely happy to see that a series that you cherish ended on a good note for you. I can tell from your review that it was emotionally satisfying for you. :)
    Beautiful review, Jenny.

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    1. That's okay Nick! I'm a huge Gena Showalter fan, I just love the way she writes and how much personality her characters always have, but not every author or series is for everyone:)

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  8. Wonderful review, thanks for bringing it to my attention :D

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  9. I love, love, love when an author can make secondary characters amazing and fleshed out (like Throne of Glass!), and you keep making me want to pick tthis series up! Great review, Jenny :)

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    1. Gena is epic at secondary characters. And protagonists as well, but her series are always teeming with amazing supporting men and women:)

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  10. So need to read the rest of this series. I've only read book 1! I'm excited that their interaction extends to this volume. Yep, it's on my wishlist already. :D

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    1. GET CAUGHT UP MELISSA!!! Because...Cole :)

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  11. I now feel bad for giving up on this series after the first book which was a disappointment for me. I mean when a book that has over 400 pages flies by it tells me everything I need to know about it. And Cole! :) He is good enough reason on its own ;) Great review, Jenny :)

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  12. Jelly that you read this one already!!! Awesome review as always Jenny!

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  13. Please tell me that Ali and Cole take the next level in their relationship!!! Lol

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  14. I love how Gena Showalter always builds amazing secondary characters that you care about as much as her hero and heroine! I'm excited to pick this series back up soon. I need more Cole and Ali time. As always, wonderful review Jenny!! :)

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  15. I don't remember if I told you or not but I'm not really into zombies. The only book I did enjoy with them was Warm Bodies and only decided to read it because of the movie LOL. BUT, I am very curious about this one and I'm pretty sure I do own book 1 on my tablet...or borrowed from library. :P And, man, that author sure writes! I think she did like 4 series? Probably more. Great review, Jenny!! :)

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  16. I love when secondary characters shine in series like this, and I'm thrilled to hear the finale was satisfying for you! I'm nervous about the body count, but I can't wait to catch up now that I know it's headed toward a good ending. Lovely review!

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  17. I need to read this series! And seriously, BEST COVERS!

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  18. I still have to start this series and even if Cole sounds like he could be a lil irritating I'm very happy to hear that Ali stands her ground and calls his bullshit if needed!
    And great secondary characters? I think I will be indeed be binge reading this series soon, Jenny!

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  19. Whew! I was worried about that "wobbly smile and damaged heart" in the first paragraph, but if you say this book is the perfect end to the series, I know I can handle it! I know you like HEAs as much as I do. I'm glad this one is fast paced, with answers. But I'm going to have to prepare myself for deaths! I love how you describe Ali and Cole's relationship - she's a strong girl for sure. I read another review of this that said Cole is annoying in this book again, and I'm sensing that it has to do with his alpha nature - hopefully not the same breakup drama of the last story. Anyway, I'm excited to read this conclusion! Thanks for this review.

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