Author: J.M. Sullivan
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Publication Date: 16. May 2017
Rating: 3/5. Stars
Summary: Ever since the outbreak of the Plague, life hasn’t been easy, and for seventeen-year-old Alice Carroll, it just got worse. Her sister, Dinah, has contracted the ‘un-deadly’ Momerath Virus and without a cure, will soon be worse than dead. She’ll be momerath.
Alice must leave the safety of the Sector and venture into Momerath Territory to find the antidote – if it exists. Chasing a rumor about a mysterious doctor with the cure, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wanderland, where ravenous momerath aren’t the only danger lurking.
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have to say I picked this book up because it’s cover really reminded me of Alice: Madness Returns and in this aspect, I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. There were zombies and lots of gore-y fights and post-apocalyptic distress, all while still having lots of hints at the original Alice.
Alice Carrol and her sister Dinah live in a fortified sector. Their father Lewis Carroll walked out on the family when they were still children, their mother died when the zombie apocalypse started. Dinah was about to finish her nursing degree when the apocalypse started and so she is one of the most medically qualified people in the city. The two girls sneak out sometimes to get medicine and books from the library. But on their last run, Dinah was bitten and she will turn into a Momeraths if Alice doesn’t find the cure. And so she makes her way into Wanderland where there are more dangers than just zombies.
I was immediately pulled into the story and the story has a fantastic pacing that kept me excited until the last page. The connections to Carroll’s classic characters were also amazing, with Dr. Abbot as The White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts as the leader of a post-apocalyptic camp and Matt Hatter as the scientist who caused the zombie apocalypse.
Alice was a great main character. She was likable and grew a lot over the course of the book. She went from a scared little sister to a badass fighter.
I also loved how adoption was treated in this book. Not as a sad thing that people only do as a last option, but as something great and how it was also shown how strong the bond between Alice and Dinah was.
A thing I didn’t really like was how the only non-white character in the book, Dinah, barely got any action herself. She was infected right in the beginning of the book and then she spends most of the book away from the storyline. I would have loved to see the sister together a bit more as well. But Alice was really the most dominant character in the book, which made it easy to love her, but hard to feel anything for the side characters.
I was also worried for a while as it felt as if there was a love triangle coming up, but while there are hints at it, romance takes a backseat in this story and so there is no real love triangle in this book yet (thank god).
And while I really love Alice as a character – as already mentioned – a lot of times she felt a bit like a Mary Sue. She went from not knowing how to hold a gun to the best machete fighter ever. There are other plot twists directly about her that make her very special. And while I was rolling my eyes at this sometimes, most of the time I didn’t care as the story doesn’t spend time waxing about how awesome the main character is, but instead, a new important plot point comes up immediately.
There is also an easter-egg in the formatting of the book, but as the formatting was generally weird in this book it didn’t fully work for me and acted as a distraction rather than a great surprise.
All in all, this book is a fast-paced, action-filled retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales ever. It will make you hold your breath and pull you fully into the story. But sadly there were quite a few parts that annoyed me about this book as well and so it doesn’t end up on my favorites list.