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Gena Showalter continues the White Rabbit Chronicles with Through the Zombie Glass. The book picks up shortly where Alice in Zombieland left out and brings the reader right back into the strange and curious world that Showalter creates in the White Rabbit Chronicles with a whole new twist. While the story still has its plethora of slayers, zombies, and battles with Anima Industries, the plot centers its attention on Ali Bell, her relationship with Cole, and her internal struggle with the darkness within. A darkness that Ali begins to call Z.A. as it grows and spreads within her.
I won’t give away the main plot line that deals with Z.A. and Ali Bell because it is such a huge chunk of why Ali acts the way she does in Through the Zombie Glass. I can say that Showalter has more little nods and acknowledgements towards Alice in Wonderland with the constant appearance of mirrors (to the point the mirrors almost take a place as a character in the book!), and little quirks that reference Wonderland and the Mad Hatter. As a fan of all things Alice in Wonderland, I was eager to see that Showalter is making more of an effort to acknowledge Lewis Carrol’s work.
The book in some places did drag in the plot with the constant relationship struggles between Cole and Ali as the story progressed. Both Cole and Ali are extremely stubborn and extremely insecure which makes for quite a bit of drama when it comes to their relationship. When you add in the introduction of Gavin and Veronica to the story, this just adds to the struggle in their relationship. Especially when Ali, Gavin, and Cole start having visions that show Cole happy with Veronica, and Ali happy with Gavin. As Ali comes to understand though, the visions aren’t always what they seem. All the same, the story ends on a high note for Ali and Cole stronger their ever in their relationship after all the challenges they face internally and externally. Even with this high note though, I can’t help but wonder why Ali ended up kissing Gavin on the mouth as a ‘thank you’ if she is so in love with Cole. A possible sub-plot for the end of the trilogy perhaps? I think so.
Besides the relationship struggles and happy moments that are sprinkled through the book between Bronx and Reeve, Kat and Frosty, and of course Cole and Ali, there is thankfully more revelation about the zombies. There really is not much of a full back story or more information provided of how the zombies came to be, but Showalter does provide the reader with the knowledge that Anima Industries does have a big part they are playing in the ‘mutations’ of some of the new zombies. Still the book stays true to its roots as a zombie story full of love, science, slayers, and teenage angst.
In the end I can say that this book like its predecessor is more of a zombie book than it is an Alice in Wonderland story. However, there is enough of both worlds that each fanbase will be thrilled. The characters are realistic and true to their age group, and I appreciate Showalter for staying true to her characters nature. While the characters are all amazingly strong zombie killing machines, they are still teenagers with normal teenage problems. Showalter certainly has no problem in blending the experiences of the average teenager with fantasy in the White Rabbit Chronicles, and she does it beautifully. I anticipate as much as feel at a loss for the end of the White Rabbit Chronicles trilogy when The Queen of Zombie Hearts comes out. I can only hope that when the trilogy concludes that this is not the end of the world we have come to know. There is still so much story left to tell when it comes to the other slayers and I hope Showalter will not fail her fans in leaving the story of the other slayers untold. Only time will tell.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.