By Cynthia Ayala
Anima was destroyed, but the crumbling pieces have fallen back into place and the slayers worst enemy has returned. And Kat, who is now a witnessed is the one with the plan. However, the plan involves two pieces that aren’t exactly in the right space: the distraught and self-destructive Frosty who is still mourning Kat’s death and Camilla, the betrayer responsible for Kat’s death. Can these two put the past behind them to save the future, or are they forever doomed to relive the haunting past?
A Mad Zombie Party is the fourth and final book in Gena Showalter’s New York Times bestselling White Rabbit Chronicles published by Harlequin Teen that follows Frosty and Camilla instead of Alice through the Zombie world.
This novel definitely stands out from the previous novels in the series because the character focus takes a dramatic shift than it once was. Instead of following Alice Bell through the Zombie world, now readers are following Frost and Camilla. Each title goes back and forth between who these characters are and their individual narratives.
Now, this story is cool and so are the characters. These are some hard core characters that are covered in tattoos and scars. Just imagine those kids from high school that are covered in piercing and tattoos and look so cool. Yeah, everyone in this series looks like that, and that’s not a good thing. Camilla should stand out, Frost should stand out but they don’t, and that’s the problem with all of these hard core characters looking so hardcore, they read the same. In previous novels, there is no real opportunity to give the other characters a chance to shine, but with this novel there is an opportunity to do that, to bring to life other characters and have them stand out. But Camilla just sounds like Alice and Alice sounds like Kat while all the boys sound like Cole. There is one exception to the rule, Gavin, who has limited scenes in the novel. He’s really the only character that stands out which is disappointing. Showalter could have done more for her characterization, to try to make the characters more distinctive.
That’s not to say this this isn’t a good story. Showalter does a good job of creating this story out of nothing because let’s face it, The Queen of Zombie Hearts was meant to be the concluding factor, and in many ways it is. It ends Alice’s story so with this novel Showalter uses a different technique and many twists and turns in the story to both evolve and revitalize it. She’s pumping life into something dead, figuratively speaking. It’s both challenging because for the most part, the story concluded, but here, it rose from the dead. Lame pun? Yes, but it an appropriate one and it shows Showalter’s talent for writing a story. She writes this story with beautiful language and wonderful scenes.
Those scenes are written perfectly, they move at a fast pace and draw the reader in, submerging the scenes in everything in the scene making the reading go very fast while not losing the reader or confusing them by losing specifics. It’s great writing because of how the scenes are writing, even if the characters blend together, the action sequences move very quickly but they are written clearly with the perfect amount of detail to create a strong visual without slowing down the pace of the novel.
While her weakness is in character distinctiveness, Showalter has a great talent for creating a very strong story with strong visuals that don’t dampen the quick pace. (★★★★☆ | B+)