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.
****Big thank you to Pen Name Publishing for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!****
I’d also just like to quickly say the only reason I picked this book up was because of my blogger buddy Ariana @ The Quirk Book Nerd’s review! Please go check it out because it’s much more convincing than mine!
So this is a horror/dystopian/zombie-filled Alice in Wonderland retelling, did that grab your attention? If you like any of those things than seriously check this book out because it has all of those things and more! I know I personally love all of those things and I definitely thought this book was such a fun, entertaining read.
As I said this is an Alice in Wonderland retelling that is combined with a post apocalyptic world filled with zombie-esque plague victims. It’s sort of a wide variety of genres all mashed together and it WORKS! The pacing is very fast and there is a ton of action, it’s practically non-stop action and it sucks you in completely!
Another factor that helped contribute to the immersive-ness of the story was the writing, I was actually really impressed with this considering it’s Sullivan’s debut novel. Her writing is very descriptive and just gave you such a REAL feel of the action, suspense, and terror of things happening throughout the book. However, I did have some moments where I felt it was TOO descriptive since I’m the type of person that relies heavily on dialogue, but I did still like all of the action scenes!
I also really loved the unique twist on the “zombies” which are called Momeraths and are sort of a combination between zombies and mutated humans (very reminiscent of the Fallout video game series actually). What the plague and Momeraths reminded me of a lot though was the Resident Evil franchise, I could not help but think of that series the entire time while reading plus it helps that both heroines are named Alice…… So if you’re a fan then you’ll definitely enjoy this story!
The world building was also really great and unique while also still retaining elements of the original Wonderland story. It was a TON of fun finding all of the allusions to the original and getting to journey through this darker, grittier version! I would have maybe liked a bit more world building overall but I’m hoping I’ll get that in the sequel.
I did enjoy a lot of the characters and they actually had quite a bit of personality and development throughout the book. I was definitely impressed with them! I wasn’t fully convinced by Alice’s character immediately but by the end of the book I was fully persuaded to LOVE her! I loved watching her grow from being a more fearful girl to this total badass, which like I said really shows the great character development. She felt very real as well with fears and weaknesses, it made her more relatable in my opinion.
Some of my other favorite characters would have to be Dr. Abbot, Chess, and the Red Queen they also played really true to their Wonderland characters and were just so much fun to read about! I really love when secondary characters have this much personality!
I was actually very surprised that there wasn’t a super prominent romance in this book, and it was a PLEASANT surprise! While there is a bit of a love triangle feel to it since there are two potential suitors for Alice I really liked how she never really let any feelings distract her from her main goal: saving her sister. Seriously, what a relief that we have a YA heroine not letting boys get in the way of the main plot-line!
I also really enjoy both love interests too…..
I was overall VERY impressed with how thrilling, fun, unique, and interesting “Alice” was! I’m such a sucker for darker retellings though so it’s not too much of a surprsie that I really liked this one.
What I Loved:
- The setting/world building with dark “Wonderland” and zombies
- The writing was very descriptive
- Lots of fast pacing and action scenes!
- Loved the characters and how well they developed throughout
- Very fun to pick out the allusions to the original Alice in Wonderland
What I Didn’t Love:
- Felt a little too descriptive at times, could have used more dialogue
- The world could have been a little more developed
I definitely recommend giving this book a try especially if you’re a fan of retellings with dark, gritty twists and anything reminiscent of the Resident Evil franchise!
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
I came across this book whilst shopping with my grandma and cousin one day. My grandma said, “Girls. You can each go and pick out a book and I’ll buy it for you.” And thus I took off. I ended up picking “Rot & Ruin” because it sounded interesting and I love zombies….even though I worry about them sometimes…… I just remember by grandma saying, “Um….are you sure you want this one?” She was really appalled by the cover and my cousin was buying a nice teen girly book, and I told her, “Yes grandma I want this one.” Because I’m a rebel like that.
This book is very beautiful, you wouldn’t expect it to be since…it’s about ugly zombies but it’s true. The characters are all well developed, the concept of “zombies are people too” is actually really eye-opening, and there’s a lot of emotional turmoil that the characters are put through.
So Benny (our MC), is a typical 15 year old boy, therefore his narrating can get a little irritating sometimes. Plus he’s constantly fighting his brother, Tom, at every turn. Benny blames Tom for the loss of their parents on the First Night (of the zombie outbreak). Now, Tom is a badass. BADASS. He’s easily my favorite character, he manages to keep his cool through everything. Read this book and DON’T develop a crush on Tom, I dare you. The two main female characters, Nix and Lilah, are also extremely badass and capable. Maberry did a good job on the strong female characters front.
There is no insta-love, there are no love triangles. There’s not really any romance in this book (which I love), the main relationship in focus is between Benny and Tom. Which is a nice change while reading YA.
“Rot & Ruin” is also extremely emotional, at least for me because I’m a big baby. There are a lot of affectionate moments between the brothers, and there’s a couple of other tear-jerking stories told within the book. I cried….a lot. I was sitting and trying to do my hair and read at the same time and I fucked up my hair because I got too into the book and started bawling.
I have so much love for this book (and the series), they’re definitely worth the read. I HIGHLY recommend reading it.