To Be Published September 30, 2014
Format: ARC, obtained from the publisher
Genre: young adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(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.
"Gavin has started calling you the queen of zombie hearts," Cole said. "And you know what, he's right. It fits. Before you, I wasn't really living. I was existing. Moving from girl to girl. Killing zombies. I was as good as dead, but you brought me back to life. And you are most definitely the queen of my heart."
Things have finally come to a head with Anima, and Cole, Ali and the rest of the slayers and their friends are ready to start kicking ass and taking names. But, Anima doesn't seem to be playing by the unwritten rules of evildom. They're doing unexpected things, and that's making the gang nervous. To make matters even more nuts, Ali has started seeing a new Witness - one she never has before. And when she finds out who she is, it's even more clear that the game is changing in a big way.
I had to sit on this book for a bit before I could wrap my head around what to say about it. It's one of those books that puts you into a coma for awhile because of its sheer epicness. So much happens in The Queen of Zombie Hearts - both good, bad and awesome. It starts immediately and doesn't die down until the very last page. It's exactly what you want when you're reading the last book in a series, especially one about zombie slayers.
Gena Showalter gives readers everything we want and tempers it with some of what we need. She gives us a happy ending. But, in Cole's words,
"Did everyone get a happily ever after? Sorry, but no. Welcome to life."
You know those books where it just seemed like the author was trying too hard to please everyone? So, all the characters get this sweet ending tied up with a nice bow at the end, and all ride off into the sunset, tra-la-la. BLECH. It might be painful, and it might suck at times, but it's better if the road to the end is full of potholes. It's definitely more interesting, and it absolutely makes the story seem more believable - even one about zombies.
The White Rabbit Chronicles has always been about Ali Bell and her search for self. Who is Ali Bell? What makes her tick? Admittedly, Cole Holland became a large part of who Ali is as we moved through her story. And, that's okay. Because, Cole makes her better. Together, they're amazing. They're dynamic and sexy, and completely dysfunctional at times. In a word - they're PERFECT. They've been through a lot together, and it really seems like they are finally rock solid.
"You're my girl, Ali. That's never going to change. There's no one else I've ever wanted more, no one else I ever will. You're it for me, and if it takes the rest of my life, I'm going to prove it to you."
I believed him. "I'm looking forward to that."
Because I wasn't constantly worrying about their relationship this time around, my brain and fragile emotions were better able to focus on the evil empire, Anima, and what their dastardly end game was. And, we finally find out. And, it all has everything to do with who Ali Bell REALLY is and what she can do. Seriously, the twists and turns in The Queen of Zombie Hearts surprised me. I loved all the new stuff that came up. Usually, final books are all about tying up the loose ends. It was awesome that Gena Showalter decided to not only introduce some crazy awesome plot twists, but tons of brand new characters too. It gave the book a completely fresh feeling, which was great. And, yet, all the loose ends are still taken care of. See - we can have our cake and eat it too.
After all the explosions and fight scenes and zombie ashing and after all the kisses and tears and snarky comments we've finally reached the end. I'm kinda holding out for a spin-off series. There's several potential characters that would be perfect for that. (*raising eyebrows* Gena?) Until then, I'm content to re-read some of my favorite moments. And, pretty much all of them involve Cole.
"You know I think you hung the moon, right?"
"Right. Just like I know you held the ladder and looked up my skirt."