Alice in Deadland is mind-blowing at several levels. Firstly, in its vivid depiction of a post-apocalyptic world, where the power machinations of humankind remain unchanged. Secondly, in its unusual and inspired use of the Alice story. There have been various renditions of classic stories with zombies–but this is nothing like that. This reinvents the Alice trope in a whole new way. And the third reason–I just love Alice!
The reason we keep publishing Mainak is because he is such an amazing storyteller. (And as the book was being released–Amazon showed that he is indeed one of the world’s top ten horror storytellers!) The world he invents seems strangely familiar despite (one hopes) its utter improbability. Of course human nature does not change, of course people will always look for ways to achieve power over others … The vivid details of character and space give the story its special power. The twists and turns of plot make this a gripping read.
Alice is an amazing heroine. She is strong, determined and clear-headed. Yet at the same time, one never forgets that she is a young girl, and vulnerable in many ways. I love kickass heroines, and Alice surely ranks high up among them.
If Mainak’s Zombiestan changed my attitude to zombie novels, Alice in Deadland changed my attitude to zombies! Alice is another fast-paced adventure, but it is far more than that. It is a complex allegorical and political novel, set against a vast canvas. But what is most exciting about the book is the skilful way Mainak has woven in the original Alice into a story set in a post-apocalyptic world. Alice in Wonderland is a classic fantasy, full of quirky, bizarre characters and impossible events. Alice in Deadland is no less bizarre, but it straddles the world of fantasy and reality. It is not a straight Alice retold as a zombie story. Instead, Mainak introduces the book so cleverly and subtly into the story, that part of the fun of reading the book is in spotting characters and lines from the original. And I really liked the fact that the protagonist is a young girl, trained in combat. I love young action heroines; and this Alice is one tough cookie.