Alice Isn't Dead

Alice Isn't Dead

From the New York Times bestselling co-author of It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale comes a fast-paced thriller about a truck driver searching across America for the wife she had long assumed to be dead.“This is not a story. It’s a road trip.”Keisha Lewis lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming...

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Title:Alice Isn't Dead
Author:Joseph Fink
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Alice Isn't Dead Reviews

  • WV

    I like this even more than Welcome to Night Vale. There, I said it.

  • Hanna

    I cried at the end. It's not even a sad ending, I've just been following the podcast since the very beginning and can't believe the story is over. I loved it. I love it. The podcast. The book. Both absolutely creepy, thrilling, inspiring, and wonderful.

  • Blake

    "She couldn’t go home. Because home wasn’t a place. Home was a person. And she hadn’t found that person yet.”

    WOW. And I thought I loved Night Vale. Full disclaimer, I only listened to the first season of the Alice Isn’t Dead podcast, so I can’t compare this to the podcast very much.

    Holy shiz balls. This book, guys. If you’ve been looking for a queer story where the plot didn’t focus on the characters coming out, or dealing with suicide, or any of the stereotypical crap we have to deal with in re

    "She couldn’t go home. Because home wasn’t a place. Home was a person. And she hadn’t found that person yet.”

    WOW. And I thought I loved Night Vale. Full disclaimer, I only listened to the first season of the Alice Isn’t Dead podcast, so I can’t compare this to the podcast very much.

    Holy shiz balls. This book, guys. If you’ve been looking for a queer story where the plot didn’t focus on the characters coming out, or dealing with suicide, or any of the stereotypical crap we have to deal with in real life, this is the book for you. A queer woman of color gets to lead a MYSTERY/HORROR ROAD TRIP NOVEL. HOW COOL IS THAT?

    This book is very creepy. It’s concerned with the empty, abandoned places hidden on the sides of highways and the evil that lurks within. It’s also about a woman searching for her missing wife. Both plotlines are interesting and engaging and WOW Fink’s writing is utterly hypnotic.

    I had tears in my eyes reading the ending to this book, because the characters felt so REAL. The story’s ending felt EARNED. And this is a book that’ll go up in my all time favs. Do yourself a favor, and check this one out. You won’t regret it.

  • Michael Cook

    is a really good novel. It's a really good horror book, a really good sci-fi/fantasy book, and a really good book about humans in general. Just from reading the plot summary, you might think this was a book all about some vast conspiracy involving the U.S. Government and a bunch of weird monsters. You'd be sort of right for thinking that, but it's also about so much more. Underneath all the monsters and supernatural wars is a love story between a woman and her wife. It's a story

    is a really good novel. It's a really good horror book, a really good sci-fi/fantasy book, and a really good book about humans in general. Just from reading the plot summary, you might think this was a book all about some vast conspiracy involving the U.S. Government and a bunch of weird monsters. You'd be sort of right for thinking that, but it's also about so much more. Underneath all the monsters and supernatural wars is a love story between a woman and her wife. It's a story about losing someone you love, finding them, feeling betrayed, persevering against all odds, and coming together in order to save all you hold dear. It's a deeply intimate story, even with the giant scope of the subject matter. And that's what really makes this book something special. It's a story about 

    caught up in this giant supernatural event.

    It would be super easy to feel lost in a story like this had Fink not grounded it so well with such an immediately relatable main character. From the first time we encounter Keisha, on the first page of the novel, we immediately identify with her. Fink does such a great job at getting us into her head and making us feel what she feels. Her struggle with anxiety will be immediately identifiable to anyone else who's struggled with it and the way she learns to cope with, and utilize, her anxiety is something that really resonates with me. Keisha is our window into this story and it's (mainly) through her that we experience the events. We see what she sees and we feel what she feels. Sure, the narration often shows us other people and events outside of Keisha's point of view, but it all ultimately comes back to her. Keisha, and her love for her wife (Alice), is what grounds this story. It's their relationship that makes this story work. It doesn't really matter who the Thistle Men are or why they do what they do because what we really care about is how Keisha and Alice will survive this story.

    That's not to say, however, that the mystery of who the Thistle Men are and who's ultimately behind them and the supernatural war happening under the very nose of America isn't important, fleshed out, and ultimately solved in a satisfying way. Because while the story is mainly about Keisha's relationship with Alice and how it survives all that's happened between them, it's also about Keisha's journey to uncovering the secrets behind the Thistle Men, Bay and Creek, and the war between the two. It's a road trip story that takes Keisha all around America as she searches for answers: first as to where her wife is and later as to who is behind all of these strange and terrible events she's witnessing. In a way, 

    reminds me a lot about Neil Gaiman's 

    in the best way possible. Both are books about these huge supernatural wars between two sides who seem to hate each other. Both feature resolutions that prove that things weren't as they initially appeared. And both are largely road trip stories driven and revolving around a singular protagonist. Both novels use intimate stories about their main characters as the conduit to telling this larger story about supernatural wars. And both novels are 

    .

    I appreciate how this is a horror novel that doesn't really relish in how scary it is. The way Fink describes the Thistle Men will make your skin crawl and give you nightmares on end, but he doesn't linger with it. He tells you enough for you to get the picture and then moves on with the action. This isn't a book full of "jump scares"; it's a book that builds up its atmosphere and leaves you feeling like anything horrible could happen at any moment. It pumps you full of dread and fear for the main character. There are plenty of times where you really don't know if Keisha and Alice are gonna make it out of these events alive. You hope they will, but you realize they might not. It's a scary book that isn't obsessed with being scary. It's far more obsessed with exploring humanity. In the last third of the book, there's a lot of good exploration about humanity in general; what makes a human good or bad. There's this idea that we find it easy to call bad people monsters because it allows us to separate them from ourselves, to view them as un-human, as other. This book fights against that idea. At the end of the day, the scariest monsters are always humans.

    It's worth noting that while

    is based on the podcast of the same name, this novel isn't just a novelization of the podcast. Yes, both the podcast and this novel tell what is essentially the same story, but the way they respectively tell it differs. The novel condenses and tweaks a lot of the events that happen in the podcast into a more concise series of events and even goes so far as to skip over entire episodes of the podcast as to include them in the novel would, quite frankly, totally destroy the pacing and forward thrust of the narrative. The novel doesn't differ from the podcast in what it doesn't contain, but there's also a whole lot of stuff added to the novel that isn't in the podcast. There's a lot you can do in novels, in terms of differing points of view, that you can't really do in a podcast that's being narrated from the point of view of a single character. So the novel features a 

    of scenes that aren't in the podcast or were just alluded to having happened at some point. Point is: there's a lot in this book for fans of the podcast; it's not just the exact same story you've already heard. It's the same overall story but told in a different way with additions and changes and an entirely different feel.

    is a genuinely good book. It's well written, featuring a number of dynamic, well-defined characters, each with clear motives and desires and agency. It's got a really good mystery that's ultimately resolved in a really satisfying way. It's full of strong prose that ushers the story along at a good pace. It might take a little bit to get going, but once it does, you won't want to put it down. It's a horror book in the best sense of that term: it explores the darkness of the worst of humanity and contrasts it with the brightness of the best of it. It's a story about love surviving in the worst of circumstances. It's a story of two people finding each other and forgiving each other after a major betrayal. It's a story about a woman coping with her anxiety and learning to use it to her advantage. It's a story about survival and fighting to save what you hold dear. It's an intimate story set against the backdrop of an epic one. If you enjoy scary stories about conspiracies, you'll enjoy this. If you enjoy survival stories, you'll enjoy this. If you enjoy stories of two lovers fighting for each other, you'll enjoy this. This is a great book by a great author. Read it. You'll enjoy it.

  • Erikka

    Alice Isn't Dead is one of my favorite podcasts. The story is Keisha's search for her wife and her subsequent stumble into a world of creepy zombie men and twisted government agencies is compelling and so well-written. This book is simply the podcast in a different format. I'm reviewing this now, but know that I haven't read the last 25% or so because it was getting into spoiler territory. I will definitely finish reading it as soon as the podcast and book match up.

    Update: Finished it. Loved it.

    Alice Isn't Dead is one of my favorite podcasts. The story is Keisha's search for her wife and her subsequent stumble into a world of creepy zombie men and twisted government agencies is compelling and so well-written. This book is simply the podcast in a different format. I'm reviewing this now, but know that I haven't read the last 25% or so because it was getting into spoiler territory. I will definitely finish reading it as soon as the podcast and book match up.

    Update: Finished it. Loved it. And, yeah, it's literally the podcast in book form. So spoilers abound if you haven't listened to it. Honestly, it's better in podcast form. I feel like the ending of the story got a bit bogged down. It made more sense in an audio format.

  • Demi

    What a satisfying read—a perfect blend of horror, suspense, and the rediscovery of a romance. I love the desperate clinging to humanity that suffuses Fink’s novels and podcasts; even in this highly anxious time, we read love stories about a woman who will do anything for the love of her wife.

  • Brandon

    Alice is dead.  Or is she?

    From the creator of the wildly popular podcast, Welcome to Night Vale, comes a story about a young woman roaming the highways of America as a truck driver looking for her wife whom she believes to still be alive.  Along the way she will encounter deformed. zombie-like men and women, members of a secret government agency and a group of timeless mythical beings.

    Like Welcome to Night Vale, Alice Isn’t Dead started as a podcast a few years ago under the banner “Night Vale P

    Alice is dead.  Or is she?

    From the creator of the wildly popular podcast, Welcome to Night Vale, comes a story about a young woman roaming the highways of America as a truck driver looking for her wife whom she believes to still be alive.  Along the way she will encounter deformed. zombie-like men and women, members of a secret government agency and a group of timeless mythical beings.

    Like Welcome to Night Vale, Alice Isn’t Dead started as a podcast a few years ago under the banner “Night Vale Presents..”.  Now, creator Joseph Fink brings you the complete story from start to finish in the form of a novel.

    I found the first half of this duller than a bag of hammers.  Sure, there’s lots of world building to establish here but the pacing was slower than molasses in January (and this is coming from someone who loves good world-building).  When it came time to turn up the horror elements to eleven, I didn’t find that any of it grabbed me or put a chill deep into my bones.  I think this has to do with the fact that I appreciate more atmospheric terror when it comes to my scares rather than straight up gross-out body horror.

    It’s not all bad though - the novel’s main protagonist, Keisha, was someone I identified a lot with given her struggles with anxiety.  I felt a deep connection with her and her initial inability to stray from the beaten path.  Even though the whole purpose of taking that job with a trucking company was to find her missing wife, she nearly balks at the opportunity to follow-up on a lead because she is afraid she will jeopardize her job.  As the novel progresses, she becomes stronger and more determined.  Fink succeeds in presenting a character with natural progression rather than going with the tried and true, “I’m a badass now” trope.

    The history of Keisha and Alice’s relationship is revealed slowly over the course of the story and given my connection with Keisha, I found this to be the most enjoyable part of the novel, despite it lacking all the scary bits the book is primarily sold on.  Fink shows true talent when getting down the intricacies of a long-term relationship.  I won’t go so far as to say he’s better at this than the Lovecraftian story-telling style he’s known for (his Night Vale podcast is tremendous), but it’s definitely something I hope is not lost in the shuffle when everyone is just focusing on the horror elements of the book.

    In the end, just like Fink’s prior novel “Welcome to Night Vale”, I’m just not digging his written work.  I think he is an incredible audio-storyteller and given that “Alice Isn’t Dead” is also a podcast, I’m thinking about going back and listening to that show from the beginning.  I’m guessing that might be the preferred narrative seeing that is how it all started.

  • Melki

    A distraught woman gets a job as a long-distance trucker so she can search for her missing wife. In her travels she stumbles upon a vast . . . um . . . serial murder conspiracy . . . I guess? Much inner contemplation, and

    A distraught woman gets a job as a long-distance trucker so she can search for her missing wife. In her travels she stumbles upon a vast . . . um . . . serial murder conspiracy . . . I guess? Much inner contemplation, and many flashbacks ensue.

    As you might have surmised, I was pretty disappointed in this one. The story may work as a podcast, but as a book it was slow, dull, and really could have used some humor. I

    enjoy the parts of the story where Keisha and Alice were together, and I began letting out deep sighs when the writer returned to the "thrilling" mystery.

    This is one that I forced myself to finish, and now I'm wondering why I bothered.

  • Aleksandra

    To tell the truth, I stopped listening to the podcast after about 5 episodes because it was too creepy and I'm scaredy-cat, but for some reason I think the story in a book format would work better for me.

    and I just want to read a roadtrip book about Keisha looking for her wife Alice, who hopefully isn't dead.

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