While his anxiety is often crippling, Fink has channeled that fear into writing some of the most engrossing supernatural stories out there today. Readers who cope with a similar disposition are sure to identify with the book’s two main characters, Alice and Keisha, who navigate their own anxieties in an exceptionally terrifying atmosphere ... The travelers in all of us are sure to enjoy this road trip of a book, even if it means getting lost along the way.
The narrator also tells anecdotes of other innocent people who encountered the monsters associated with Thistle, adding depth and scope to the threat much as Stephen King does in It. Moreover, the impermanence of setting and Keisha's vulnerability while sleeping in her truck, stopping in unfamiliar locations, ratchets up the tension ... Fans of the podcast [Welcome to Nightvale] will no doubt enjoy this expansion of Keisha's quest, but readers who have no familiarity with the story will likely appreciate its surprises and chills even more. Ultimately an endorsement of everyday heroism and community, Alice Isn't Dead resonates as a love story, a road trip novel and a campfire tale that taps into our most primal fears.
Alice Isn’t Dead... [blends] a horror/thriller storyline into a story about relationships, and anxiety, and the universal human quest for the divine ... While the foundation of the plot and its themes is nothing new and will likely remind readers of any number of mainstream horror writers, there is a freshness here borne from the simplicity of the tale, the feeling of the road, the #ownvoices descriptions of anxiety and perhaps most importantly, two women who are simply allowed to be in love without having to define or prove the validity of their relationship ... There were numerous opportunities were Keisha’s personality could have been extended and developed ... he book is an easy, well-paced read with a smooth plot and characters you can’t help but root for.
Fink rather neatly compresses three podcast seasons into one book. His flashy horror stylings don’t fully translate to the page — the creepy, anxious factor of his audio work is second to none — and the pacing, as Fink tries veering between new points of view, turns clunky. But this Alice Isn’t Dead remains an intriguing complement, imbued with newfound soul — and romance. Alice has always known suspense, but as a novel it finds true love.
While focusing on monsters and occult forces, Alice Isn't Dead remains incredibly grounded by its authenticity ... This isn’t a story. It’s a road trip filled with adventures and new experiences that prompt reflection on the space we have traveled. In addition to being a merit-worthy horror novel, it is a lesson on social responsibility and allyship. It is filled with surprises and is frighteningly relevant.
Keisha is a fascinating character partially because one of her defining characteristics is chronic anxiety, and it’s a potent imperfection for a character who battles literal monsters on a regular basis ... But the book also tempers its terrors with everyday humanity, portraying the mundane joys of love, the rich fabric of the American countryside, and surreal 'Why did the chicken cross the road?' jokes that are a hallmark of the podcast. By the time Keisha learns Alice's fate, readers will realize that this marvelous character is more than the sum of her faceless anxiety or her very real fears. A terrifying new storytelling experience that affirms, even in our darkest moments, that love conquers all.
... thrilling ... Creator of the popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast, Fink... fills his world with fully realized characters, from Keisha, who uses her grief and anxiety to give herself strength, to Sylvia, the runaway teenager who fights against the Thistle Men who killed her mom. Fans of eerie suspense will find much to like.