Alice in No-Mans-Land by James Knapp (Review)



Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5


When her escape pod falls to earth, crashing in Ypsilanti Bloc, privileged seventeen-year-old Alice Walshe is dashed from the wonderland of wealth and prosperity into a ruined, walled city overrun with militias, gangs, and even cannibals. On top of this horror, her younger brother’s escape pod is missing.

Alice isn’t naïve – she’s always known blocs like Ypsilanti exist, left behind after a foodborne illness ravished the country decades earlier and left pockets of severe urban decay in its wake. Men like her father – a major player at Cerulean Holdings – renew the devastated blocs and bring stability back into the areas. But, Ypsilanti is even worse than the tales she’s heard, and rumor has it the bloc is faced with the threat of extermination by Cerulean, not renewal.

Trapped within Ypsilanti’s borders and left for dead, Alice teams up with a pair of teen scavengers who tracked the wreck of her pod. Despite their rough exterior and vulgar speech, they’re her only option for navigating the hostile and violent environment of Ypsilanti, finding her brother, and getting out of No-Man’s-Land alive..”

My Review:

Trigger Warning: Rape Mention


Alright, let’s be honest. I was wary. Alice in No-Mans-Lands? I had assumed it would be something like Alice in Wonderland and I was ready to roll my eyes as I read. So, thank you, Knapp, for proving my incredibly wrong.

I’m going to jump straight into it. Knapp played my emotions like a violinist plays a violin. I was sad, annoyed, angry, intrigued, surprised, and the entire book had me reeling with feelings. Hats and beanies off to you, Knapp.

Alice Walshe, oldest child and only daughter of Yuric Walshe, is stuck in no-mans land. And for once, the main female character’s mission isn’t to ‘save her people.” Instead, she is shoved into a world that was never her own, a world that she doesn’t understand and never thought she needed to, and must fend for herself.

There is honestly nothing but growth for Alice. She is constantly forced to grow up mentally, physically, and emotionally as she navigated her way through this new life. Alice made countless mistakes. Mistakes that she can never undo and will have to live with those consequences for the rest of her life. But that was natural. I wouldn’t have wanted her to cruise through every situation on auto-pilot and always know what to do. Her correct responses and wrong ones helped me to be able to relate to her.

Sometimes she annoyed me. Though, it was for a good reason. Alice’s stubborn insistence of telling the people who lived in No-Mans-Land that what she had heard on the news was correct and that they were wrong, bothered me. It was annoying because it was obvious that she had been lied to, but realistic. If you have been told something all of your life, you won’t be quick to abandon it.

I think one of the changes I loved the most in Alice was her compassion. Before she crash-landed, she cared nothing for the people of Ypsilanti, but by the end, her heart broke for them. Actually, more accurately, her heart broke for them by the halfway mark in the book. That is the makings of a leader. As far as I am concerned, Alice is a strong and independent, heroine with the necessary leadership skills. Make no mistake though, independent doesn’t mean that she only relies on herself. Just that she knows that if she must, then she can.

Gosh, I loved this plot. I was never bored or in need of a knapp. (That’s the only pun I’ll make, I promise) I suppose what impressed me the most, was that it is scarily realistic. The world that Knapp created for Alice was almost parallel to our world. It was such an eye-opener, even for things I already knew. For example, the media coverage. I won’t give away any spoilers, but Knapp purposefully showed how the media causes people, like us, to hate those we don’t understand. Although, Alice in No-Mans-Land is fictional, this scenario was not. Throughout the book, people who are featured in the beginning of each chapter (similar to how Slip by David Estes) give their opinions based on false information given to them via the media. The ending was difficult to read. Not because it was poorly written, the quality stayed the same (excellent), but because it wasn’t what I know everyone was expecting. Even I was expecting it which made it all the more realistic, enjoyable, and made me appreciate the message it was sending. Knapp truly has created a work of art in literature.

I think that the only thing about the plot that might have needed to be mentioned in the synopsis was that there is an almost rape which is rather graphic. I won’t give away details since I suppose it would be a spoiler, but I do want readers to know of this in case it could negatively affect them.


Would I Recommend Alice in No-Mans-Land? I completely, wholeheartedly, without restraint recommend Alice in No-Mans-Land. Although I do want to remind you again that there is a scene where this is an almost rape. Even though that even that may be considered a spoiler, I believe that that is something everyone should know in case it may trigger them. Otherwise, definitely read this book. If you do, let me know what you think!
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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