Buckle in and get ready for a risky road trip!
The podcast Alice Isn’t Dead has gained a lot of popularity over the years, and now fans have a novel to go with it (Harper Perennial) — coming out this month from Joseph Fink. The novel fits nice and cozy into the horror genre, but it’s probably nothing like your run-of-the-mill thriller.
The overall story of the Alice Isn’t Dead novel is female-driven — that is, the protagonist is female and she drives a truck. Keisha is all-too relatable. She has fears, worries, likes, dislikes, and idiosyncrasies (like how she always gets a turkey club at roadside diners). She loves deeply, cares with her whole self, and will die for the greater good. Joined by a street-smart, ambitious teen named Sylvia helping her along the way, Keisha braves many supernatural obstacles on her relentless quest to find her missing wife Alice.
Like the title of the book implies, Keisha knows Alice is out there somewhere waiting for her, and is determined to get down to the mysterious circumstances of her seemingly vanishing into thin air while driving a truck for the Bay & Creek company. Keisha takes a job as a driver for the same company to investigate and explores the country on a great journey for truth.
Idyllic in the descriptions of the archetypal road trip, bound for adventure and answers, the podcast revels in Keisha’s expedition, though she experiences many unsettling places and characters along the way. One of these nefarious characters is Thistle Man, a sadistic character who seems for the most part normal but has a definitively cruel nature that thirsts for violence and murder.
He is one of the unnatural forces Keisha must face as she ventures into the dark shadows of America that harbor a clash of powers that can only stay hidden for so long. Keisha actually sounds pretty scared most for most of the novel, but it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to realize she’s a badass!
Besides facing supernatural forces, Keisha also must come to grips with her own personal obstacle, an anxiety disorder. Actually, her anxiety is specifically modeled after Joseph Fink’s anxiety, creating a more relatable and lifelike character. There are many times where she has to overcome her anxiety in order to do something more important than herself, like taking a job driving a truck in order to look for her Alice, despite the fact that she hates driving. In these cases, her condition actually just makes Keisha seem that much more impressive, tackling her own personal obstacles in addition to those she encounters.
Alice Isn’t Dead will be available to purchase October 30th.
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ABOUT JOSEPH FINK:
Joseph Fink created the Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn’t Dead podcasts. He lives with his wife in New York.