Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Undeadly ~ Michele Vail (earc) review + giveaway

Undeadly (Reaper Diaries #1)
Harlequin Teen
November 20, 2012
272 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

** Giveaway at the end of the post **

Molly Bartolucci lives in a world where the existence of zombies -- and those who can create them -- is known, if not always accepted. Necromancy has been a part of life for so long that its history is taught in public schools and Anubis is the god everyone worships.

Still, living in Las Vegas, soon-to-be-sixteen-year-old Molly only knows a few with the power -- and none that are her friends. All she wants is to blend in, something slightly hard to do while working at Big Al's (her father) Zomporium and about to get a whole lot harder.

A dream featuring Anubis tells Molly she's going to be a reaper, then she meets the mysterious (and perhaps annoying) Rath, her brand new boyfriend almost dies at her birthday party, and people she never expected to see show up with some unwelcome news.

In for a whole new life, Molly's going to find out more about reapers, souls, getting into - and maybe out of - trouble than she ever expected.

Michele Vail's debut novel is a zombie novel, but sort of a zombie-lite novel. By which I mean that the zombies aren't 'grr argggh!' evil, eat your brains zombies. They're still dangerous, will still kill people . . . but they can still be kept almost 'tamed'? (In the first scene with a zombie, I thought a bit of 'Fido,' actually.)

I like this type of zombie for Undeadly. With so much focus on the soul, the reapers, the reanimation, Anubis and how everything works, it would be kind of wacky to have Walking Dead type zombies that people like Molly, our protagonist, were studying to bring back.  A Frankenstein type mob with torches and pitchforks (or common sense) would have stopped them already if they were super-murderous zombies. The almost placid zombies works.

Along with the other beings that are a part of this tale, it makes for a very interesting world that Molly and the other characters are a part of.

There was a lot of introduction and explanation in Undeadly, especially in the beginning, that could, at times, take away a bit from what was happening in the story. While the background did help with understanding Undeadly's world, it didn't always feel like the setup and the plot were working together cohesively. One would distract from the other.

Into the second half of the book, when we've found out the basic 'what's of the necromancy, Molly's party and it's immediate aftermath as well as what that means have happened, things got going better for me. I do think that, as this is the first in a series, there was a lot to tell readers, a lot of building to do, so the second book should flow more smoothly from the start.

Undeadly is probably best suited for upper middle grade or younger YA, young teen readers. Both the story line and the character seem to fit that age range best. Those who enjoyed Marlene Perez's Dead Is series, may want to give this a try.

Rating: 7/10

thank you to Michele Vail for making the giveaway possible and to Harlequin Teen & NetGalley for my review galley

Want to win your own, signed, copy of Undeadly by Michele Vail? Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is the first review I have read that shared the age group target. In my opinion this is an important opinion on a book. I love reading all age books and Undeadly sounds dandy. Thank you for sharing with us.

  2. I've read a lot of reviews on this book, most of which criticize it for being childish. This is the first review that actually said it would be good for younger readers. I haven't read it yet, but from everything I've heard it seems like a fun read. Great review :)

    Jesse @ <a href="http://www.prettyinfiction.com>Pretty In Fiction</a>


Book Trailer Friday [@RandomHouse @TransworldBooks]

Beth Dorey-Stein's From the Corner of the Oval  - a tale of being the White House stenographer during the Obama administration will be ...