Undeadly (Reaper Diaries #1)
November 20, 2012
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** Giveaway at the end of the post **
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.
thank you to Michele Vail for making the giveaway possible and to Harlequin Teen & NetGalley for my review galley
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