Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Unfed ~ Kristy McKay (earc) review

Unfed (Undead #2)
Chicken House
August 27, 2013
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

** synopsis contains spoilers for Undead #1 -- my review is HERE **

They thought they'd made it -- survived the Cheery Chomp fiasco, escaped on the bus, held off the zombies, made it out of the castle alive, even found Bobby's mother. But when Roberta ("Bobby"), Smitty, Pete, Alice and Bobby's mother are picked up by another school's bus at the end of Undead, rather than being their salvation, it soon crashes.

Unfed picks up after the end of Undead with the students in a hospital that doesn't seem to be your ordinary hospital, not out of danger yet and without everyone accounted for.

from the synopsis:
But now Bobby's a prisoner in some hospital of horrors, with no clue how she got there. And Smitty is missing. What if he isn't cured after all? Bobby knows she's got to find him, even if it means facing Scotland's hungry hordes -- plus Alice's buckets of snark -- again. And this time, zombies aren't the only evil stressing her out. The brain-dead are bad enough, but how can Bobby stop the big pharma business behind the epidemic? Especially when her own mom works for the company?

Undead, the first book, did a brilliant job setting everything up to seem like it was all going to be neat and resolved, a nice, almost happily ever after before throwing in that twist ending. Unfed does a great job running with that. That start of this second book isn't what I would have expected and is, actually, a bit of a departure from Undead in many ways.

The tone is quite different with the tension ratcheted up a fair amount, along with more drama. There is still definitely the humor and wit that was present in McKay's first tale but things aren't quite as light. There is a different character arrangement to start, Smitty and Bobby had great banter in Undead whereas Bobby and Alice still have that but paired with Pete and lacking Smitty, it's a touch more serious. The situation here was already more serious, too.

That bit of drama, suspense, and 'what's-going-to-happen-to-them' really pulls readers in. You're anxious to find out not only how they're going escape the undead this time, but if they're going to get everyone back in one place, safely and if everyone is, really, on the same side.

Undead managed to do something that isn't always possible: have both threatening, real seeming zombies that truly were dangerous to the characters and fun characters with snarky attitudes. It works even better in Unfed. There may be a bit less of the humor, but that only fits with the development of the plot, with the undead already being known and a present threat to the characters. The characters have retained their personalities and what we liked -- or disliked -- most about them is back.

It was also great to see development of the zombies. They weren't a stagnant thing, or character of the story. How they changed I'll leave for you to find out when you read but it was an interesting bit of the story. It really worked well with the rest of the plot and made for a better tale.

I do hope there's an Unfed #3, I hope to see what happens after the end of Unfed!

Rating: 8/10

 thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my egalley for review

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