Books Young Adult Fiction Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1)

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1) Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/99/87/d2/_12394032-1349874422.jpg
 
4.0
 
2.2 (2)
1526   1
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
November 20, 2012
ISBN
0373210469
Buy This Book
      
Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath.

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain­-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble...

Editor reviews

Undeadly by Michele Vail was a very promising debut! With its fresh ideas and lovely writing, it was a book that really captivated me. While there were a few things I wasn’t as keen on, overall, it was a pretty great read.

The zombies in this book are very cool. I loved the magical element Michele Vail weaves in – it was very different from the typical zombie story. And with that, I also love how she strayed away from the typical zombie bites person, person becomes infected plot line.

The plot was neat, yet I didn’t feel like some aspects of it were pushed far enough. I wasn’t held as captivated by it as I have been with some books that have similar thematic elements or feel. It takes a bit for the plot to get going, but once it does, it takes off and doesn’t let up.

I loved the character of Rath – from the first page he was introduced, I was super intrigued by his character.

Fans of Jennifer Estep and Susan Dennard will love this boarding school tale laced with rich and original mythology. Michele Vails zombies are refreshing and the plot was enticing. The characters were the best gem of Undeadly.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Erica Reviewed by Erica December 06, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (192)

A Promising Debut

Undeadly by Michele Vail was a very promising debut! With its fresh ideas and lovely writing, it was a book that really captivated me. While there were a few things I wasn’t as keen on, overall, it was a pretty great read.

The zombies in this book are very cool. I loved the magical element Michele Vail weaves in – it was very different from the typical zombie story. And with that, I also love how she strayed away from the typical zombie bites person, person becomes infected plot line.

The plot was neat, yet I didn’t feel like some aspects of it were pushed far enough. I wasn’t held as captivated by it as I have been with some books that have similar thematic elements or feel. It takes a bit for the plot to get going, but once it does, it takes off and doesn’t let up.

I loved the character of Rath – from the first page he was introduced, I was super intrigued by his character.

Fans of Jennifer Estep and Susan Dennard will love this boarding school tale laced with rich and original mythology. Michele Vails zombies are refreshing and the plot was enticing. The characters were the best gem of Undeadly.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
2.2
Plot 
 
3.0  (2)
Characters 
 
2.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
1.5  (2)
Undeadly is one of those books that when you look back in retrospective makes you wonder: why the hell did I like it? Especially since just a glance at the first sentence reminds me how horrible first person point-of-view narration by Molly was. She used phrases 'like', 'suckitude', 'crap' and other words that authors use to badly imitate teenage lingo. But although at first she was immensely annoying, Molly and her attitude grew on me and the urge to strangle her or yell at her that she is too stupid to live lessened as the world Michele Vail invented pulled me in.

One of the things that I liked is a setting. In an alternate version of Earth where necromancy is not just in fiction, we follow Molly as she struggles with her gift and tries to accept it. And I especially loved Nekyia Academy, private academy, which Molly ends up attending. The atmosphere had Hogwarts feel although with private room and personal servant you can't say Molly is just one of the crowd like Harry Potter.

Another thing that tipped the scales and made me enjoy Undeadly was huge amount of Egyptian mythology used. It's one of my weak spots and it's so rare to find a good book that features Egyptian gods in contemporary setting and with an interesting back-story. And Undeadly certainly had that.

With HUUUGE cliffhanger ending, Michele Vail definitely has me on the edge of my seat eagerly awaiting October 29th 2013 and sequel Unchosen to be published.

IN THE END...
If you like young adult paranormal novels and Egyptian mythology, then Undeadly might be the book you are looking for. But make sure to read the excerpt first before buying, because the style of narration will probably irritate some readers.

Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
2.0

Quite fun if you can stand the narration style

Undeadly is one of those books that when you look back in retrospective makes you wonder: why the hell did I like it? Especially since just a glance at the first sentence reminds me how horrible first person point-of-view narration by Molly was. She used phrases 'like', 'suckitude', 'crap' and other words that authors use to badly imitate teenage lingo. But although at first she was immensely annoying, Molly and her attitude grew on me and the urge to strangle her or yell at her that she is too stupid to live lessened as the world Michele Vail invented pulled me in.

One of the things that I liked is a setting. In an alternate version of Earth where necromancy is not just in fiction, we follow Molly as she struggles with her gift and tries to accept it. And I especially loved Nekyia Academy, private academy, which Molly ends up attending. The atmosphere had Hogwarts feel although with private room and personal servant you can't say Molly is just one of the crowd like Harry Potter.

Another thing that tipped the scales and made me enjoy Undeadly was huge amount of Egyptian mythology used. It's one of my weak spots and it's so rare to find a good book that features Egyptian gods in contemporary setting and with an interesting back-story. And Undeadly certainly had that.

With HUUUGE cliffhanger ending, Michele Vail definitely has me on the edge of my seat eagerly awaiting October 29th 2013 and sequel Unchosen to be published.

IN THE END...
If you like young adult paranormal novels and Egyptian mythology, then Undeadly might be the book you are looking for. But make sure to read the excerpt first before buying, because the style of narration will probably irritate some readers.

Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Undeadly reminds me a lot of the House of Night series. This is not a good thing. At all.

This novel is still leagues and leagues better than the bestselling vampire series, but there are a few similarities between them. An annoying, judgmental heroine who has been chosen as special beyond all others by her kind's deity, mean girls and cliches galore, and failed attempts at teenspeak are just a few of the similarities.

To begin with, I originally quit reading the novel sixty percent of the way in because I wasn't enjoying myself, but I came back to it a few days later and finished it because I wanted to give it the fair shot it eventually showed it did not deserve. The first few chapters and our introduction to Molly's world are filled with inelegant exposition of how necromancers are an everyday thing and everyone goes to them for their zombie needs. This includes bringing zombies to life, suppressing their massive appetites, and reattaching their arms when they fall off. Though I disliked the artless way in which the world was built, the world itself has a lot of potential. Potential that goes unfulfilled, sadly.

Molly's narrative voice is one of the most forced teen voices I have ever found in young adult literature and it fails badly at seeming even slightly realistic. She uses outdated slang like "it was a mondo ick mess" (80s/90s slang, mind you) and "major suckitude" is at least as old as 2003. One bit of slang, "gigging up my ju-ju", doesn't even use gigging right! Gigging is typically associated with dancing, excitement, or moving from music gig to music gig as if one were clubbing. I believe this takes place in the present day, albeit in an alternate universe, not in the past.

Tolerating her for more than a chapter or two at a time was difficult. Looking down on her fourteen-year-old sister for being passionate about zombie rights? Ugh. Having the cliche-of-all-cliches freakout when she learns something about her family early in the book? Worse. Abbreviations like WTH and BTW in her narrative? I can't. If there is one thing I want from a book, it's that there are no abbreviations in the narrative itself. It's irritating and makes the narrator seem dumb and brings down the quality of the novel.

The side characters were unremarkable. There are the cardboard friends, the jerky new love interest and "old" love interest, the mean girls making Molly's life suck, and all the other requisite elements of paranormal YA. After reading it for so many years, stories like this that indulge in the tropes without doing anything new or deeper with them tire me. I also had a niggle with a character's name; Russian character Irina Derinski's name should be Irina Derinska, as per Russian naming traditions. The character herself? Let's not talk about how transparent she is in her motivations.

There simply isn't any depth here to make Molly and her world interesting enough. There are no questions about how ghouls and ghosts feel about being bound to the living world, as if they have no feelings at all. Molly never thinks about how Henry must feel to be bound to everyone of her family line that comes to Nekyia Academy and being forced to stay around if there is no one of her family there. There could have been so many great questions about what life and death really mean, but they are all passed over for melodrama.

Warning: Undeadly ends on a strong cliffhanger and there's no telling exactly when Unchosen, book two of the Reaper Diaries, will be in stores next year.All I know is that I will not be reading it.
Overall rating 
 
1.3
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
1.0
Writing Style 
 
1.0
Ashleigh Paige Reviewed by Ashleigh Paige November 20, 2012
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

Molly needs to shut up

Undeadly reminds me a lot of the House of Night series. This is not a good thing. At all.

This novel is still leagues and leagues better than the bestselling vampire series, but there are a few similarities between them. An annoying, judgmental heroine who has been chosen as special beyond all others by her kind's deity, mean girls and cliches galore, and failed attempts at teenspeak are just a few of the similarities.

To begin with, I originally quit reading the novel sixty percent of the way in because I wasn't enjoying myself, but I came back to it a few days later and finished it because I wanted to give it the fair shot it eventually showed it did not deserve. The first few chapters and our introduction to Molly's world are filled with inelegant exposition of how necromancers are an everyday thing and everyone goes to them for their zombie needs. This includes bringing zombies to life, suppressing their massive appetites, and reattaching their arms when they fall off. Though I disliked the artless way in which the world was built, the world itself has a lot of potential. Potential that goes unfulfilled, sadly.

Molly's narrative voice is one of the most forced teen voices I have ever found in young adult literature and it fails badly at seeming even slightly realistic. She uses outdated slang like "it was a mondo ick mess" (80s/90s slang, mind you) and "major suckitude" is at least as old as 2003. One bit of slang, "gigging up my ju-ju", doesn't even use gigging right! Gigging is typically associated with dancing, excitement, or moving from music gig to music gig as if one were clubbing. I believe this takes place in the present day, albeit in an alternate universe, not in the past.

Tolerating her for more than a chapter or two at a time was difficult. Looking down on her fourteen-year-old sister for being passionate about zombie rights? Ugh. Having the cliche-of-all-cliches freakout when she learns something about her family early in the book? Worse. Abbreviations like WTH and BTW in her narrative? I can't. If there is one thing I want from a book, it's that there are no abbreviations in the narrative itself. It's irritating and makes the narrator seem dumb and brings down the quality of the novel.

The side characters were unremarkable. There are the cardboard friends, the jerky new love interest and "old" love interest, the mean girls making Molly's life suck, and all the other requisite elements of paranormal YA. After reading it for so many years, stories like this that indulge in the tropes without doing anything new or deeper with them tire me. I also had a niggle with a character's name; Russian character Irina Derinski's name should be Irina Derinska, as per Russian naming traditions. The character herself? Let's not talk about how transparent she is in her motivations.

There simply isn't any depth here to make Molly and her world interesting enough. There are no questions about how ghouls and ghosts feel about being bound to the living world, as if they have no feelings at all. Molly never thinks about how Henry must feel to be bound to everyone of her family line that comes to Nekyia Academy and being forced to stay around if there is no one of her family there. There could have been so many great questions about what life and death really mean, but they are all passed over for melodrama.

Warning: Undeadly ends on a strong cliffhanger and there's no telling exactly when Unchosen, book two of the Reaper Diaries, will be in stores next year.All I know is that I will not be reading it.

Good Points
*Interesting world
Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • Bonus Scene: The Vast and Brutal Sea by Zoraida Córdova + Giveaway (US Only)

    The Vast and Brutal Sea by Zoraida Córdova Release Date: June 2, 2015   About the Book This epic clash of sand and sea will pit brother against brother-and there can only be one winner In two days, the race for the Sea Court throne will be over-but all the ...

  • Author Top 5 with Catherine Linka

      Today we welcome Catherine Linka to YABC! Zinka's soon to be released sequel to A Girl Called Fearless, A Girl Undone, is sure to appeal to fans of Divergent and An Ember in the Ashes. The next installment in The Girl Called Fearless series will make its debut June 23rd and w ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows + Giveaway (US Only)

    Welcome to another fabulous cover reveal, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE MIRROR KING by Jodi Meadows, releasing April 5, 2016 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Jodi:   ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen. Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody's in everybody else ...

  • Books Aren't Dangerous Campaign

      Do you remember that book that changed your life as a reader, or maybe just your life in general? You do? That’s great!        Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series, have started a campaign called BOOKS AREN’T DANG ...

  • TOMORROWLAND - Drive Through Movie Review

    **********NO SPOILERS************ The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, give their thoughts on the new Disney film TOMORROWLAND.    QUESTION: If you could go to an alternate universe what would you want to see there? ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hi, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu, releasing September 1, 2015 from Running Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Maria:   YABC Readers!  I’m so excited to share the pape ...

  • May 2015 YABC Book Haul

    Hey YABCers! Once again, our office has been innundated with books, books, and  more BOOKS! We've run out of shelf space which can only mean one thing .... it's time for the May Book Haul! Enjoy the video and let us know in the comments which books you can't wait to add to your TBR. &nbs ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Insidious by Dawn Metcalf + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hello, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for INSIDIOUS by Dawn Metcalf, releasing August 25, 2015 from Harlequin TEEN. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Dawn:   You know when you finish a story, you never really finish because there' ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York ...

  • The Librarian's Corner

      This month's theme for the Librarian's corner is all about picture books you can share with teens! Picture books aren't just for kids and babies anymore. In fact, teens love storytime too!    For May, I am featuring some of my favorite picture books to share ...

  • The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival

        The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival--TBF 2015 Contributed by Kayla King, Blog Manager and Staff Reviewer   Here at Young Adult Books Central, we LOVE YA! Fortunately for us, The Greater Rochester Book Festival held at Nazareth Collge devotes itself to s ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
THE GIRL IN THE TORCH is a vivid and engrossing tale about identity, sacrifice, survival, and family, set against the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2013: Sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Family can be a real killer. DAMAGE DONE is a gripping YA debut about a girl trying to escape the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Erica Silverman was abducted at the age of four. She was snatched outside of her kindergarten and never seen again....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
During a diving competition Linda discovers that she has a rare heart condition and is told that her only hope...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Deception So Dark is the complete second novel in the Run to You series, a riveting romantic thriller about a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Deception So Deadly is the complete first novel in the two-book Run to You series, a riveting romantic thriller about...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
1424455187deadlydesigncover.jpg
Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
What do you do with your last day on earth? There are 27 hours and fifteen minutes left until an...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove her. She can't go...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A luminous YA love story that evokes Judy Blume's Forever for a new generation. Sarah—Bean to her friends and family—is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Nonfiction
"This is LIFE, people! You've got air coming through your nose! You've got a heartbeat! That means it's time to...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
61K250js3oL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Category: Kids Nonfiction
Discover how Benjamin Franklin’s scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer’s mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. After years of being the subject of ridicule,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In this hilarious novel, written in the voice of eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer, Dave Barry takes us on a class trip...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The revolution is here. Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)