Author: Michele Vail
Series: The Reaper Diaries #1
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...
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....
I’m just going to start off by saying that I’m glad I read Undeadly, because I really enjoyed it. I was excited when I first received this book, but then I read some not so stealer reviews and seriously almost passed on it. Thankfully, I went with my gut on this one and gave it a try.
Molly is just turning sixteen when her life is thrown for a loop. She works at her dad’s shop (Big Al’s Zomporium), where they make and repair zombies. Molly has one of the five heka gifts, which allows her to make the zombies. Then literally overnight, she goes from being a zombie maker in training, to something much more powerful and important. Honestly, I liked Molly; she’s snarky and funny. She’s described by Rath, another character in Undeadly, as “… immature, irresponsible, and dizzy.” I completely agree. She did just turn sixteen so I would expect that, but it didn’t make me like her any less. She kind of reminds me of Buffy before she turned bad ass vampire hunter. I’m expecting Molly to make the same kind of growth in future books.
There were other characters I enjoyed, as well. Rath, the mysterious reaper, is one I hope there is a lot more of in the next book. I am a bit concerned about what kind of relationship he and Molly will develop, given his … position. I also liked Molly’s new group of friends a lot, even the ghostly types. I have to say though, my favorite character is Henry, Molly’s personal ghoul. The dynamic between Henry and Molly always put a smile on my face, and I love the connection she is developing with him.
The world Vail created was very interesting and unique. I loved how it’s as the world is now, except with a twist. Zombies are part of normal life, and if you decide to have one, it’s important to read the proper literature (i.e. The Care and Feeding of Your Zombie). There are also SEER machines that basically trap a spirit and tether it to the contraption, allowing the owner to control them. It’s an illegal practice, but it happens. And the way Vail tied in Egyptian mythology as history was great.
Did Undeadly completely blow my socks off? No. It did, however, grab and hold my attention the entire time. I found the story interesting and wanting more. Vail did a really good job at ending the chapters in a way that made me need to continue reading on. I didn’t feel bored at any time, and that’s saying a lot for me. Actually, I read this book fairly quickly. Of course, there were some things that bugged me a little, like how certain stuff should have been more obvious to her. It didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the story, though.
I know the way Molly talked in Undeadly put some readers off, but it didn’t bother me. I have a fifteen-year-old son, a fifteen-year-old goddaughter, teenage neighbors, and all their friends around all the time, so maybe I’m just desensitized to it. Plus, I’m guilty of slanging it up myself. I mean, this is a young adult book with a young teen main character, so I think that should be kept in mind while reading it. That’s not to say that it can’t be annoying, because lets be honestly, teenagers can be annoying sometimes. Sorry youngsters, but I know we adults can be annoying too.
Overall, this was a very entertaining start to a series that I hope will continue to show growth. I absolutely plan to read the next book, Unchosen.