Author: Michele Vail
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: The Reaper Diaries (Book 1)
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
Format: Paperback, 272 Pages
ISBN-10: 0373210469 (Harlequin Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0373210466 (Harlequin Teen)
Reviewed by: Michelle
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 pluses. 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….
Quick & Dirty: A different take on zombies. Fell short of my expectations but kept me interested enough.
Opening Sentence: So, my…um, friend gave me a diary for my sixteenth birthday because, apparently, it’s a necromancer tradition.
Michele Vail’s Undeadly has a good premise. An ability to raise zombies? I’ve never really heard of that concept before. A story that brings in Anubis? Count me in! And let me just say that I am attracted to the cover. Undeadly was a highly anticipated book that I’ve heard so much about, so when I received a copy, I was pretty excited. But a part of me didn’t love it. I felt like there were a few things that fell short of my reading expectations.
In an alternate reality, Molly Bartolucci comes from a line ka hekas, a person who reanimates dead bodies using a small part of the soul. In this world where necromancers and reapers are a part of the norm, Molly has lived in this life that isn’t considered a part of folklore. Upon her sixteenth birthday, her life as she knows it changes. Molly becomes Anabis chosen through a dream. She meets her grandparents for the first time. And, she enrolls in an exclusive Academy for reapers and the like. Molly is no longer a regular girl, she is becoming someone.
Molly wasn’t someone that I instantly connected with. The first few chapters had me questioning what type of heroine Molly was. She was a typical sixteen year-old, living in a time where nothing went her way. But as most sixteen year-old girls, she had a crush, whom died at her birthday party. Don’t worry, Molly brought the soul back to the body. Molly’s voice was a little too much for me. It could be my age different with hers, but I found it to be a little too immature.
Undeadly had several hits and misses for me. I felt that the plot went in different directions, while attempting to stay on a straight line. The beginning, the middle, and the end felt jagged and disconnected from one another, only having Molly as the common thread. There was so much potential from the start, and when Anubis was involved, I got excited. Visits in a dream, quests, legacies, it all played a part in making this story great. I just felt that there was something that fell short.
I did love how Vail wrote about about zombies and reapers, making this paranormal different. In this genre, where it’s filled with vampires, angels, and evil fae, it was refreshing. There was a twist that wasn’t expected, and filled with occasional folklore, I enjoyed the overall story.
Life changes for everyone, and it’s a symbol that resonates throughout Undeadly. There are challenges that Molly faces, as well as some of the other characters. Molly accepts her fate and the outcome is quite surprising. At the end, I felt that there was enough mystery to keep me interested.
“Tell her.” The edict came from Sandra, of course. She straightened away from her husband and turned that chilly blue gaze toward us. “She needs to know.”
I wasn’t sure I could take another info bomb. I mean, I was a sort-of reaper, except for the dead
part, my grandparents had been prevented from seeing me for some mysterious reason, I had to go to a boarding school because of my stupid special-ness, and…now what? I turned toward my father.
That terrible sorrow in his eyes deepened until I saw nothing but grief. And tears. My father was
gonna cry. My anger fled and anxiety filled up its empty place. “Daddy?”
“That’s right,” he said. “I’m your daddy. Always will be.” He sucked in a breath. “But you’re not
my biological child, Mol.”
The Reaper Diaries:
2. Unchosen (2013)
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Undeadly. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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