Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Challenges: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
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Rating: 4 stars
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….
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 Vail‘s zombies are refreshing and the plot was enticing. The characters were the best gem of Undeadly.
Michele Vail writes young adult paranormal fiction about zombies and reapers. She likes reading, dogs, cats, board games, ghost-hunting shows, and Halloween. She believes in magic, in the impossible, and in the restorative powers of chocolate. Michele lives happily-ever-after with her Viking and their family.
Now I have a super snazzy sneak peak from Unchosen, Undeadly’s sequel.
Molly’s Reaper Diary
Yeah. It’s like that.
I have a lot of secrets. Secrets that I keep from all my friends, including my besties who still live in Las Vegas and the ones I’ve made at Nekyia: Barbie, Autumn, Daniel, and Trina. And then there’s Rath. Rath who seems to like me half the time, and the other half he’s kicking my butt in training. Also, he’s a reaper, and that makes him dead. That could be a problem in other relationships, but since I’m the daughter of Anubis, it’s not much of stumbling block for me.
Anyway. Since this is supposed to be a how-to survive guide (hah) for wanna-be reapers, you should just know that keeping secrets is part of the deal. You can’t go blathering about your trips in the Shallows, what souls look like, how scary Ma’at really is, and where you keep your scythe. You’ll probably have to lie and avoid, which makes you feel like a jerk, and you may lose friends over it. You have to decide what’s more important, you know? Because at the end when it all goes down, saving the world means you’re saving your friends, too. Whether or not they appreciate it.
“In ancient Egypt there was a religious sect devoted to Set, the god of chaos. The priests used their magic and knowledge to create soul boxes. These boxes could harbor many human souls, and it was said Set would feast on these souls, consuming them in the same way one might enjoy a gourmet chocolate truffle. After the Reaper War, Anubis sought out these boxes and destroyed many of them—along with knowledge of how they were created. It is said that some survived—even into modern times.”
~The Secret History of Reapers, Author Unknown
I, Molly Bartolucci Briarstock, am in big trouble.
This morning, my ghoul assistant, Henry, woke me with an urgent summons to see the headmistress of Nekyia Academy. He led me to a small, stuffy and dimly lit room that held only a long, dark wood table—and the three people sitting behind it. Headmistress of Nekyia academy, Medusa Chiles, sat in the middle, her expression grim. A plump woman dressed in an alarming shade of purple sat to her right, and on the left, a man with a long, gray beard. He wore glasses and a checkered jacket. He looked confused, as though he wasn’t quite sure how he’d gotten here.
“Molly,” said Ms. Chiles. Her expression was as smooth as glass. “We’ve convened a council of three, as outlined in Nekyia Academy’s bylaws.” She stretched out her hands on the table and threaded her fingers together. “This is done when an accusation of forbidden necro magic is levied against a student. We’ve become aware of a situation where you took a soul from a dying woman and gave it to an enemy of Anubis.”
The people on either side of her eyed me with some amount of trepidation.
I said nothing.
“We have evidence of this,” she continued. She nodded toward the checkered jacket man. He lifted his arm and muttered something.
The black soul box that I’d taken from a Russian gangster (he kidnapped me!) and had stashed in my room appeared on the table.
“Do you recognize this item?” asked Ms. Chiles.
“And you’re aware of its purpose?”
“And you’ve used it?”
“She admits to the use of forbidden objects and magic,” said the lady in purple in a clipped tone. Her brown eyes filled with worry. “No necro has yielded such power since…” She trailed off.
“We do not render judgment,” said the man in a deep, lazy tone, as though he were merely commenting on the weather. “Until we have all the facts and hear from all parties involved.”
My heart started a slow, erratic thudding. They were serious.
Ms. Chiles stood up, her robe rustling. “Molly Bartolucci, you are hereby charged with illegal use of necromancy and the use of forbidden objects. You will be taken into custody and confined until your tribunal.”
“I don’t think so,” said a woman’s brash voice. The voice didn’t really match the stick-thin blonde who marched into the room and slapped a stylish black briefcase onto the table. The three people sitting there reared back, all with startled expressions.
Ms. Chiles was the first to recover. “Who are—”
“Rosie Knowles,” interrupted the blonde. “I’m Miss Bartolucci’s lawyer.” She snapped open the locks and then paused in opening the briefcase, looking at Miss Chiles. “You did inform Miss Bartolucci that she’s allowed to have representation during these proceedings?”
“Nekyia Academy has in loco parentis—“
Rosie laughed, whipped out some papers from the case, and snapped it closed. “If the student is being charged with school infractions, sure. However, when the charges go beyond the campus, when said charges have the potential to draw the attention of both necro and human law enforcement agencies … she’s entitled to a lawyer.”
“No one outside of campus has been brought in on this matter,” said Ms. Chiles in a polite, but strained voice. “We are choosing to handle it quickly and quietly within Nekyia. The tribunal is designed to—”
“Railroad students?” asked Rosie. She slapped the papers onto the table. “This little farce is over.”
Check out the full tour schedule – for more details, check out the page for the Undeadly blog tour.