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Undeadly

Undeadly

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Undeadly

évaluations:
4/5 (20 évaluations)
Longueur:
273 pages
4 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Dec 1, 2012
ISBN:
9781459249103
Format:
Livre

Description



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 reaperand 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 certainMolly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble .

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Dec 1, 2012
ISBN:
9781459249103
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Michele Vail writes young adult and new adult paranormal fiction. She likes reading, dogs, the Winchester Boys, and Halloween. She believes in magic, in the impossible, and in the restorative powers of chocolate. Please visit her website at www.michelevail.com.


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Undeadly - Michele Vail

Pan

MOLLY’S REAPER DIARY

Holy Crap, What Happened to My Life?

So, my...um, friend gave me a diary for my sixteenth birthday because, apparently, it’s a necromancer tradition. I guess he did some internet research and found an archaic reference, which is kinda cool. It’s nice that he wanted to give me something meaningful, even if it was a book with a bunch of blank pages in it.

Anyway.

I’m glad he gave it to me. Because I want my life to mean something, and it’s so weird now! The night I turned sixteen, everything changed. Big-time. And you know what? If this kind of crap happens to anyone else (and it will) then I figured they might need a real guidebook...it’s sorta like Reaping for Dummies.

Yeah. Reaping.

We’ll get to that. But first, you gotta understand how everything started.

Here’s a little history...

* * *

It is said that Anubis fought a great earth-shattering battle with his uncle Set, the God of Chaos. Anubis’s legacy was to rule the Underworld and Set was all, Nuh-huh. I want to rule the Underworld.

So they had this huge freaking war. Set stole some of the reapers that Anubis was the boss of—and wow, did that piss him off!—so then, the reapers were fighting each other and the humans were all, What is this crap? Reapers suck! And there were plagues and famine and people dying for no reason, and the reapers were too busy blasting each other to do their jobs.

It was a mondo ick mess.

Finally, Anubis went deep into the Underworld and got some bad-ass magic. We’re talking magic so ancient and powerful, it wasn’t supposed to leave the world of the gods, like, ever.

But he got it anyway and used it to capture Set. He imprisoned the god in the bowels (Seriously? Ew!) of the Underworld, and then he banished all the disloyal reapers into this place that was like limbo, I guess, only way, way worse. And no one but Anubis could get there. Or something like that.

Anyway, Anubis was so upset about what went down, and he felt so bad about all the humans who’d been hurt, that he changed the rules about death and reaping and junk. (That’s a god for you.)

He was like, Sorry, humans, my bad. Here’s some magic. Okay, it was sorta like that. He was worried that his reapers might get more ideas about mutiny or whatever, so he split a reaper’s power into five magical abilities, which matched the five parts of the soul. (Did you know there were five parts to a soul? Heka 101, peeps.)

And he bestowed these five heka gifts upon some fancy schmancy nobles because Anubis is a snob. Most gods are totally noses up, you know? That’s what being immortal and all-powerful gets you.

So, he’s like, Hey, I’m giving each of you one of these gifts, and you can use them to control parts of being dead. It was like an end-of-the-war party gift for all the survivors. Here’s the down-low:

Ka Heka — Reanimates dead bodies using a teeny tiny part of the soul called the ka. (Pretty common ability these days.)

Ren Heka — Calls forth and communicates with earth-bound spirits. (Lots of necros can do this one, too.)

Sheut Heka — Creates and commands soul shadows. A soul shadow is sorta like the top layer of the soul, peeled away. (This power is rare, and a total no-no. Anyone unlucky enough to be born with this ability is whisked away by the government. Well, that’s what the internet says, so it must be true.)

Ba Heka — Supposedly, ba heka necromancers can bind souls and keep them from entering the afterlife. (No one in modern times is known to have this gift. Or maybe they’re hanging out with the sheut hekas in a government lab.)

Ib Heka — Sees into the heart of the soul, and knows the person’s true worth. (Necromancers who have this ability usually go crazy, or become hermits, or sometimes, they start cults. A few have been serial killers.) Very, very, veeeeery rarely, a necro is born who has two gifts. The last one recorded was Leonardo da Vinci. Explains a lot, right? No known human has ever had all five gifts. It’s almost impossible, because a human with that kind of power couldn’t handle it. We’d implode, or something.

Supposedly, Anubis watches all the humans who are born with heka gifts, and if they use their magic well and don’t act like douche bags, then he offers them a reaper job after they die. It’s like anyone who’s born with death magic is training to be a reaper in the afterlife.

Just so we’re clear, reapers are dead.

At least, they’re supposed to be.

No one really knows how the whole reaper thing works, this is just the stuff they make us learn in The History of Necromancy, and it’s called theory or mythology or wasting an hour of my life every day.

These days, people use reaper powers to enslave ghosts, make zombies, and basically cash in. If Anubis doesn’t like what humans ended up doing with those gifts...well, he hasn’t done anything about it. Maybe he doesn’t care. Maybe he’s down in the Underworld having parties with gods and souls, and is all like, Humans? What humans?

Oh. And there’s this really, really, really old wall relief in some temple in Egypt dedicated to Set that says, He will break his bonds and rise again to take his revenge. Death will come to the world and the living will be no more.

Total suckitude.

Molly Bartolucci

Mrs. Dawson’s English Class

10th Grade

Ghost Gin

In 1898, when Signor Guglielmo Marconi was inventing the wireless telegraph, Mr. Michael Ruddard decided he’d rather focus on undead communication.

Ruddard discovered the energy of the human spirit could be captured. His experiments led to the creation of the Spirit Extraction, Encapsulation and Restraining engine, otherwise known as SEER. Informal terms for the SEER are otherworld portals, S-traps and ghost gins.

To those caught by the ethereal fingers of the engine, it was called eternal enslavement. Why pay live humans when a SEER produced free labor by raising the spirits of workers already dead? This is supposed to be a descriptive essay, Molly, not a persuasive one. Stay on topic.

Psychics were hired to keep the ghosts working and some necros specialized in locating other spirits. At first, only rich people could afford SEERs. Like most other tech, the gins were eventually made smaller and more affordable. These days nearly every house is haunted. You’re wandering away from your main subject, which is about the invention of the SEER, not about the ghosts.

Dead rock stars go on tour, sports teams with spirit players take championships and supermodel apparitions strut the catwalk. But one problem with ghosts was that they couldn’t be photographed or filmed. Hollywood invested millions into researching how to fix the issue, but so far, no one has come up with a solution. Meanwhile, theaters made a killing because audiences paid big bucks to see their favorite dead actors performing on stage.

SEER machines aren’t perfect. Some have failed completely! Can anyone forget when Monty Klein wrenched himself free of his SEER on Night Life and dove into his live cohost? He made Johnny Moreland stab his own eyes with pens! Everyone totally saw that show. And you’re going to tell me ghosts can’t hurt people?

Where’s the ending? Needs work, but good start. I suggest adding more detail about the psychics, which are an important element to modern-day SEERs.

Right now, your essay barely rates a C. You usually do so much better work than this! Please see me after class to talk about how else you can improve this project.

Chapter 1

Necromancy has existed for as long as we have. Most historians agree, however, that it was the Egyptians who perfected the art of raising the dead. No other culture can boast that their zombies built such magnificent monuments. Consider the Temple of Karnak, the Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza. All gifts from the children of Anubis.

~History of Necromancy, Volume II

This is the third time! groused Mrs. Woodbine. She slapped the arm onto the counter with a meaty thunk. I looked at the flabby, gray-skinned limb with its sausagelike fingers then at the jowl-faced woman who squinted at me through her bifocals. She wore a purple jogging suit that was too tight and amplified her chunky form. The top jacket was unzipped, revealing old-lady cleavage, which made me want to yark. Seriously. Wrinkled boobs were not pretty.

Hello, Mrs. Woodbine, I said. Must. Resist. Sarcasm. I see Mr. Woodbine has lost another limb.

Another Friday afternoon in hell, thank you. As usual, I’d come to work straight from school, which was only a couple blocks away on the other side of Warm Springs Road. Our house wasn’t too far away, either. We lived in a typical Las Vegas house (think beige, Spanish tiles and zero-scaping) on Grimsby Avenue (ironic, right?), which was on the other side of Green Valley High School. I worked for my dad, every afternoon and on the weekends. I got paid, which was good. But I also had less of a social life than most girls my age. Try no social life.

Except for tomorrow. Finally, it was my sixteenth birthday, and I was having a big party. At least I hoped so. Lots of people had RSVP’d, including Rick Widdenstock. Even though he was just a sophomore like me, he was the quarterback for the Green Valley High School Gators. Did I mention Rick’s hotness? We’d been flirting for the past couple of weeks; yesterday and today, he sat with me at lunch. Gena and Becks, my two best friends, had found other things to do, even though we always ate lunch together. That was why they were my best friends—because they knew when to bail. And they didn’t even mind about all the zombie stuff. Most normal people were weirded out by my necro powers. Necros were all over the place, you know? But there were only a handful who attended my high school, and most of them were too dark and angsty for my taste. Plus, I didn’t look good with kohl on my eyes and my nose was too cute to be pierced.

Mrs. Woodbine jerked on the leash she held in her free hand, which was attached to the neck of her husband, Mortimer. He shuffled to the counter, his empty gaze on the floor. Like most zombies, he looked gray and hollow-eyed. His clothes hung loosely on his thin frame. His gray hair stood up in stiff tufts and his skin was flaking. His lips were crusty; his teeth blackened. Had Mrs. Woodbine even bothered to skim the state-issued guide The Care and Feeding of Your Zombie? No wonder parts of her husband kept falling off. Sheesh!

We were required to give every new zombie owner the guide at the end of the four-hour course. Hmph. The Moron’s Guide to Not Getting Eaten by Your Zombie might’ve suited Mrs. Woodbine better. Zombies required care. You had to comb their hair, cut their nails, oil their skin, brush their teeth and give them weather-appropriate clothing and shoes. Even though I was a ka heka (zombie maker) in training and I knew zombies weren’t really people (sorry, but they’re not), I still felt a lurch of pity for the thing that used to be Mortimer Woodbine.

It’s the same limb, Mrs. Woodbine said. "Frankly, I’m tired of having to bring him down here. Big Al’s low, low prices certainly don’t translate to quality work."

I bristled. My dad, Alfonso Bartolucci, was what you’d call larger-than-life (though that’s not the description some people would use). He owned and operated Big Al’s Zomporium, and despite the cheesy name and Mrs. Woodbine’s opinion, we were a decent operation. My mom had been a ka heka, too. She’d walked out on us when I was ten. After she left, Dad hired a guy named Demetrius to be the Zomporium’s ka heka, and he was teaching me and Ally. Demetrius was a cool dude. He was as black as coffee grounds, old as dirt and he still had a smear of a Jamaican accent. I liked him a lot.

But the zombie-abusing Mrs. Woodbine? Not so much.

"Hel-lo!" Mrs. Woodbine screeched, snapping her fingers in my face. I blinked, my thoughts skittering, and resisted the urge to slap her hand away.

Teenagers today! I swear to God! You’re all worthless. She huffed at me, turkey neck quivering, as she poked the arm. Did you hear me? This is the third time his damn arm has fallen off.

It ka-illlled me, but I smiled. Let me see what we can do for you.

I want a discount, she said, her flat brown gaze flashing with triumph. A big one. You’re lucky I don’t call the Zombie Safety and Inspection Service on this place!

You’re lucky I don’t whap your big stupid mouth with Mortimer’s arm. I slid the pathetic limb off the counter then picked up the phone. I buzzed the cell of my sister, Ally, who was supposed to be organizing the storage room but was probably making picket signs for Citizens for Zombie Rights. Ally and her friends had created the group last year after watching a Dateline exposé on zombie abuse.

She’s such a dork.

What? she spat.

Ally didn’t care much about social graces, diplomacy or keeping her mouth shut. That was why I was manning the customer care center and she was stuck rearranging all the crap in storage. I didn’t necessarily like everyone who walked through the doors, but I knew how to be polite. Most of the time.

Ally sighed in that dramatic, you’re-making-my-brain-melt-with-your-stupidity way that always drove me nuts. I wanted to ride her about making idiotic protest signs instead of stacking toilet paper, but I didn’t dare misbehave in front of a customer. Not even cranky, gnarly ol’ Mrs. Woodbine. Nonna Gina had ears like a reaper and a rolling pin we called lightning fury. Our grandmother was unafraid of whacking our butts with it. That was how she’d raised our dad, and he was still afraid of the rolling pin.

Mrs. Woodbine has an issue with her zombie, I finally said. Would you mind keeping her company while I take care of Mortimer?

That hag is back again?

I smiled at the hag. Yes. So, can you come up?

Gawd! She snapped her phone shut.

A moment later she stomped out of the door situated behind the customer care desk. Her scowl zeroed in on Mrs. Woodbine. Ally was fourteen, tall and gangly, still flat-chested and had braces, too. She had the best hair—long, silky chestnut waves with auburn highlights, but did she care? No. She also liked to wear baggy clothes in blah colors. Even though I would never admit it to her (not ever), one day she’d be gorgeous. Y’know, after she lost the metalwork, got some boobs and developed some fashion sense.

Mrs. Woodbine, she said. Her voice held a hint of accusation. Would you like some tea while Molly takes Mortimer for repairs?

The woman was caught between reacting to my sister’s less-than-friendly tone and the seemingly polite question. Finally, Mrs. Woodbine nodded. I would love some tea. Did your grandmother make any cookies?

Sometimes I wondered if she broke Mortimer’s arm on purpose so she could chow down on the almond biscotti Nonna baked fresh every day for customers. Luckily, my grandmother saved the buccellati-fig cookies for us.

Ally gestured toward the seating area and Mrs. Woodbine hurried toward the side table that held dispensers filled with three kinds of herbal tea and two large platters of Nonna’s treats.

I rounded the desk, holding poor Mortimer’s arm, and then grasped the hand of the arm still attached. It was like gripping crusted leather. I felt another surge of anger at Mrs. Woodbine’s poor zombie management skills. C’mon, z-man. Let’s get you fixed up.

We entered the same door my sister had flown out of, and she sent me a glare, and hissed, Hurry!

Do you want to take the zombie to Demetrius? I asked.

Ally eyed Mortimer, and I got the distinct feeling she was imagining some kind of jailbreak. Knowing her and her nutso friends, they probably had a plan for that kind of thing. Never mind, I said. I don’t want to get grounded because you’re planning zombie intervention.

Whatevs. Just go already. She looked down her nose at me, and then she perched on the stool behind the customer care desk. Her glare tracked Mrs. Woodbine as the woman filled a plate with cookies.

I kinda hoped Ally would do something mean to Mrs. Woodbine, but even Ally had her limits on rudeness. Probably.

I took Mortimer down the hallway, which had one door on the left (employee bathroom), two on the right (supplies, storage) and one at the end (sahnetjar).

Sahnetjar was the ancient Egyptian name for the place where they made mummies and zombies. Necromancers still used the term today, probably because it sounded all fancy and mysterious.

As I led the zombie to the sahnetjar, I felt another pang of pity. I don’t know why Mortimer hadn’t put an Advance Zombification Directive into place. Lots of people had an AZD—and sometimes, their relatives would still try to zombify them. Dad read anyone the riot act who tried to circumvent an AZD—and sadly, a lot of people tried.

A memory pattered me like cold rain. I was in the lobby watching Ally color because I’d been directed to Look after your sister. Seemed like I was always watching her, and I was always caught between feeling protective and resentful. Pretty much the way I felt about my sister now.

Dad and Mom were arguing about a customer.

You shouldn’t have done that, Cyn. You know how I feel about AZDs.

But he offered a fortune! And his wife’s dead. Zombies don’t have feelings, Al. She doesn’t care.

I do! We honor the wishes of the dying. You give his money back and you de-animate Mrs. Lettinger.

You’re such an asshole, Al!

I missed my Mom. I probably shouldn’t, given that she basically gave us all the finger and took off. What kind of mother abandoned her family? When I was ten, I figured it was something I had done. Something I said or did. I cried and cried, and so did Ally. Dad did everything he could to make us feel better. And then Nonna left New York and came to live with us. Eventually, life got better.

Anyway.

I know my parents tried to keep their fighting away from us, but...yeah, that didn’t exactly work out. I remember that things were always tense, especially right before Mom left. So, I don’t really miss what Ally calls the Angry Times.

Still. The thing that I remembered most about my mom was that she was spontaneous. I think my dad would call it irresponsible, but he’s a lot on the serious side. Being a single dad is hard on him. He worries. Mom didn’t let stuff bother her. She laughed a lot. And she’d do silly stuff like break out into random dancing, or a game of chase around the house, or sometimes, after I’d gone to bed, she’d crawl under the covers and wrap her arms around me and sing softly.

I don’t know why she left. Dad didn’t exactly know, either, so what could he tell two grieving daughters who’d been

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  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    After Molly saves her boyfriend from death by capturing his soul (well most of it anyway), she is sent to the exclusive and extremely creeepy Nekyia Academy. It seems that Molly has an unusual combination of powers that puts her in a class all her own. I really liked this book. The use of Egyptian mythology was new to me and I liked that. I liked Molly and her family. The kids at the school are fun and despite their powers are pretty normal. And beside that, they watch Dark Shadows marathons (I love that show). Left the story in a cliff-hanger. Can't wait ti see what happens.
  • (5/5)
    I love books that are light and fun when dealing with dark topics, such as being a Reaper. Undeadly reminded me of The Mythos Academy Series. I loved the Egyptian Mythology that was brought into the story. I've seen Greek and Roman mythology in YA, but not Egyptian.

    The plot is pretty faced paced. There aren't many dull moments. Molly is snarky and full of comebacks. That is a quality I like in some of my main characters. :D I love that the setting is in Vegas. A lot of out of the ordinary things happen there, so I don't think there is a better place for Molly to have grown up. I think Molly's friends at Nekyia are pretty awesome. They accept her and not her status. I want to hear more from Ally, Molly's sister. She's to the point and doesn't play games.

    The book is written in Molly's point of view. Every once in a while we get a peek at her thoughts through her journal. I like that approach. You get to see the level of "Freaked Out" that she is at. Which is a lot with all the information that gets dumped on her.

    After the way Undeadly ended, I'm anxious to read the sequel. I'm not sure how I feel about Mrs. Chiles, and want to know how she fits into everything.
  • (5/5)
    I really love your story, it deserves a lot of audience. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top or joye@novelstar.top
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed the story behind this book and the potential that it can hold for future books. It is a unique story line and it was a fast paced read. The characters were varied and typical teenagers, the fun of zombies and ghouls and ghosts was exciting and unusual.Molly is a typical teenager living in a world where zombies and ghosts are created to help around the house. There are special talents that a person can have that allow them to be able to create these beings. Molly is one such person. On her sixteenth birthday she has a party and invites all her friends. She is excited to see the boy that will hopefully become her boyfriend, Rick. Rick reaches to give Molly her birthday present and trips, falling and hitting his head. Rick dies and Molly is beside herself; determined to bring Rick back, she grabs his soul and shoves it back inside his body, but some pieces are missing. Oh well, at least he is alive! But what is he? Molly’s lives with her father, her mother left them when she was little. When you turn sixteen, your parents visit an Oracle to see if you are destined to become a Chosen of Anubis. As Molly’s mother isn’t around and her father didn’t want to visit the Oracle, Molly’s Grandparents went instead. Because of what happened and now that Molly is sixteen, her estranged Grandparents have come back into her life and want her to attend a school for the gifted. Nekyia Academy is like any other school, they have their cliques and Molly isn’t sure where she will fit in. The only difference with this school is that they have special classes for your own special abilities.As Molly makes friends, tries to work out what her destiny will be and learn new skills; she still has to discover what is wrong with Rick and why she is having these odd dreams. Kids start to die and the school is in uproar, as Molly is the new girl, she has no clue what is going on.Will Molly work out what is wrong with Rick? Can she fix him? Who is committing these awful murders at her new school? Can she discover the workings of this school and stay away from the Mean Girls? Is Molly’s destiny to be a Chosen one? Can Molly really have feelings for a Reaper, her trainer, Rath?I really did enjoy this book, but there were a couple of things that were annoying towards the end. The “whatevs” and Molly’s every young attitude for her age really didn’t change throughout. But the concept and the whole picture of the story were fantastic and I did try to put those things out of my mind. I will definitely be reading the next book.
  • (3/5)
    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & 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.The Review: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.Notable Scene:“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.”FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Undeadly. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
  • (4/5)
    Undeadly was a unique take on the teen supernatural boarding school story. The characters were well-developed, the plot was intriguing, and the pacing was perfect. I could not put this book down. This is one reaper story you won't want to miss.In the beginning of the book, Molly was pretty annoying. She was a whiny, spoiled brat. However, the plot was so interesting that I gave her a chance anyway. I'm glad that I did. Her character grew immensely throughout the course of the novel, and by the end, she was a completely new person. I really like the direction her character was taking, and I can't wait to see what happens to her next. My one complaint with the characters is that we didn't get to know any of the secondary characters very well. Since this is a series, though, I assume that there will be more time for relationship building in the next installment. On the plus side of no relationships being firmly built, there was also no insta-love. Yay for that. My favorite characters so far are Henry, Anubis, and Rath. The plot is unique for a reaper book and for a boarding school book, and I really loved the incorporation of Egyptian mythology. I'm not going to go into anymore detail about the plot because I'd hate to spoil the novel for you. I'll just tell you that it's super intense and will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's non-stop suspense. Also, it was a quick read. I read it all in one sitting, but unfortunately, it ended on a cliffhanger. The world-building was also fantastic. This novel takes place in a world that knows reapers and necromancers exist. There is an open market for making zombies, and they teach necromancy history in public schools. That within itself fascinated me, and I had to learn more about this world. Vail did an excellent job of describing this new reality, and the world felt real to me. Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves YA paranormal novels. Give Undeadly a try. You won't be sorry.
  • (2/5)
    As much as I wanted to love Undeadly, the story just fell flat for me. I enjoyed the mythology and didn’t really mind all of the zombies, but I just couldn’t get past the main character and the predictability of the plot.I actually did like Molly as a main character. She was nice, down-to-earth, & brave. I was a bit put off by the fact that she is the most kick ass reaper to ever exist because, well, that has been done so many times—I could have lived with that though. What really bothered me about Molly & kept me from enjoying her narration is the way she talked. There were so many “ho-kays” & “whatevs” that I was just really turned off. I don’t know why she needed to sound like a valley girl, but I just couldn’t stand it. Her sense of urgency is also a bit warped. One of her ghost friends comes to help her out of a bad situation where she could potentially be killed. Most people would be jumping into action & fleeing as fast as possible. Not Molly though, she...wait for it...pees. That’s right, we take a break from all the action for a potty break. Really? I think that was the very lost straw for me as far as Molly goes.
The plot was also pretty predictable. Molly’s real father wasn’t a shock. And the way she puts it all together? No build up whatsoever. The mysterious monster terrorizing the school? Also not a shocker who was responsible for that. You just have to ask, why the heck did it take her so long to put it all together. There is a subtle budding romance, however, that I think will play out nicely as the series progresses and am happy to see that there is at least one aspect of the story that I wasn’t disappointed with.I like the concept of Undeadly, however, I just can’t get past the way it was executed. Everything from the main character to the plot left me wanting something more, and I think the only thing this series really has going for it is a nice love story that will be developed over time. All in all, Undeadly actually reminded me of House of Night—which is not my favorite series.
  • (5/5)
    Okay FIRST, I must relay how much I ADORED Molly and her "voice"! She spoke my language dude. And I loved it hardcore!Molly's in training to become a full fledged necromancer, of the ka heka (Zombie Maker) division.On her 16th birthday, her boyfriend Rick, takes a nasty fall and DIES. Yeah. Dead as a door nail, instantly. Molly acts in a frenzied panic of "HOLY CRAP!", grabs his soul as its hovering over his body and shoves it back inside him.Well, this did not turn out as beautifully as she had hoped and Rick comes back... Wrong. And that's all I'm going to say about THAT.Throughout the beginning of Undeadly, we are privy to Necromancer history and different ranks in the Necromancer/Reaper hierarchy. Also how the war between two Gods shaped the modern day. It was super informative and I find myself wondering if it would be inappropriate to teach these "ideas" to my children. Just sayin."Most historians agree, however, that it was the Egyptians who perfected the art of raising the dead. No other culture can boast that their zombies built such magnificent monuments."She works for her father, Big Al, at Big Al's Zomporium, doing awesome zombie related tasks for zombie-keeping people..."Zombies required care. You had to comb their hair, cut their nails, oil their skin, brush their teeth and give them weather appropriate shoes." - BAHAHAHA! *dies* I love it!!!!Her grandparents, whom she's never met, show up out of the blue and tell her of their `practically royal' bloodlines among the Necro community and inform her of the enormous responsibility she's about to undertake.Off to Hogwart's Nekyia Academy she goes... where she'll encounter much to overcome. Especially since Rick followed her there, and he's acting all super creepy... Then people start dying.I thoroughly enjoyed Undeadly! It wasn't at all what I expected, which was a welcome surprise! Undeadly is awesome, hilarious, suspenseful and intriguing - Molly is a brave, witty and wickedly funny heroine. Rath? Hmmm... I'm seeing potential here! Can't wait to find out more about him and how he came into the Reaping business!
  • (3/5)
    Undeadly by Michele Vail3/5 starsSource: NetgalleyThe first book in a series is often the hardest to write (and read!) because the author so much to accomplish in a relatively small amount of time and space. As a reader, I need the first-in-a-series book to:a.introduce me to an interesting cast of characters with backstory and an explanation for how these characters have come to be in the pickle they’re inb.establish both a short- and long-term plot line c.create enough interest through the characters, plot, and unanswered questions to make me want moreIf an author can accomplish all of these things they are virtually assured a successful series and will have readers not only wanting more of their work but begging for more. Sadly, for myself, Vail’s Undeadly has missed the mark and I likely won’t be coming back for more. Here’s the trouble:*The first part of the book is exceedingly slow and filled with what you later find out is a lot of extraneous detail which doesn’t really inform or enhance the overall plot. To be fair, this part of the book also introduces Undeadly’s primary character, Molly and offers a small bit of insight into her particular talents and skills. *I fully appreciate Undeadly is a paranormal read and weird situations are going to occur. However, the situations Molly finds herself in and allows herself to be pulled into are often inexplicable and unbelievable even in a paranormal novel. While these scenes are unusual, they do offer further insight about Molly and the full range and extent of her powers.*Molly’s powers are another source of frustration. It is clear Molly is special and in possession of powers only spoken about in myth and legend. The problem? Molly has no idea who she is and what she is capable of because it has all been kept from her for her entire life. Additionally, no one in Molly’s life seems willing to cough up any information about her powers or her destiny unless forced to do so and even then, the information is limited at best. The end result of this lack of information is a very powerful and naïve kid fumbling around in dangerous situations.*The abundance of unanswered questions. Of course any first-in-a-series book should have unanswered questions but Undeadly has far, far too many. For example: why hasn’t anyone ever told Molly about her powers or her destiny? Why is the topic of Molly’s mom completely off limits? Why has Molly been kept from her grandparents her entire life? If her Aunt Leila is so super-awesome and well-liked how did she become both a shadow and a minion of Set? Why does Molly meet with so much resistance from other students and some of the faculty/administration at her new school?The bottom line: There are some good moments and elements in Undeadly including Molly’s suck it up and drive on attitude (she doesn’t do angst!), her ghoul servant, Henry, Rath, the surly reaper with a good heart and good intentions, and the use of Egyptian history, religion, and mythology. Unfortunately, these good elements are just not enough to balance out the frustrating elements and leave me begging for more.
  • (5/5)
    There nothing like a good story to turn your day around. Once I started this book, I felt immediately attached the story. Fast-paced and exciting, The Reaper series begins with an explosion!What I loved about this book are the characters. The main character is not your typical teenager. She has a sarcastic, full of attitude, with a history that is about to reveal all secrets. I loved Molly's personality. Ever comeback, every thought, made me laugh and snort through out the story. I like that is not bland but every unpredictable She is always up to some kind of trouble so you never get bored. There are minor characters who played big parts in Molly's life, which I am anxious to know more about.There really wasn't much of a love interest. Well, I take there back. There is, but it's complicated. I know.But, there are some new friendship that are established. I like that Molly made some good friends and not stuck-up ones. She found great people who she can trust that helped her along the way. I'm anxious to see what other love interest will playout through the series.Undeadly is a great combo of paranormal, plot, and characters. All done tastefully well, Undeadly keeps you entertained. Full of intense mysteries, it's easy to fall into Undeadly. A satisfying ending to a great start of a series, Undeadly is awesome!
  • (2/5)
    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyI’m split right down the middle with UNDEADLY. I loved the Egyptian mythology based world that included reapers, zombies, and ghosts. The pacing was excellent especially the chapter endings which made it nearly impossibly to put the book down. And there were numerous surprise twists. What was less enjoyable was Molly.As a protagonist, Molly had a very strong voice. Unfortunately, it was hard to stomach for most of UNDEADLY. She’s very young, very self-absorbed, and very annoying. Every other page it was ‘whatevs’ or ‘hel-lo‘. She only sixteen, but she came across more like a petulant eleven year old. It’s a testament to the plot and pacing that Molly didn’t completely ruin the book. About halfway through, she seemed to tone down the more annoying aspects of her personality, but she still cast and unfortunate cloud over the book.UNDEADLY has potential with strong world building, unique Egyptian mythology, and an exciting and fast-paced narrative. If only the protagonist had been more palatable. The character of Molly makes this a read that will likely only appeal to younger tweens. The Reaper Diaries continues in 2013 with UNCHOSEN.Sexual Content:Kissing