Author: Michele Vail
Genre: YA, paranormal, romance
Publication Date: November 20, 2012 (HarlequinTeen – North America)
Source: NetGalley Review Copy
Summary: 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 school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.
Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.
☆: 1.5/5 stars – extremely disappointing to say the least.
Review: I was really excited for this book, guys. Really excited. But I have to say that I was really majorly disappointed – and I really should have seen the “House of Night” similiarites sooner so I could damp down my expectations. I wish I could say I could recommend “Undeadly”, but with so many books out there in YA right now like it in terms of characters and tone, well, I just can’t.
What was fabulous was a great world with interesting bits of uncommonly used parts of Egyptian mythology in a world where magic (specifically, necromancy) is really common. I thought the worldbuilding was really great, and that’s the only reason why this book is getting 1.5 stars at all, really. I loved the worldbuilding that I did read before it got DNF’d, and I loved where it was going in terms of that worldbuilding in terms of plot.
I also have to say the sensory imagery, when it was actually used (I felt there was way more telling over showing), was really pretty great. I just wish it’d been used more. The parts where the imagery was used it really made the world richer and more tangible, but it just wasn’t used enough to make this story feel real.
I have to say the characters (and their voices) were what really killed this for me. While it’s great to have a snarky, sarcastic protagonist, it gets old pretty quickly when it starts to feel forced, as it did with Molly within the first few chapters. If anything, it felt like the author was casting about for words to make Molly sound her age (a teenager), but it just didn’t flow naturally at all. Her voice ended up being pretty disjointed as a whole, and I just couldn’t go with that.
The other characters aside from Molly didn’t even feel real. One dimensional, cardboard cutouts is more what they felt like, and I always feel pretty bummed when books turn into that. They were propping Molly up the whole time (as a cast of characters should, I guess, to a certain extent do with both the protagonist and antagonist) – but they did little else but that. It felt like they were just there to make her standout, in the end.
So, guys, I tried. I probably won’t be reading more from this series (unless vast improvements are made in book two), even though it was so very promising. But that’s just how I feel about it. “Undeadly” is out now from HarlequinTeen in North America, so be sure to go check it out when you get the chance.