Thursday, November 29, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Undeadly by Michele Vail (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy
Publication.Date  November 20th 2012
Published By:  Harlequin Teen | 
WebsiteMichele Vail

Undeadly on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided by the publisher via KISMET Blog Touring in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

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....


Not feeding a zombie isn't like not feeding your cat. He. Will. Eat. You. And your cat. People who forget to pick up a case of Ghoul-AID sometimes don't live to regret it. Capisce?
"Your task will be great, daughter. And at times, the burden of your gift will be heavy. I have looked into your heart and judged you worthy. You are a child of Anubis, chosen for my gifts. Are you willing to accept my bidding?"
You will be afraid. That fear will sit like a cold, dark lump in your stomach, and it will grow tentacles and clutch at you heart and your brain, and choke your thoughts and emotions until all that exists is pain and exhaustion and terror. My advice? Embrace it.

     Fast paced, entertaining and frequently silly, Undeadly is a decent paranormal romance that will appeal to fans of the House Of Night series. While not breathtakingly original, it's a readable story that offers something you don't see in the YA genre too often - Egyptian lore and necromancy. And for that reason alone it's a story worth checking out! 

     Molly Bartolucci is a necromancer. She was born with the ability to raise and control zombies. She's not particularly fond of her talent. She'd much rather live a normal teenage life, hanging out with her friends and dating Rick. Unfortunately for Molly, that scenario is out of question. And not only because her soon-to-be-boyfriend dies on the night of her sixteenth birthday, but also - or perhaps most of all - because Anubis chose her to be one of his reapers. And not just any reaper, either, but the only living reaper with the power to defeat evil.

      Let me start off by saying that as excited as I was to read a story featuring Egyptian gods, necromancers, zombies and reapers, I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. And that's mainly due to the fact that I didn't connect with the main character. At all. Molly was definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed and at times I wondered if perhaps the author intentionally made her so. She was immature, irresponsible, at times disconnected from reality and - as much as I hate to say that - plain stupid. Not only did her actions made me raise my eyebrows in surprise and shake my head disapprovingly, but her unlikeable personality really got on my nerves. And - no matter how exciting and entertaining the plot line - it's very hard to like a book when you can't stand its lead heroine. Molly was just a little bit too over the top for my taste. I got the feeling that Michele Vail tried very hard (perhaps a little bit too hard) to make her look and sound like a really cool and witty teenager. The result was quite grotesque and unattractive, and I certainly would've enjoyed this book more if it wasn't packed with outdated teen slang and cliches. On top of all that, Molly's first person narrative was far from captivating or enthralling, and her inner monologues only further solidified my dislike of her. I found the narration to be all over the place. Too much emphasis was put on trying (and, unfortunately, failing) to sound funny and snarky, instead of fully developing both the story line and the characters. Molly's manner of speaking (and thinking) felt forced, childish and unnatural. Here are some quotes to illustrate it:

"Crap. That test was awful with a side of lame. Why hadn't I said something less sucky? Argh!" 

"I mean, I'd done something impossible to save Rick. And then I'd passed out. 'Cause I know how to par-tay. Ugh."

"Huh. Anubis was cute. Not my type at all, though. In fact I felt a little repelled. Probably because he was a god and all." 

I mean, I can only swallow so many UGHs and ARGHS and HEL-LOs before I start gagging

     Thankfully, the plot line of Undeadly was better than its lead heroine. The overall set-up of the story is in many ways similar to the Vampire Academy series (Molly discovers that she possesses some very special powers/abilities, she's shipped off to Nekyia Academy where she is then tutored by an arrogant and seemingly unattainable hottie). The similarities are hard to miss, but they didn't bother me all that much. It's the unique premise that really made this book for me. I can't tell you how excited I was to read a book based around Egyptian mythology! That alone was a big redeeming quality for me. I also found it quite interesting to read about zombies, necromancers and reapers, though at the same time I wished those themes were more thoroughly explored. One aspect of the story was especially interesting and that's zombifying your dead relatives and having them work for you or serve you. I thought that was a fascinating idea that could inspire some philosophical musings on life, death and free will. Sadly, the more meaningful and stimulating side of the story was not explored at all. I did, however, had a lot of fun following the plot line. I liked how fast paced and action packed the story was, and - once I got past the annoying heroine - I enjoyed myself quite a lot. 

     In the end, despite its many shortcomings, Undeadly proved to be a good read. While I can't say that it blew me away, I'm certainly interested in finding out what will happen next. And hopefully, in the next instalment of The Reaper Diaries we will see some character growth in Molly. Fingers crossed!

Huge thank you to KISMET BT for organizing this tour! Thanks Heather and Danny! :) 

Tour schedule:

Monday, November 26th – Bookish Brunette - The Care of Feeding Zombies
Tuesday, November 27th  (Book Birthday) – Fiktshun - Illegal Zombies
Wednesday, November 28th – Wastepaper Prose - 5 Quotes
Thursday, November 29th – Evie Bookish 
Friday, November 30th –  All Things Urban Fantasy
Monday, December 3rd- Tater’s Tall Tails 
Wednesday, December 5thThe Book Cellar
Friday, December 7th- Refracted Light Reviews

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Wrighty said...

I've been so curious about this one! I'm looking forward to reading it. Great tour!

Jaime Lester said...

Well, CRAP! I am so very disappointed that you didn't like this book better. I have been really excited about this book. Very excited. Maybe the cover has a little to do with that. I mean, it is pretty awesome! It is incredibly frustrating when the lead character is a let down. I think I will still read this one one day, but I think I will wait for the library to get it in. Thanks for the review!

Rachel V said...

This one is on my TBR list and I will probably still read it but I am glad to know your opinion. Thanks.

Amy said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed this book enough even with Molly being an annoying character. I didn't like this book very much and was actually mad that I forced myself to finish it. That's 2 nights of reading I could have spent on something more enjoyable. Besides Molly making me want to jump off a cliff or something, I just wasn't that into the story.

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

It's good to hear you still enjoyed the story a bit even with the issues you had with the main character. This story sounds really interesting but I hate when I can't connect with the main character because she just seems a little dim and annoying. I think I'll think about this one a bit more before picking it up, there are just too many other books lol

Christine said...

I've heard so many varying opinions about this book; I'm not sure if I'll like it but I'll probably give it a try anyways ;)
Thanks for the review!

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