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Paperback: 272 Pages
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
The Reaper Diaries
Book One: Undeadly
Book Two: Unchosen (2013)
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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....
Finally got enough time to squeeze in a review! To be honest, I should be studying trig right now, but ehhh procrastination does seem to be my specialty. xD So in the past week, I was fortunate enough to receive an ebook version of Undeadly by Michelle Vail from the awesome people at Netgalley! When I first read the synopsis, which was a long LONG time ago, I was practically jumping up and down in glee. Why, you ask? Because I'm a HUGE mythology buff, and after reading Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles (Based off of Egyptian Mythology, if you don't know. :), I was practically salivating to glean more information about the mysterious Egyptian legends and gods. However, after reading more than a couple of not-so-great reviews, my excitement slowly dwindled. In fact, it diminished to the point where I was literally flinching, when I finally psyched myself up enough to open the book.
The protagonist, Molly Bartolucci, was immature and annoying in the beginning. Her sense of humor, at times, was amusing. But 80% of the time, it made absolutely no sense or was so cheesy, that I was fighting the urge to set the book down and vow to never open it again. I believe that the author was attempting to give Molly a more teenish attitude and outlook on life, but she wasn't able to hit the nail on the head. The slang that Molly and her friends used were not things that normal mentally sound teenagers would say, at least not in my opinion.
Aside from her corny jokes and annoying style of speaking, she also took alot of TSTL (Too stupid to live) actions. There was this one particular scene near the end of the book, when I had to fight the urge to strangle the living daylights out of her. For example, lets say someone points a gun at your head and threatens to kill you if you don't do what they say. Would you A. Panic and run away screaming. B. Keep your composure and silently plot your escape or C. Fall to your knees and beg for mercy. In Molly's case, she chose D. None of the above. Even after everything that her attacker did to her and all the questionable actions she took, Molly still didn't know if that person was friend or foe. Really?
However, even though she was a few fries short of a happy meal, she still grew in character.....a little bit. Near the end, she learned to stop, force herself to stop talking for a minute, and listen. She learned to take in her surroundings, keep a calm expression on her face during stressful times, and think of a way to solve whatever messed up situation she got herself into. Although I didn't really like or connect with Molly's character in this novel, I'm hoping I'll grow to like her more in the next installment.
Wow. I think that's the most I've ever written on a protagonist. Moving on to the love interests. In Undeadly, we have an almost there, but not quite, love triangle. We have Rick, the golden boy who always does what's right, and Rath, the dark, brooding, and mysterious bad boy. Sound familiar? Before reading the novel, I already knew that I wasn't going to like Rick, and my guess ended up being correct. Why didn't I like him? He was a bland character to me. There was nothing mysterious about him. I never had questions like, "Who is he really?" or "What's his real motive?" swirling around in my head. ***Minor Spoiler to those who haven't read summary*** And the way that Rick died? He just happened to turn around, trip, and crack his head open? It sounded so....unrealistic and hard to believe.***End Spoiler*** Rath I liked more. He had the cryptic and dark vibe thing going on, and being the total girl I am, I couldn't help but be drawn to it. Don't ask me why girls tend to gravitate toward bad boys, because I honestly don't understand it either.
The action was the only saving grace for this novel, besides the cool Egyptian facts of course! I never got bored with Undeadly and the premise was interesting as well. I was expecting the necromancers and zombies to be more hidden and secret. Something mere humans wouldn't be able to see. However, this was not the case! Zombies and necromancers, in this world, are common knowledge to everyone. Zombies could be anything from slaves, pets, or maids. Although they could still eat you whenever they had the sudden craving. I'm not a huge zombie fan, in fact I usually despise zombies with a passion, but this novel made me enjoy them more.
Overall, Undeadly had great potential but fell flat for me. It reminded me of my first feelings towards Jennifer Estep's Touch Of Frost series. However, since those novels progressed into the awesomeness they are today, I'm more than likely going to read the next installment in this series. Who knows? Maybe Michelle will follow in Jennifer's footsteps. If your a huge fan of both zombies and Egyptian mythology, then you might enjoy this novel more than I did.
*An ebook copy was provided by Netgalley
in exchange for a honest and thoughtful review.*