Series: The Reaper Diaries, #1
Author: Michele Vail
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
To-Be-Released: November 20, 2012
Source: received a copy for the blog tour
Links: [goodreads][amazon.com][The Book Depository]
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.
In a society where dead bodies are allowed to be re-animated as zombies, Molly’s dad is the owner of a Zomporium, where he employs those with necro power to raise zombies. Although Molly was born with necro power, she just wants to enjoy her school life making friends with normal kids and flirting with the awesome-and-popular quarterback in her high school. But, Anubis, the god of necromancy, seems to think otherwise. On her sixteenth birthday, Molly is being bestowed with special reaper gifts that she doesn’t know how to wield and when things kinda get out of hand, she has no choice but to learn fast, hoping what she is learning could somehow save her from all that she has never foreseen.
When I first began reading the story, I found Molly a little young for her age. I wouldn’t say she’s whiny, but for a sixteen-year-old, her behavior seemed a tad immature. But then I start catching glimpses of her family and heritage and I begin to understand why nobody around her has ever encouraged or inspired her to grow up. I guess being raised in a protective environment does have its own disadvantage. Fortunately, Molly is not weak, and I’m happy to say that she is a character I’ve grown to care and respect. Why am I saying this? Because her attitude changes when she is being thrown into the unknown, and instead of shutting down insisting that her life sucks, she opens up to doing stuff that she has never thought she’d do. And as she learns, she also starts behaving in ways that show her consideration and respect for others. In the end, I think she has become quite a different person than the girl that I first met. Anyway, I feel kinda sad that the road ahead of her doesn’t seem to be smooth. It’s like life is sort of unfair and cruel to her, but that’s just my personal opinion.
Perhaps because this is my first reaper book, I find the world building here quite unique and a little scary. Just imagine for a moment … a similar reality to ours but different … a world where people can make great money raising zombies and enslaving ghosts as workers … can you imagine that? Isn’t it kinda cool? In a way, I feel fascinated by the world that is created by Michele Vail. While it’s not a world that I’d dare to live in, I’m amused but also horrified by the idea that someone, for example, a rich dead aunt, could probably be turned into a poor miserable slave by her progeny if the living ones decided to re-animate the dead and enslave her for eternity. I guess in a world like the one being created here, death wouldn’t mean the end of one lifetime. But what could that imply? Would that mean retribution beyond death could somehow be allowed? That’s kinda brutal if not chaotic, don’t you think?
Overall, I like the story. I personally find Undeadly witty, fun and surprisingly thought-provoking. I like that it’s loosely based on Egyptian mythology but it’s not a rehash of something that is familiar. This is book one of The Reaper Diaries series. I’ll be eagerly waiting on book two. Hopefully I don’t have to wait for a year before I can read it.
About the Author
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.