by Kirsty McKay
Series: Undead #1
Publisher: The Chicken House
Publication date: September 1, 2012
Genre: YA Horror/Zombies/Humor
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby. The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty. Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back. But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.The Undead is a hilariously funny, zombie infested novel with a mismatched group of teens that will have you laughing as they scramble to save themselves when a school ski trip turns into a nightmare. I laughed and groaned at this silly read.
The tale begins when we meet Bobby, she has recently moved back to Scotland after a stint in the US. This has left her feeling like a bit of an outcast, as her language skills offer up a mix of American and the accent of her homeland. She decides to forgo eating lunch at the burger joint and makes due with a PB&J on the bus. Smitty, a real hottie and rebel is brought back to the bus by their teacher after attempting to buy liquor. While the teacher goes to get Smitty food, they sit with the bus driver. However, when they see their fellow students heading back to the bus, they realize something is serious wrong. When Alice, the cheerleader starts banging on the door screaming, they are trying to eat me you find yourself completely hooked.
McKay offers up a delicious cast of characters, and references to the Breakfast Club are spot on, as we find ourselves on the bus with kinds from every high school social click. I really connected with Bobby. She was sarcastic, fearless, and quick on her feet and her internal conversations had me laughing. Smitty is your classic bad boy rebel. He was the first to take risks and distract zombies.The interaction between him and Bobby was sweet, funny and a wee bit romantic. Alice is that girl you love to hate. She is picture perfect, has all the right clothes and not a hair out of place. Too bad she opens up her mouth. Her snarky comments and insults had me laughing as did her me, me, me attitude. Peter was a total geek and perpetual worrier and helped round out this bunch. Other characters added to the tale. The zombies while not always in the forefront added to the suspense.
The tale was set in Scotland, but aside from a few popular UK slang terms, this tale could have happened anywhere. This is really a character driven story. The plot is very predictable and thin in some areas. This started out on a real high for me but sadly it never developed into more then a slap-stick comedy. We learn how the kids and townsfolk became infected but little details on why. While zombies do give chase, the main focus of the plot is finding a phone, keeping safe and discovering what turned everyone. The ending wrapped up ok, but we did get a little bit of a cliff-hanger. Similar to those B movies, where you think the monster is dead and it’s all a happy ending, then at the last minute they flash to the monster and queue the creepy music..
Undead will appeal to fans of comical zombie books. This was a fun, light, read and I imagine it will appeal to a younger audience. I do plan to pick up Unfed book two in this series.
I want to thank Chicken House and netGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. Buying your copy through the links on this post, result in a small commission and fund all of the lovely giveaways.
I gave this novel 3 cups of coffee out of 5.