Thursday, December 20, 2012

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1)

Michele Vail
249 pages
Released: November 20, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Source: NetGalley

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

When Molly turns sixteen she has a dream about Anubis in which she agrees to serve him as a reaper.  When she wakes up, she discovers her world has been turned upside down.  Turns out that dream agreement in binding and now Molly must attend Nekyia Acadamey - a special boarding school where she will learn to hone her skills and serve Anubis as he wishes.

Undeadly was totally not what I expected, but I loved it!  Michele Vail creates a vivid world filled with reapers and zombies and souls that reminded me of balloons... I loved immersing myself in this world from page one.  But Undeadly took it a step farther for me and included something I'm a sucker for in YA novels... boarding school.  Give me a paranormal boarding school with a main character who doesn't feel like they belong and I'm all over that.

The boarding school in Undeadly reminded me a little bit of Hogwarts, but smaller.  It just sounded very old and stately.  The legacy families in Undeadly reminded me a bit of the founders of Hogwarts - okay okay, I know you can't really compare any book to Harry Potter, but there was something about Undeadly that reminded me of those hallowed halls.  It also reminded me a bit of Hex Hall, but a little more intense and a lot more zombified.  In addition, I liked the format Michele Vail used when writing Undeadly.  The book is told from Molly's point of view, but also includes Molly's diary entries and quotes at the beginnings of chapters.  The format really tied the whole book together and made the world feel cohesive.

A note about the boys.  Molly's boyfriend Rick randomly shows up at her new school and I thought that was kind of odd - although there was something odd about their relationship to begin with.  Enter Rath - an angsty, dark kind of a guy who Molly keeps running into, and who then turns out to be her independent study instructor!  Hello!  Of course, the plot is complicated by the mysterious deaths (is there any other kind?) of some of Molly's fellow students.

I'm totally loving this new world that Michele Vail created and I can't wait to see how the series and Molly's story fleshes out in future novels.  It's obvious when reading Undeadly that this is just the beginning of something huge.

Four stars!  Undeadly was a great start to what's sure to be a wonderful series.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book already!  If you enjoyed the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins, you'll probably also enjoy this one.  Give it a look!

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