Early Review: Undeadly by Michelle Vail

, by Kt Clapsadl

Undeadly by Michelle Vail 
The Reaper Diaries #1

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. 

All Molly had ever wanted was to be a normal teenager, well at least as normal as a zombie-raiser can really be. But on her sixteenth birthday everything gets turned upside down. In one day she dreams of the god Anubis and accepts his reaper abilities, raises her almost boyfriend from the dead, gets shipped off to a school specifically for reapers, and learns she is a legend. Suddenly being normal is a thing of the past as she is whisked through training at a break neck speed. With students losing their souls left and right, and Molly seeming to hold the key, there just isn't time for an easy transition into this new life.

As much as I found the premise of this book to be intriguing, I'll be honest that I had serious doubts that I would be able to finish this book. Molly's "voice" was incredibly annoying and grated on my nerves to the point where I literally had to force myself to keep reading. She uses valley girl slang like it is necessary to the air she breathes. Perhaps I could have overlooked they way she talked if it hadn't of drastically spilled over into the narrative as well. It's one thing for her to talk like that to other people if that was her personality, but when it was the entirety of the book, it just became way too much. In all honestly Molly's whole personality felt rather forced, almost as if the author was trying too hard to achieve an authentic teenage voice. This may not be the case, and the author may have intended Molly to come across the way she did, but it just didn't work for me, especially when she seemed to become more and more of an airhead by the end. Adding into the my problem with Molly was that the additional characters were not really substantial and rather two dimensional in my opinion, so they didn't provide any decent distraction. Perhaps in all actuality they were more developed than they seemed, but I really couldn't see past Molly's overwhelming character and portrayal of the other characters.

This book's saving grace and the only reason it did not become a DNF for me was because I was thoroughly intrigued by the premise behind the story. It almost seemed like a zombie version of the Mythos Academy books by Jennifer Estep. But unlike those books, Undeadly features an "open" world where everyone knows about the paranormal, in this case, the zombies. I've always been drawn to this type of world as I feel there as so many possibilities when secrecy isn't an issue. There is just a whole lot of potential there, and it's just a shame that the narrator stood in the way in this case. 

In all honesty I was debating between a two and three rating for this book. As much as I enjoyed the world behind the story and the potential it held, considering the fact that I had to keep forcing myself to continue on with the story due to my issues with the characters I just can't give it higher than a two. As far as continuing on with the series, it's highly unlikely that I will, unless my curiosity about what happens after that cliffhanger winds up getting the best of me. Depending on reading preferences, this book could turn out to be an enjoyable read, but for me, it's a pass.

(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)



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