Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Young Adult
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
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.
Undead is a book that is part bad 80's movie and part badass Zombie splatter fest. Think The Breakfast Club meets Resident Evil. What can I say though, this book works! I loved the blending of this sort of b-plot storyline filled with sort of cliche characters (the jock, the outcast, the popular girl etc..) and that of a Pharmaceutical Company gone corrupt. Alone each might have made a decent story but together it makes it great!
One of my favorite parts about Undead was its pacing. This story flew by so quickly and yet the Author knew exactly when to give us the readers breathers that really built up the tension for the next big scene. My only small complaint was the ending. The story felt finished but yet continued on several pages longer showing viewpoints of events from around Scotland. It was interesting sure but also felt a bit like it didn't belong in the book. I might be grasping at straws here but I think this might of been at one point a short story meant to bridge the gap between Book #1 & Book #2 but when the book was republished it instead became part of the main book.
Another thing I really liked were the Zombies. I expected them to exist and be scary but I never really expected the Author to show as much carnage as she did. I am a believer that you can't have a good Zombie story without showing the details. That means heads being lopped off, neck wounds gushing blood and Zombies chowing down on any body part they can grab. Since this was a YA book I sort of expected it to hold back on the gore but instead was pleasantly surprised to see that the Author wasn't afraid to show what needed to be in order to highlight the danger they were all in. Good for her!
Lastly, I liked the characters. Bobby was smart and resourceful. She was in short a survivor. My only disappointment with her character was she let everyone else treat her like she was expendable. Grow a backbone girl! I also liked Smitty. He was obviously the rebel of the group but when it came down to it he was a valuable member of the team putting his own life in jeopardy time and again to ensure the others safety. The only character I disliked was Alice. She treated everyone piss poorly and they all took it (although Bobby certainly received the most jabs). I just wanted someone to tell her to get off her ass and be helpful but they never did. I'm hoping in the next book she has some character growth. Although Zombie chow is looking better and better if you ask me!
Overall, I really liked Undead. The story was fast paced, well written and had the perfect blend of humor and horror to keep me engaged. If you like films like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead or books like Monument 14 or The Way We Fall then I highly suggest picking Undead up and giving it a go. With that being said, I'll be rating Undead by Kirsty McKay ★★★★.
*Copy owned by me. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them.
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