Monday, 27 August 2012

Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay


  Undead by Kirsty McKay
  Publisher: The Chicken House
  Publication date: September 1st 2012
  Source: NetGalley
  My rating: 4 Stars

 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.

Combining the chill of THE SHINING, the thrill ride of SPEED, the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and the angst of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Kirsty McKay's UNDEAD is a bloody mad mash-up, a school-trip splatter-fest, a funny, gory, frighteningly good debut!
Undead was a heart-pounding, action-packed, zombie tale that took off and never stopped!  I dare you to catch your breath while reading it!

Robby is on her way home from the school-trip from hell (little does she know, haha!).  The school bus has stopped at the “Cheery Chomp” café (great name for a zombie tale) so they can all get off and have lunch.  Robby, being the new girl and class outcast, is tired of the mean-girls, and decides to stay on the bus. Her are her ominous opening words: “I would rather die than face them all again.  Die horribly. In a messy, fleshy, blood ’n’ guts kind of way.  It is a total no-brainer.”*

Stuck on the bus with her is the rebel-without-a-cause, complete with inky black hair and leather jacket, Smitty.  He’s been busted by one of the teachers for buying smokes and vodka with a fake ID.  But the teacher can’t deprive him of food, so Mr. Taylor makes his way to the café to grab a sandwich for him.  This leaves the bus driver, Smitty, and Robby to wait while everyone eats.  Within no time, Alice or "Malice" as Smitty calls her, runs back to the bus in a panic.  It seems when she came out of the restroom, the whole class, including Mr. Taylor, was dead as doornails.  Well, at least for the time being……

Robby was the perfect heroine for this tale, the ordinary girl stuck in extraordinary circumstances rising to every challenge with courage.  A zombie uprising brings out the best in this girl.  I instantly loved Robby from the beginning with her snarky and humorous internal commentary, she had me laughing throughout the story.  Smitty is all kinds of fun, and full of hilarious one-liners.  He is the hero to Robby’s heroine, and between the beheadings and vomit, there’s a sweet little romance brewing.  Then there’s Pete, the class geek and brain who manages to survive somehow.  And the last of this mismatched quartet is Alice, the gloriously shallow mean-girl who manages to still have her lip gloss and mascara carefully applied in all the chaos.  This beauty of a quote comes from her: “It’s such a nightmare!” Alice cries. “They want to kill us!” Her eyes narrow. “And Shanika’s got my CoutureCandy bag, the bitch!” she says to the driver. “Run them over!”*  Kirsty McKay’s wickedly wonderful humor is laced throughout. 

This story was non-stop action, terror, and ironically, fun.  It had my heart pumping from the anticipation of what was around the next dark corner.  But this was more than just a mindless romp; there is a mystery behind this outbreak that these four slowly uncover, and it hits close to home for one of them.  I totally recommend this story to adrenaline junkies and zombie lovers alike.  This ends on sort of a cliffhanger, but not the tear-your-hair-out kind.  With that said while I was typing up the review for Undead, I ordered Unfed (Undead #2).  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Thank you to Netgalley and The Chicken House for allowing me to read this.

 *Quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change with the final copy.


  1. I was never a fan of zombie books. Granted, I never read one but this sounds mighty interesting. =)) Gotta love those mean girls. Alice seems like a fun character given than quote!

    Lovely review, Rachel :D

  2. Eeei! This sounds like a bit of a scary read and I had such a clear image of it reading your review. Robby and Smitty sound like a fun couple, I think I'm going to have to read this!

  3. This sounds fun and exciting! I haven't heard much about it but you have convinced me to give it a try. Brilliant review, Rachel! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

  4. I'm not typically a fan of zombie books, but Undead sounds awesome. I'm sure that it's the humor that appeals to me. It must be pretty great if you've already preordered book two. I'm going to try and make time for Undead. Great review!

  5. Wow...

    When I read the summary, I was a little creeped out by the whole story line of being chased by zombies. I've seen and watched zombie movies. They're the scariest things in the world!

    Reading you review, I feel that Undead is more than just screaming your head off at the sight of zombies. It seems like Kirsty McKay has created a fun read with a totally horrific story line.

  6. After reading the blurb I thought it would be total fun read. I'm glad to know that it indeed was. And not just fun but with heart-pounding twists and actions! I'm totally sold! I need to see this soon! Fantastic review, Rachel! :)

  7. This sounds like the perfect read to cuddle with and relax your mind. Endless, non-stop action, fun and zombies. :) Lovely review, Rachel. :) I overlooked this title on Netgalley thinking it wasn't for me (that cover !) but now, you've made me reconsider my decision... :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Yay! I have this one one coming up and I was hoping it was just going to be a really fun story. Sounds like it is:) I'm glad it's got a solid mystery, and though the idea of a cliffhanger causes me stress, it's nice to know it's not the type of one to drive me out of my mind while I wait for the next book. Lovely review Rachel!

  9. This sounds incredible! I've never normally been a fan of books like this, but Undead actually sounds like a really fun read. And that second quote you shared was hilarious! Thanks for the wonderful review, Rachel. :) xxx

  10. Your opening lines to this was so great, Rachel.(': I can trust that, if you ever become a writer, then our books will have me hooked straight from the beginning-- as your reviews do!

    I haven't heard much about this before, but after your revew I'll be keeping my eyes open for more on it. Personally, I'm not a zombie fan, but this sounds like it's too good to miss!

    Thank you for the lovely review.(:

  11. Eee, I loved this one! I'm not reading this review quite yet bc I have to write mine, but yay--so glad you liked it!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  12. This sounds like a fun take on zombies Rachel. I hadn't heard of it before. Great review :)

  13. Gosh, this sounds so good! I haven't heard of it before, but Robby sounds like a protagonist I would just love! Plus, I lovee zombie novels and this sounds like a very unique take on that paranormal creature! Fantastic review, Rachel! :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

  14. Snarky, action packed, breathtaking zombie book is just the ticket for fall! I have a copy of this and I can't wait to tear into it! I loved that quote. A bus would be a good way to take out a pack of zombies!

  15. Wow, this cover really grabs your attention ;))
    Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!


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