November 13, 2012

Blog Tour: Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1) by Michele Vail – Review, Excerpt with G!veaway

Welcome back!  Thanks for stopping by for our tour stop for

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1) by Michele Vail

hosted by Shane @ Itching For Books!

 Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

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.

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1) by Michele Vail
Publication Date:  November 20, 2012
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **


I personally have been waiting to read Undeadly by author Michele Vail for quite a long time now. After glimpsing the astonishing cover and reading the awesome sounding description/synopsis, I was dying to get my hands on the story and begin reading.  I’ll admit that what with the sudden rise in the whole “Grim Reaper” genre I was a bit hesitant, the last thing I wanted was a cliché of every single other novel out there—so imagine my glee when I say that Undeadly is completely original and for that I loved every second of it.

Undeadly comes in the comedic point of view of main character Molly Bartolucci as she adapts to the fact that she has been chosen as the God of death, Anubis’s, champion. Growing up in a world where zombies, ghosts and necromancy are common happenings, Molly was born as ka heka which means that as a necromancer her special ability is raising the dead/making zombies. On her sixteenth birthday Molly has The Dream in which Anubis himself visits her and asks if she’s willing to accept being chosen by him, after receiving her (almost) boyfriend, Rick ends up dying.

Molly stuffs what’s left of his soul back into his body, which makes his corpse return… but not as a zombie. After that, Molly is sent off by her mother (who abandoned Molly’s family)’s parents to attend the Nekyia Academy, an elite necromancer school where Molly will be trained how to be a butt-kicking necromancer by the reaper who was supposed to take Rick’s soul; Rath.

The novel itself I found, was pretty drop dead hilarious especially since as a reader we get chapters in Molly’s POV and get to read entries from her diary/guide for future necromancers who come across it. Molly’s personality was one that was funny because not only does she manage to put a humorous twist on everything, but also manages to make the most serious of situations lighthearted. Plus, I felt like she was a character I could relate to, which is good because I found it more realistic for a teenaged character.

The one thing I did notice however, was that the description did mention there being a ton of students dropping dead or going catatonic on school grounds and how all trails lead up to Molly. I personally found, that that aspect of the novel was barely touched down on and only happened within a few chapters or getting mentioned briefly. Did I find that disappointing? Not really, considering that the events that ensued made up for lost time.

I found that in Undeadly, something I found awesome was that when Molly trains with a spiteful Rath (a bit of a pun, right there) and they practice boxing he says something funny along the lines of her elbows popping out with all her punches. I kick box, I remember my coaches saying something similar and I actually have quoted the same thing that Rath said to Molly with the younger kids before reading the book. I found it a fun coincidence and also made the novel feel a lot more real.

My only real problem with the novel was that sometimes, you don’t get an immediate idea of what the setting looks like or other characters. It’s usually only mentioned a few times and then kinda let slip in the place of Molly’s thoughts on the situations around her, I’ll admit that sometimes I would forget the location of the characters just because there wasn’t really a location to imagine.

All in all, a fun read that I enjoyed. Am I excited for the sequel? Hells yeah! Bring on more Anubis and zombies! I would recommend Undeadly to fans of the House of Night series, readers who want a lighthearted read and those of us who are looking for something fun that can be read in one sitting.

It is said that the Anubis fought a great earth-shattering battle with his uncle Set, the God of Chaos. Anubis’s legacy was to rule the underworld and Set was all, “Nuh-huh. I want to rule the underworld.”

So they had this huge freaking war. Set stole some of the reapers that Anubis was the boss of—and wow, did that piss him off! So then, the reapers were fighting each other and the humans were all, “What is this crap? Reapers suck!” And there were plagues and famine and people dying for no reason, and the reapers were too busy blasting each other to do their jobs.

It was a mondo-ick mess.

Finally, Anubis went deep into the underworld and got some bad-ass magic. We’re talking magic so ancient and powerful, it wasn’t supposed to leave the world of the gods, like, ever.

But he got it anyway and used it to capture Set. He imprisoned the god in the bowels (Seriously? Ew!) of the underworld, and then he banished all the disloyal reapers into this place that was like limbo, I guess, only way, way worse. And no one but Anubis can get there. Or something like that.

Anyway, Anubis was so upset about what went down, and he felt so bad about all the humans who’d been hurt, that he changed the rules about death and reaping and junk. (That’s a god for you.)

He was like, “Sorry, humans, my bad. Here’s some magic.” Okay, it was sorta like that. He was worried that his reapers might get more ideas about mutiny or whatever, so he split a reaper’s power into five magical abilities, which matched the five parts of the soul. (Did you know there were five parts to a soul? Heka 101, peeps.)

And he bestowed these five heka gifts upon some fancy schmancy nobles because Anubis is a snob. Most gods are totally noses up, you know? That’s what being immortal and all-powerful gets you.

So, he’s like, “Hey, I’m giving each of you one of these gifts, and you can use them to control parts of being dead.” It was like an end-of-the-war party gift for all the survivors. Here’s the down-low:

Ka Heka – Re-animates dead bodies using a teeny tiny part of the soul called the ka. (Pretty common ability these days.)

Ren Heka – Calls forth and communicates with earth-bound spirits. (Lots of necros can do this one, too.)

Sheut Heka – Creates and commands soul shadows. A soul shadow is sorta like peeling away the top layer of the soul. (This power is rare, and a total no-no. Anyone unlucky enough to be born with this ability is whisked away by the government. Well, that’s what the Internet says, so it must be true.)

Ba Heka – Supposedly, ba heka necromancers can bind souls and keep them from entering the afterlife. (No one in modern times is known to have this gift. Or maybe they’re hanging out with the sheut hekas in a government lab.)

Ib Heka – Sees into the heart of the soul, and knows the person’s true worth. (Necromancers who have this ability usually go crazy, or become hermits, or sometimes, they start cults. A few have been serial killers.)Very, very, veeeeery rarely, a necro is born who has two gifts. The last one recorded was Leonardo Da Vinci. Explains a lot, right? No known human has ever had all five gifts. It’s almost impossible, because a human with that kind of power couldn’t handle it. They’d implode, or something.

Supposedly, Anubis watches all the humans who are born with heka gifts, and if they use their magic well and don’t act like douchebags, then he offers them a reaper job after they die. It’s like anyone who’s born with death magic is training to be a reaper in the afterlife.

Just so we’re clear, reapers are dead.

At least, they’re supposed to be.

No one really knows how the whole reaper thing works, this is just the stuff they make us learn in The History of Necromancy, and it’s called “theory” or “mythology” or “wasting an hour of my life every day.”

These days, people use reaper powers to enslave ghosts, make zombies, and basically cash in. If Anubis doesn’t like what humans ended up doing with those gifts … well, he hasn’t done anything about it. Maybe he doesn’t care. Maybe he’s down in the underworld having parties with gods and souls, and is all like, “Humans? What humans?”

Oh. And there’s this really, really, really old wall relief in some temple in Egypt dedicated to Set that says, “He will break his bonds and rise again to take his revenge. Death will come to the world and the living will be no more.”

Total suckitude.


About the Author:

Michele Vail writes young adult paranormal fiction about zombies and reapers.

She likes reading, dogs, cats, board games, ghost-hunting shows, and Halloween. She believes in magic, in the impossible, and in the restorative powers of chocolate.

Michele lives happily-ever-after with her Viking and their family.

Connect with the author:  Website / Twitter / Facebook  / Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
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  1. Joy F

    Book looks great, thanks for the chance.

  2. Holly Calhoun

    Sounds so good!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Wonderful review & excerpt. Thanks for participating.

  4. Awesome review!! I have been dying for this one since I featured it as a WoW forever back. This review and excerpt just made my need for it stronger!!

  5. Breana M.

    I like your review and choice of excerpt. I’ve had my eye on this book because of the mythology. :)

  6. Lisa Vazquezanzua

    I like how honest this review is. Thank you for that! Even though I still want to read Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win!!

  7. Brooke

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! Great review!

  8. Megan S.

    Thank you for the giveaway! Added to GR!!

  9. Joani S

    This book sounds awesome! I put it in my wish list at amazon and will def be checking it out!

  10. Ann S

    I love the zombie aspect of this book, what fun. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to read a new author

  11. sherry fundin

    You definitely make the story sound intriguing. Makes me want to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Koreen

    I can’t wait to read this book even if I don’t win this contest. :-)

  13. Suz Reads

    Thanks for this amazing giveaway – I would love to win!

  14. Kristan

    I can’t wait to read this book! I love zombies =)

  15. Inky

    This book sounds fantastical! I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

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