The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses Review

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Title: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses
Author: Ty Drago
Publisher: Jabberwocky
Published: April 1, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 480
Source: Publisher

"On a sunny Wednesday morning in October, a day that would mark the end of one life and the beginning of another, I found out my grouchy next door neighbor was the walking dead. When you turn around expecting to see something familiar, and instead see something else altogether, it takes a little while for your brain to catch up with your eyes. I call it the 'Holy Crap Factor.'"

Forced to flee his home and family, twelve-year-old Will Ritter falls in with the Undertakers-a rag-tag army of teenage resistance fighters who've banded together to battle the Corpses.
Will wakes up one Wednesday, and it's just like every other day until he sees his neighbor, then his principal, then his teachers have all become a part of the living dead. Is it a new thing? Yes, and no. Will's one of the special few who can see these zombies among the living, making him an Undertaker with a special destiny. Suddenly, in addition to his twelve-year-old angst, pre-teen life, and all the glory that comes with it, Will is sent along a path with others like him because his gift dictates it. He might be a part of humanity's last line of resistance between the living and the dead, but that also means that his life will never be the same again.

Remember when vampires became popular? Then werewolves, angels and witches followed. Well, zombies have been on the train lately with shows like The Walking Dead and Zombieland popularizing the lore. The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses, however, does what few books and films say they will do - it takes the original idea, turns it on its tail and makes it into something entirely new. Author Ty Drago clearly had some clever mojo going when he wrote this one because he combined two seemingly polar opposite tales into a single, fully-functioning novel that's suspenseful, age-appropriate and seriously witty.

The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses truly is one of the freshest MG reads that I've got my hands on in a while. Will is a great protagonist. He's charming and smart, but he acts his age. Yes, there were a few moments where he slipped and I wondered why he suddenly sounded more mature, but overall, he felt entirely real. Will's friend, Tom, also consistently evolved throughout the book, and I felt their progression and character changes, although mostly subtle, were in sync with the plot. Speaking of the Talk about a fresh idea! I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, but let's just say that the zombies in The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses are nothing like what you read before. In fact, they might not be from this planet. Ponder that one.

All in all, The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses was a fun, fast-paced and action packed read. It sounds like a long book, but it reads well, and I finished it quickly, all the while wanting a sequel. I give it a firm 4 out of 5, and I'd recommend this to both YA and MG audiences. I also think reluctant readers would enjoy this quick plot and fun premise.

I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I want to read this now! I've been seeing this all over the blogosphere and everyone's been saying that it's good and unique :) It does sound intriguing.

    Oh and by the way, I can't wait for your review for Wrapped!

  2. I still haven't read any zombie books. I think this sounds like a good one to try. Great review Melissa :)

  3. I really love zombie books-especially those who take the original version and turn it around:) I think I just might read this some time soon. Thanks for the review Melissa!

  4. I haven't read many zombie books but I would read this one. I also like that it's a MG book. Great review.

  5. I have just read one zombie book, but I loved it. I have been searching for more such books, so this one is a great addition to my wishlist.
    Great review!

  6. Thanks for this review! I have been wanting to read this book!

  7. Oooooo I love the sound of this! I really want to know about this plot now and what makes it so refreshing. Such a great review Melissa, I never would have taken note of this one without it:)

  8. I am almost finished with The Undertakers and am loving it. This one will be one I nominate for the book battle it is a wonderful MS novel. Glad you liked it too!

  9. I just read about this one, ugh, zombies! There is nothing I fear more, silly I know

  10. I was just telling Small Review that I'm always looking for MG for Boys. I have an 11 yr old though he isn't a reluctant reader he's choosy. I don't know if he'd read about zombies or not, but I'll certainly let him read this review and see if it sounds like something he'd like. I'm definitely seeing a lot more zombies.


  11. For some reason, zombies seems perfect for MG. It has a creepy, gross out factor good for young boys and lots of opportunities for humor. I'm glad this is a good twist on the zombie theme. Will sounds like a nice kid.

  12. I've actually never read a zombie book - they don't really appeal to me as paranormal creatures - so maybe an MG book about them is a good place to start with. It's also a good recommendation for my little brother. Thanks!

  13. I get really freaked out by Zombies but this take sounds so fresh that I'm pretty tempted!

  14. Yes, zombies are the new vampires-werewolves-angels-faeries. LOL Love zombies though! This sounds like a great book. Terrific cover. Can't wait to read this one. Awesome review :)


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