Author: Ty Drago
Published: April 1, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal
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."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.
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 plot...wow. 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.