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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay

TITLE: Undead
SERIES: Undead, Book #1
AUTHOR: Kirsty McKay 
PUBLISHER: Chicken House
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1, 2012 (first published 2011)
FORMAT: Hardcover, 272 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Horror
ISBN: 9780545381888
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!


received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

In one word: Entertaining!

With its slapstick humour, Undead reminds me of one of those cheesy B-horror movies. A group of teenage kids are on a field trip in Aviemore, Scotland, and their school bus pulls into the Cheery Chomper café (how appropriate!) for a bite to eat. The heroine of the story, Bobby, is a bit of a loner. She was originally from London, and then her family moved to the United States. Now her family has relocated to Scotland. The American kids made fun of her British accent, and now the Brit kids make fun of her American accent! A girl can’t get a break! She decides she would rather stay on the bus and eat her bagged lunch than feel like a loser sitting by herself. The teacher, Mr. Taylor, tells Rob Smitty, the class rebel, that he will be staying on the bus with him as punishment for trying to buy alcohol and smokes with a fake ID. Smitty convinces Mr. Taylor to go into the café to buy him a sandwich, which leaves Bobby and Smitty alone on the school bus with the driver. Alice Hicks, the resident pretty girl, comes running out of the restaurant claiming that everyone is dead. Of course, Bobby and Smitty think that she’s overreacting and a bit of a lunatic. That is, until, they see Mr. Taylor stumbling towards the school bus with arms stretched out and blood dripping down his chin.

Along the way, the kids run into other survivors and they band together. They have to be resourceful to stay one step ahead of the monsters trying to kill them. Bobby’s strength and courage makes her a great heroine, and Smitty is just crazy and reminds me of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo who always acts as the bait in a diversion. Alice is snarky and annoying, and I am sure that Bobby and Smitty were tempted to leave her behind on more than one occasion! Despite their differences, they do manage to work together. It was a fun and light read that held my interest but be forewarned: The book ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger.

I have to add that I love the cover! It adds to the comic horror feel of the book, and I love that it is a girl that is holding the bloody ax!

This is McKay’s debut novel, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Unfed, which is expected to be released in September 2013. 



  1. Great review. I read this one awhile back and enjoyed the campy good humor. And the end, loved it.

    1. Thanks, Dorine! I loved the end as well, and now I can't wait to read the sequel!

  2. I agree that the humor in Undead was great. I wasn't so much of a fan of the other parts, but it did make me laugh.

    1. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed at least part of it, Lizzy!

  3. Sorry, just saw this. I think I would like this, it sounds really cute.

    1. It was a fun book! I hope you like it as much as I did!


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