Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: The Undertakers

The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses by Ty Drago

Publication Date: April 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: YA, Horror, Living Dead
Pages: Paperback, 480pp
ISBN-13: 9781402247859

(Received for review from Sourcebooks)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Ty Drago on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from
The Undertakers
Book Trailer:

Synopsis (Book Blurb):


It's bad enough that Will Ritter discovers his next-door neighbor has become a walking, talking corpse. But when his assistant principal and math teacher also look like something from a horror flick, he begins to seriously question his sanity - until the Corpses attack.

Don't call them zombies. Zombies are slow and stupid. These things aren't. To make matters worse, only a few people, like Will, can actually see them. Forced to join a ragtag army of teenage resistance fighters called The Undertakers, Will finds himself in the middle of a war against an invasion of the living dead. And in this war, the Undertakers aren't just the first line of defense - they're the only line of defense.


Author Ty Drago has written a YA novel that will appeal to adults as well as teens and tweens.
The Undertakers: Rise of Corpses introduces readers to a group of resistance fighters who aren't your typical soldiers, they're kids! The Undertakers are the only ones who can see the corpses for what they really are, the living dead. Readers will love Drago's fresh style and interesting take on the zombie myth. Light on the gore and heavy on detail, this book is a must read for fans of the living dead!

Will Ritter is your typical twelve year old boy, with big ideas and dreams of adventure. But he gets more than he bargained for when he realizes that he has "the sight". He wakes up one morning to find that Ernie, his neighbor is looking a bit strange, ghastly in fact. Then his math teacher and his assistant principal start to look a little fiendish as well. Will is able to see corpses. These are the living dead. Stronger and faster than a normal zombie and that much more deadly. They have taken over the bodies of dead people and are invading the world. It's up to Will and a group of kids known as The Undertakers to figure out a way to defeat these ghouls before it's too late.

As many of you know, I am quite a fan of paranormal fiction and characters. I find that generally I'm very open minded when reading and I can find something I like about just about every book I read. This book was a bit of stretch for me, because zombies just don't seem to float my boat when it comes to reading. So I began the book with a bit of skepticism and found myself pleasantly surprised, because these characters aren't zombies, they're corpses and yes there is a big difference! They are not stupid, nor are they slow. Most books about zombies tend to make the living dead seem a bit underachieving. Drago's version of the living dead is smart, fast, resourceful and bent on taking over the world. I liked the way Drago was able to make them seem more menacing and worthy of being a part of the horror genre. Very refreshing in my eyes!

The plot line itself was interesting to me as well. The book is obviously written with the YA audience in mind, but I think it will appeal to adult readers who enjoy books about the living dead as well. Here you have a group of freedom fighters, so to speak, who are taking on great odds and doing things that you would expect from soldiers, but they are kids. Forced to grow up in a hurry and make some life changing decisions. But they are still kids. They think like kids. They re-act like kids and they have a lot to learn. The main character, Will is a great example. Even though he is forced to change the way he looks at everything and everyone, he is still just a twelve year old boy. He gets impatient. He tries to solve the problem on his own. He tries to be the hero, like any boy would. I loved how Drago was able to keep that innocence and feel of childhood in his characters, he definitely must be a young boy at heart!

I read quite a bit of YA paranormal fiction as well as regular YA selections and I have two daughters who fall in the age range that most of this kind of writing appeals to. So, I usually share the YA stuff with them and get their opinions as well. My thirteen year old thought the book would appeal more to boys even though there were several female characters and my eleven year old was scared half to death but couldn't put it down... LOL! I think this is a good first effort and the premise will make for a great series. I have to admit that the living dead is still not my favorite paranormal character, but books like this one go a long way toward changing my mind.

I recommend this one to fans of the living dead and YA paranormal fans in general and to those adults who love YA writing. I liked the book, and I will definitely read another from this author. And I can still say I don't care for zombies since there aren't any in this book (wink)!

The Undertakers is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Ty Drago is an author, editor, publisher, business analyst, family man, and Sicilian Quaker (not necessarily in that order) - clearly a modern Renaissance Man. Or something. For the past twelve years he has served as editor/publisher of Allegory, the online magazine of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

The Undertakers marks his debut in youth fiction. Ty makes his home in southern New Jersey with is wife, Helene, daughter Kim, son Andy, two cats and a dog.

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