Monthly Archives: August 2011

Undead by Kirsty McKay

Title: Undead
Author: Kirsty McKay
Published: 1st September 2011
Format : ARC
Pages: n/a
RRP: £6.99
Rating: 13/14+

It was just another school trip – stuck on a bus with a bunch of freaks…

When their ski-coach pulls up at a roadside cafe, everyone gets off except for newbie Bobby and class rebel Smitty.

They’re hardly the best of friends, but that all changes when through the falling snow, they see the others coming back.

Something has happened to them. Something bad. Soon only a pair of double doors stand between those on the bus and the Undead outside.

The time has come to get a life.

Undead, I am ashamed to say, was my first ever zombie book. I thought the blurb was really intriguing so I said yes to an ARC copy from the lovely Chicken House. I was initially a little bit scared, I have to admit. I knew Undead was aimed at teens but that meant it could easily have been really scary.

Thankfully, it dealt just as many comedic cards as well as thrilling, horror and a touch of L-O-V-E, loooove. Being my first “zom-com” book, I didn’t have very high expectations pertaining the plot, specifically. I’ve watched plenty zombie based television programmes and films, but to be honest I have never understood how a book could chill you to the bone. Turns out, it’s actually quite possible!

Sarcastic (and slightly facetious) Bobby, Rebel Smitty, Alice “Malice” and Smart Inept Pete are the main cast, and written so that they actually swear, have interesting but realistic personalities.

The quick pace of the novel means you delve straight into the action, meaning there is not time to stop as the zombies appear straight away!

What I loved even more about Undead was that the characters were aware of popular culture. You know in media such as books, tv and films where teenagers don’t seem to watch TV? I am happy to say that in this book the characters watch TV and have seen plenty of zombie films, much like real life! Huzzah!

All in all, Kirsty McKay has written a fabulous book, finally creating a YA novel in which the characters are relatable, average and normal. What’s even better is that the zombie aspect is well done and not in a clichéd or overdone way, either. Great plot twists and a fantastic twist (or even… cliffhanger?) at the end leaves me gagging for more.

Plot: 8/10
Fast-paced and action packed. Perfect for a genre like this!
Writing Quality: 9/10
I really loved the quality and style of Kirsty McKay.
Originality: 8/10
OK so zombies aren’t original at all but elements and the writing were definitely different and it made it very enjoyable to read.
Characters: 9/10
The characters were loveable, well developed and most of all  realistic!
Descriptions: 8/10
I really loved the descriptions of the setting, characters and the zombies!

42/50 = 84%


Thank you so much to Chicken House for providing an ARC copy!

Undead will be published on the 1st of September (or thereabouts! :P)