Book Review: Undeadly by Michele Vail

Title: Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1)
Author: Michele Vail (aka. Michele Bardsley)
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, zombies, mythology
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 2012
Pages: 272 pages
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird…

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

My Review:

I stumbled upon this book a few months ago – almost by accident. But it immediately captured my attention. I’m a new convert to books regarding zombies and mythology books always catch my fancy.

Molly lives a fairly uncomplicated life. School during the day, working at her father’s zombie emporium most afternoons. That is until her sixteenth birthday party and Molly accidentally manages to mess with necro magic that she doesn’t understand. She also finds out that she’s not a Bartolucci – but rather the guy she’s always believed to be her dad is not her real biological father!

Her maternal grandparents enter the scene and inform Molly that she’s a Legacy at a fancy necromancy private school, Nekyia Academy, where she will have her own personal ghoul to run her errands and a secret society to be a part of.

There’s so much of this novel that reminded me of Marked (House of Night #1) – from the fact that Molly is some sort of ‘chosen one’ to the super sugary sweet southern new best friend. There’s even the boyfriend that the heroine somehow managed to enthrall with her new magical gifts is along for the ride too. There were just too many similarities between the two stories that I couldn’t help but think that one was a poor copy of the other.

What I did love about this book was the mythology used. I love the Egyptian angle as it’s not something I’ve read a lot about before. The gods mentioned are kind of bad-ass and I loved their involvement in the novel. I would have loved if there was less time spent on the events covered early in the novel and a lot more on the fantastic and interesting drama that occurred after the half way point as that’s where I found this book to be new and exciting.

It’s a fun and easy read where the magic and mythology used is something I’ve not seen much of before – I love the necro magic and I can’t wait to see what happens next for Molly (there’s a bit of a cliff-hanger). There are a number of interesting characters (Roth for one.. he’s my favourite by far but also Aunt Leila and Anubis himself) that do may this book more than just another teenage girl who finds out she’s magical and important.

Thanks to Michele Vail for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


  1. I just reviewed this book too! I haven’t read Marked so I wasn’t able to notice the comparisons. I think my problem with this book is that maybe I was too old for it? I’m only 21 but the main character was really young and kind of immature. Maybe that sort of behaviour appeals to more of a younger teenage audience. I just couldn’t connect with her and her “hoo-kay” lingo annoyed me a bit.

    But I also thought the mythology was a really great part of the book. I would have liked to see it elaborated on a bit more. The end bit was really rushed and I feel like that could have been expanded to make it super interesting!

    • I’m 25 next week so maybe that contributed slightly to the problems I had with Molly. There are some books that just make me feel old and I don’t quite get them. But I’ve read some of the author’s more adult paranormal romance novels where the characters are a decade or so older than I am and found them to be immature with odd sayings as well. I think it’s more to do with the author’s style per say than the character herself.

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