Thursday, January 24, 2013

Undead by Kirsty McKay

Another cool ARC I got from BEA last summer, and just hadn't been able to get to until now.  Unfortunately, it's not autographed.  So that means I'll take it in and put it on my "check out" shelf in my classroom for my students to borrow.
This is a book for people who like zombie stories, as you can definitely tell from the title.  Although I guess it could be about vampires too.  It has some good humor, the zombie back story is pretty good, and it goes back even further than we know until the end.
The main character is Bobby, at first you know it's a girl, but then the name throws me for a bit, and some of the way the story goes is a bit gender neutral.  Bobby is not the cheerleader on the cover, that is Alice, or Malice as she is called by Smitty, kind of the bad boy of the school group.  And the other main character is Pete.  Bobby has just moved back to England from living with her family in the States.  And her parents idea is to send her on a school field trip right away!  They're heading home from a ski trip in Scotland.  The bus stops at a roadside restaurant to get some food.  Bobby doesn't want to get off and deal with the other kids who have been so rude to her the entire time.  She ends up left on the bus with Smitty, who is made to stay there because of his behavior.  Their teacher goes in to get Smitty some food, and it seems that is when all hell breaks loose.  Everyone inside the restaurant all of a sudden has turned into zombies, which Smitty and Bobby don't quite realize for sure until Alice shows up at the bus banging on the door to let her in.  The bus driver goes out to try to help, but gets attacked and falls.  They think he's okay, so let him back on and try to help him.  While barricading the bus doors to keep themselves safe, they stay there and kind of watch as things seem to go from bad to worse, to kind of calm.  They attempt to go to the gas station for help, and end up finding Pete hiding there.  They blow up the gas station to try to clear any zombies out there.  Then they head back to the restaurant, and after checking it to make sure they're safe, they set up what they think is a safe area to stay.  Pete thinks it is all a set up, that everyone ate something in the cafe and got turned into the zombies.  They find the restaurants security cameras and do some investigating.  They figure out what might be going on, just as another zombie shows up and chases them back to the bus.  From there they end up adding two more to their group, a girl a bit older than them and her younger brother, and soon they even have to leave the bus. They walk on looking for a safe place, and find a castle.  But the castle soon turns out not to be as safe as hoped.  They run into the people who may have begun this whole epidemic, and learn things about each other that are important to the whole story.
Okay, good story, but I had a bit of confusion with Bobby's family.  At the beginning it is Bobby's father telling her to go on a trip, so that would be right before the trip, right?  But then at the end we find out that Bobby's father died, so the timeline on that is a bit confusing.  But other than that a pretty good, edge of your seat, zombie tale.  There is going to be a sequel, good thing because you're totally left hanging.  I'd call this a quick, fun read for people who enjoy zombie stories.