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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dash of "They Live", a pinch of "The Rising", and a touch of "Percy Jackson". This is zombie fiction for the whole family.
I've read an underground bunker full of zombie books in my day: some of them good - many of them dreadful. Many of them have blindly followed the path set down by George Romero in "Night of the Living Dead" - slow shambling zombies intent on eating brains - without even attempting to advance the genre. Many of them have been nothing more than poorly written scenes of...
Published on May 19, 2011 by Daimion

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review from My Overstuffed Bookshelf
When you first get a glimpse of this book, you can tell by the cover that it is geared for the younger male teens. When you read the summary, you still think it is for the younger male teens. Even with that in my head, I still decided to read this book and give it a fair shot at review. I may not be a young teen, or from the male genre, but there is something about...
Published on April 25, 2011 by A. Jacobs


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dash of "They Live", a pinch of "The Rising", and a touch of "Percy Jackson". This is zombie fiction for the whole family., May 19, 2011
This review is from: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses (Paperback)
I've read an underground bunker full of zombie books in my day: some of them good - many of them dreadful. Many of them have blindly followed the path set down by George Romero in "Night of the Living Dead" - slow shambling zombies intent on eating brains - without even attempting to advance the genre. Many of them have been nothing more than poorly written scenes of blood and gore strung together by tenuous plotlines and cardboard thin characters. Nary a one of them has been for young adult readers. I'm happy to say, "The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses" is none of those things.

I challenge you to walk the aisles of your favorite bookstore today without tripping over the mountains of young adult vampire books that have flooded the market. Good vampires, bad vampires, teenaged vampires, tragically misunderstood vampires - it's all a bit much. What has been missing is a serious (and seriously good) young adult zombie novel to even the odds a bit. Ty Drago has delivered just that with "The Undertakers".

Drago takes a dash of "They Live", stirs in a handful of zombie mythology from Brian Keene's "The Rising", and finishes it off with the young adult appeal of "Percy Jackson". The end result is a zombie story for the whole family. (Well, most of the family - I don't think my 10 year-old son will be reading it this year. These are zombies after all - decaying flesh tends to fall off of them at inopportune moments. It is a story and cast of characters that is both familiar and, at the same time, utterly original.

Will Ritter is a normal 12 year-old living just outside of Philadelphia. At least he thinks he's normal. All that changes one day when he realizes some of the people around him are not what they appear to be. Where everyone else sees the assistant principal or the science teacher, Will sees the walking corpse of a zombie. (Well, not zombies exactly. As one character reminds Will later - "Don't call `em zombies. Zombies are slow and stupid. These things aren't. You want to remember that.")

Called "Corpses", they appear normal to almost everyone, but are in fact entities wearing the bodies of the dead like a suit of clothing. They hold down regular jobs and live regular lives right here among us. They are also slowly infiltrating our society and looking to destroy the human race.

Will soon discovers there are others like him, others who see the Corpses for what they really are. All of them are under 17 years old and have come together to form The Undertakers - a group dedicated to finding others like them, and stopping the advance of the Corpses. As Will learns more about the group it becomes clear they are the only thing standing between the unsuspecting public and the destruction of our way of life.

It's clear this story is aimed squarely at young adult readers. That's perfectly fine with me. As I said earlier, why should tweens miss out on the fun that is zombie fiction? What makes the book special is that I, who haven't been in my tweens since last century, also found great enjoyment in reading the story. (I devoured the book in just less than 3 days.) Drago writes with an age appropriate tone, but one that is not condescending to older readers - the story is still, after all, a robust exploration of the genesis of a zombie invasion of our world. The drama is real, the action is real, and the plot holds up whether you are 15 or 45 or 105.

For those wishing to dive one layer below the zombie invasion, there is a subtle yet effective examination of young adulthood. It can be a scary and tumultuous time. The transition between childhood and adulthood is fraught with the unknown - and to the person experiencing it, it often feels like they are the only person in the world who has ever had to deal with those issues.

"The Undertakers" provides a great parallel for that journey. The Undertakers have assumed the responsibility of the first (and only) line of defense against the Corpses. No one knows what they are doing; no one even understands the threats they are facing. They are truly alone in their quest - no guidebooks, no do-overs, no rules. It's a powerful metaphor for what tweens and teens face every day.

The job of facing the great unknown that is adulthood is often overwhelming, frightening, and lonely. Getting zits may not be as life threatening as being chased by zombies - but to a 13 year-old navigating his or her way through the turbulent social waters of middle school, it can be just as daunting. Younger readers will find a kindred soul in Will as he learns that the world doesn't work exactly the way he always thought it did. I know I can remember some of those same feelings from my adolescence.

Whether you look for commentary on growing up, or just a good zombie adventure, "The Undertakers" is an incredibly fun story to read. Drago has done a superb job of creating a comfortably livable world for his zombie tale, and left the door wide open for the inevitable sequel (or two, or three, or seven.) He has a polished style and comfortable prose that made reading the book a pleasure. It is a welcome addition to zombie literature and it is a great foundation on which to build. There is a lot of room to roam in the world of "The Undertakers". I can only hope that Drago takes full advantage of it and shares with us stories from every nook and cranny.

According to his website, Drago still holds down a day job and pursues writing as passion. Based on this novel, I would say it's more of a calling. I can only hope "The Undertakers" gets the attention it deserves. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. You won't be disappointed - and you'll be doing your part to help Ty Drago quit his day job one day. (Not to mention saving someone, like yourself, the pain of having to read another vampire novel...)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want this to end!!, April 23, 2011
This review is from: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses (Paperback)
I have always said that there are special gems that can be found in Young Adult books, and The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses is one of those special gems.

It seems that Will isn't have a very good day. He sees his neighbor, but in a different light. This neighbor is dead, and Will can see him for who he really is, dead. Not dead as in, he's killed. Oh no, that would be to easy. Dead, as in a zombie. But not a normal slow lurching zombie, but a zombie that can move just as easy as you or I. Will makes it to school, but only to have other zombies try to get Will. Will gets help from a girl in his class, but she isn't who she seems to be. She knows about the zombies, and she's not alone. Will finds out that he's a Seer. A child who can see who and what the zombies really are. Soon the girl leads Will to a group of kids who are fighting the zombies. Soon Will joins them in being a zombie slayer, but little does Will know, the zombies have a big surprise and even bigger plans.

This book is amazing. The characters are fantastic. In some books, the character are flat. That's not the case for this book. The characters leap off the page at you, in that they seem so real. Each character has their own personality traits, strengths and weaknesses. I had such a fantastic time getting to know each one of them, and loved how they turned out. I wasn't prepared to feel as attached to the characters as I was. I read the book in one sitting, and for me, that's very very rare. I honestly lost sleep because I was up till the wee hours of the morning reading this, just to see what happens to them. Honestly, it was that good.

Drago has a wonderful writing style. It flowed at an even pace, and not once did I feel that a scene was wasted, or just added to make the book longer. There were some pretty interesting plot twists. What I liked most was the Will learned about someone from his past, but also learned a lot about himself. We were able to get into his mind, and feel the fears that he felt.

There was also a lot of action in this book. To be honest, I didn't expect there to be that much. The nice thing about this is that the actions wasn't over the top silly or action that never couldn't happen. Well, okay, there were zombies, but the action felt right for the kind of book that it was.

Drago also had some fun with the legend. He took it and pretty much made it his own. Let's just say that this isn't your parents zombies.

This was such a fun read. I can honestly, say that I was sorry to see this end. I hope there are more books in the series. I can't wait for the next one to come out, if there is a next one.

If you have a child that doesn't like to read, even boys, then I highly suggest this book. I can promise you that they'll love it just as much as I did. I plan to tell the older kids that I'm a substitute for, to check this book out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and a Great New Take On Zombies oops dont call them that, October 22, 2012
This review is from: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses (Paperback)
Although I wish we could have been sent both books. This one was very good. We ended up buying the first book from the used bookstore so this is kind of a review for both. We took the weekend to finish both books both ME and THE KID! And we love them. This series gives a REALLY NEW take on Zombies oops don't call them that! This book says it is for ages 10 and up however, my 8 year old didn't have a hard time reading it. I think she asked me what three words were through the entire two books!

I received a copy of book two for free from the publisher for review. However this in no way influenced my review and all opinions are 100% my own as well as my daughters

Book 1 we purchased from a used bookstore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review from My Overstuffed Bookshelf, April 25, 2011
This review is from: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses (Paperback)
When you first get a glimpse of this book, you can tell by the cover that it is geared for the younger male teens. When you read the summary, you still think it is for the younger male teens. Even with that in my head, I still decided to read this book and give it a fair shot at review. I may not be a young teen, or from the male genre, but there is something about zombie books that draw me into the plot.

Will joins a special team of people called The Undertakers after seeing his neighbor, principle and some of his teachers turned into zombies. Not everyone can see the zombies, but Will happens to be one of the special ones that can. The Undertakers are kids, yet they must leave everything behind to fight the zombies.

I found this book to be adventurous and fun to read. As an adult, there were some things that didn't jive for me in it. If you have a younger male teen who has been reluctant to read, I think this would be a great book to start off with though. As an adult reader, I had to keep trying to remember that it is a book geared for younger teens and some adults might not like the writing because of that. While I was able to adjust to it and somewhat enjoy it, if you have a problem with reading books like that, then you might want to consider borrowing the book instead of purchasing it.

Again, I think the author did a wonderful job though in creating a world for younger boys to dive into. A fun read to spark the interest of reluctant readers and hopefully give them the push they need to start reading!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is an engaging fast-paced tale, April 28, 2011
This review is from: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses (Paperback)
After getting over the shock of observing his walking rotting neighbor Ernie "Dead Man" Pratt and John Towers Middle School Assistant Principal Titlebaum and some teachers turn into zombies, twelve years old Will Ritter struggles with controlling his instinct for flight and fright instead of fight. Kids like him recruit Will as a member of The Undertakers, a dedicated unit of non-adults whose mission is to fight zombies.

Joining the youth squad means your previous way of life no longer exists as adults do not have the ability to see zombies. The teen and preadolescent Undertakers like Will vow to clean the world of the Zombie manifestation starting with their home town.

This is an engaging fast-paced tale from the moment the talking smelly Pratt puts his hand on Will and never slows down as the young warriors learn the key questions in life is not can I have Pop Tarts for breakfast or how to comb one's hair, but can you see the living dead and how do you kill a dead person? With nods to Wild in the Streets (zombie style) and Zombieland, middle school students will enjoy Will and the Undertakers mission to save the world as readers will agree with the book's quoting an anonymous person that "Children make the best heroes."

Harriet Klausner
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3.0 out of 5 stars Undertakers, January 28, 2015
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I really wanted to like this book. I thought the premise was great, and the reviews were fairly all positive. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.
It started out promising and took off running, but then it stalled multiple times, and I kept checking to see how much more of the book I had to read, which isn't a good sign.
The characters are fairly standard, nothing that makes them distinguishable or extremely likeable.
I got confused when they tried explaining how the Corpses work, but I think that may have just been me.
Otherwise, it's probably a good read for anybody who likes a different take on zombies.
Unfortunately, I will not be continuing with the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars easy to read and engaging, November 8, 2014
This review is from: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses (Paperback)
Fast paced, easy to read and engaging. I was hooked from the first page! Even if you have things to do, you CAN'T find a breaking point to put the book down. Oh well, chores will just have to wait. If you're looking for a story to captivate a reluctant reader, this is it! It takes the imagination hostage and promises to keep you on the edge of your seat. I recommend this book for both male and female readers (grades 6 and up).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses, May 23, 2011
By 
grumpydan (Andover, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses (Paperback)
This book is intended for young boys who like the zombie genre. But I am not a young boy and this is not quite your ordinary zombie story and I loved it!

Will Ritter at first sees his neighbor looks like the undead, then his teacher. Soon he is running for his life and to protect his family, hiding with a group of others that `see' these zombies. They call themselves the Undertakers and he soon learns that they `people' aren't dead but their corpses have been taken over by aliens. And only kids can see them for what they really are.

This is an interesting approach to this type of horror. Ty Drago writes for the young boy and the adolescent will certainly enjoy this story, but so will the older crowd (like me). It is fast paced, not too gory and a fresh idea for what seems to be the beginning of a series of Undertaker stories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book, September 17, 2013
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This book was the best book I have read by far, I really enjoyed this book.
I suggest that others defiantly read this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adore it!!!!!, July 24, 2013
This review is from: The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses (Paperback)
This book is amazing!!! It's like a mix of The Lightning Thief series and Gregor The Overlander series with a new twist! I absolutely recommend this book!!!
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The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses
The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses by Ty Drago (Paperback - April 1, 2011)
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