Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses by Ty Drago

The book I read was an advanced copy, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. This book is also the first in a new series. Our world is full of Corpses, an army of dead bodies that have been taken over by some type of beings, but most humans cannot see them. The corpses can be slowed down with salt water, swords, and other weapons, but they can't be killed. However, a small group of Undertakers, young teenagers who can see the true forms of the Corpses, have created a force to stop them. Will learns that his dead father was the founder of the Undertakers, and he was the only adult known to have the ability to see corpses. Will trains with them and learns about the history of the war, but there's a sense that something is different about him. He seems to have natural instincts, and the Corpses have made his capture their number one priority. He has visions of a woman speaking to him, and leaving "gifts", but who is she? Will goes on a couple of missions without permission from Tom, leader of the Undertakers. The missions almost end in disasters as friends are killed, and Will falls into the hands of the enemy. Will's antics may cost all of the Undertakers their lives.

The corpses make an interesting conflict for the plot. They are not slow-moving zombies; they are swiftly-moving warriors. The fact that they can't be killed makes the problem even larger; how can the Undertakers stop them? The plot jumped right into the action as Will gains the ability to see the corpses, and an undercover Undertaker saves him from them. Will's training took a little longer than I would have liked, but there was still some action along the way. The author did a nice job of keeping the Corpses/Undertaker war as the main conflict, but there were several subplots mixed in too. For example, Will's missions constantly challenged the authority of the Undertaker's leader which could eventually lead to its downfall. Also, who was the mystery woman who spoke to Will while he was unconscious? How did his broken arm heal so quickly? Can the Undertakers stay organized if Will's disobedience to Tom's orders causes others followers to disobey?

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