There's no better place to begin the zombie apocalypse: a Scottish roadside convenience stop called the Cheery Chomper.
Narrator Bobby doesn't actually see it happen; just returned to Britain after several years in the United States, she has holed up in the school bus for some peace and quiet while the rest of her classmates on the school ski trip pile out. But she notices it pretty darn quick in the pools of blood on the snow, the panic of her two classmates who have escaped and the shambling form of their former teacher. Loner Bobby, wiseass Smitty and popular-girl Alice are soon joined by annoying-nerd Pete and a couple of local kids, an older girl and her little brother. Together they bicker, defend their bus, bicker, try to figure out what happened, bicker and take shelter in a seemingly abandoned old stately home. Although Bobby has (mostly unplumbed) emotional depths, McKay plays her tale for maximum snark: As Bobby reflects, "you'd think that, when faced with an Undead army, random human survivors would find a really good reason to get along, but that certainly hasn't happened in our own little test group." Although humor and action keep the pages turning, readers may still find the plot dragging toward the end—which (gasp!) may not really be the end….
Blood spurts; entrails drag; body parts shed; hearts (living ones) throb—it's all good, gory, formulaic fun. (Horror. 14-18)