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Rise of the Corpses

by Ty Drago

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4785-9
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

More zombies doesn't necessarily equal more action. Will Ritter has just discovered the Corpses, weird alien creatures that possess the bodies of the recently deceased. When he learns that his neighbor, his teacher and his assistant principal are all rotting husks, 12-year-old Will flees with fellow student Helene and heads to the Undertakers—a group of teenagers who can see through the disguises of the Corpses and have dedicated their lives to fighting the invaders. Will must shake up the complacency of the Undertaker leadership and launch a full-force assault against the creatures before they can take over the city of Philadelphia. Stuffed with action, Drago’s novel never achieves the level of excitement it reaches for. Squirt guns filled with salt water don’t pack much punch, and the repetitive Corpse fights begin to feel like a tedious video-game swarm battle. Narrator Will comes across as both very young and curiously removed; he embraces the Undertakers’ dietary laissez-faire of microwaved food and endless candy while frequently remarking on the peculiar nature of a guerrilla war waged by teenagers. The elements of a good action novel are here but are assembled into a soulless shell. (Adventure. 10-14)