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THE BOY WHO COULDN’T DIE by William Sleator

THE BOY WHO COULDN’T DIE

By William Sleator

Age Range: 11 - 15

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8109-4824-9
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

When Ken loses his best friend to a plane crash, he discovers zombie horror—and first love. Devastated by Roger’s death, Ken seeks out trashy Cheri Buttercup, who promises to remove his soul in order to make him immortal. Ken tries to damage himself without effect after his successful soulectomy, but he feels oddly hollow even when beating the school bully. What he needs, Ken thinks, is some real danger, like a scuba-diving vacation in shark-infested waters. But the Caribbean exposes him to more than sharks. Beautiful scuba instructor Sabine teaches Ken about voodoo and zombies, and he realizes Cheri Buttercup’s trickery: Ken is a zombie, and the frightening dreams he’s been having are visions of his soul as it toils in murderous servitude. With Sabine’s help, Ken must break his zombie curse. Frightening and (perhaps too) fast-paced, this has clever tributes to Lovecraft, but standard zombie fare is not up to Sleator’s usual originality. Good and creepy, but should be better. (Fiction. 11-15)