Thursday, November 10, 2016

SERIES THURSDAY: Dead City by James Ponti


Most kids have enough to deal with between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and friends, but Molly Bigelow isn’t your typical tween. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology—but it’s what she’s learning outside of school that sets her apart from her classmates. Molly is a zombie hunter, just like her mother.

This, however, is news to Molly. Now she must come to terms with not only the idea that zombies exist, but also that they’re everywhere, and it’s her job to help police them and keep the peace. Sure, she’d like to be a regular kid, but “regular” just isn’t possible when it turns out the most revered (or feared, depending on your perspective) zombie hunter in the history of New York City is your mother. It seems Molly’s got some legendary footsteps to follow…


Zombies are not my favorite thing to read about, frankly, I find the whole concept rather disgusting.  However, I found the premise of this series intriguing so I picked it up.  And I'm glad I did.  While I didn't enjoy the zombies (dripping flesh, yuck!), I did enjoy Molly and her friends.  The plot here is rather different in that the most of the zombies aren't stupid, mindless creatures, but vary in terms of grossness and intelligence.  There are three levels of 'undead', Level three are the stupid, mindless variety, Level 2 are more human looking and can blend in with humans with a little help, and Level 1s look pretty much like people except they don't breath.  Level 1s and 2s seem to retain the intelligence they had as humans.  Level 2s however are basically soulless and as such can be extremely dangerous, as Molly discovers for her self when she goes looking for the zombie who chased her and her mother when she was little, leading to her fear of heights.  Molly has a fun narrative voice that makes the book funnier than one would expect a zombie book to be.  Molly is a bit snarky and when she meets up with her zombie fighting team (belonging to a group called the Omegas) including Natalie, Grayson, and Alex, the interactions between the four are quite entertaining.  But Molly is used to doing things on her own and that independence leads her to make some poor choices that put not only herself but her whole team in danger.  This is definitely a series that I would recommend to middle grade readers looking for zombie books.


Molly is ready for more nonstop, undead action in this follow-up to Dead City, which Kirkus Reviews described as “a fast-paced read for those who like their zombies with just a little fright.”
When Molly Bigelow discovered that zombies shared New York with humans, she didn’t think life could get more shocking. Then she learned that her mother was once one of the greatest zombie killers ever—and she discovered that her dead mother is not technically dead at all (although she isn’t alive, either).

Molly’s efforts to keep these secrets and to help her Omega team track down the identity of the original thirteen zombies will take her from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Her loyalties to friends and family will be put to the test. And her life will be changed in ways she never could have imagined.


Things amp up a bit for Molly and her friends once they are asked by Molly's zombie mother to work on the Baker's Dozen.  After narrowly escaping permanent suspension, Molly and her friends set out to solve the riddle they've been given.  If they can solve it, they can stay Omegas.  Molly is determined not to let her friends down after they stood up for her.  As they learn more about the original thirteen zombies and their future plans, they realize that not only are they in danger, but so is the whole city.  They can't just sit back and let the undead have their way, but how do they stop it when they aren't entirely sure what the plot entails.  But combining their own brains and brawn and with the help of Molly's undead mother and her colleagues, maybe, just maybe they have a chance of coming off victorious.  Once again, Molly takes the reader for an enjoyable ride.  Her snarky narration makes for a reading experiences that is both humorous and exciting.  And the plot twists and turns keep the reader turning the pages.  As the second book in the series there are some interesting surprises and one big shocker at the end.  A great read for young readers who enjoy a good zombie story.


Molly’s up against the undead—and the fate of Manhattan is in her hands—in the third and final book of the Dead City trilogy, which Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins says “breathes new life into the zombie genre.”

Molly and the Omegas fight to contain the storm unleashed by Operation Blue Moon. As they do, Molly’s personal life is thrown into turmoil when she discovers that one of her closest friends has joined the ranks of the undead, a development that threatens the Omegas as well as Molly’s relationship with her mother.

As Molly and her friends fight the Dead Squad (a special NYPD task force made up entirely of zombies), they discover that the world’s largest gold reserve is kept in a vault eighty feet below the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. They find a photograph of the vault’s construction in the 1920s and realize that the construction crew was led by none other than the leader of the undead, Marek Blackwell. Could this explain the source of all his money? And if so, what is he planning to do with it? Is he rebuilding Dead City…or is he building an undead army?


With Marek Blackwell returned from death, Molly and her friends face their greatest challenge yet.  Marek and his undead army are clearly up to something much more than a series of underground developments.  Yet Molly and the Omegas have shut down their operations in order to avoid all out war.  Molly can't help but be curious by the signs that something big is coming up.  And when her mother finally resurfaces, she discovers she's right and it's up to her and her team to find out exactly what Marek's plans are without furthering endangering themselves or the other Omegas.  But when Molly discovers that one of her friends is undead it shakes her to the core and makes her wonder who she can trust.  All of these things together, along with Molly's awesome family and Molly's sometimes snarky narration make for a great conclusion to the Dead City trilogy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, mostly because of Molly's great narration.  The zombies were gross but I loved Molly and her friends and the way they worked together.  And Molly's family is awesome.  This is a great middle grade series for readers who want zombies mixed up with a nice dose of family and friends, not to mention some great action sequences.

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