This is the sequel to Undead. In that book, Scotland became invaded by the Undead, from a carrot juice called The Carrot Man that had the Osiris disease mixed into it, leaving only a few survivors of a fatal road trip together and on the run. They thought they got to safety when Roberta Brook, or Bobby's, mom, who we learned works for Xanthro Corp who's devising a cure for the disease, supposedly, were able to get them on a school bus full of other survivors over to a safe haven. But Bobby wakes up after the bush crashes in a hospital with no clue where any of her other friends are, until a buff teen named Russ, alongside Pete, manages to get to her and update on a few things. Alice is in the hospital too, which is being invaded with the Undead as they're speaking, but Bobby's temper-fueled and jokester of a boyfriend, Smitty, is missing, and he's the one Bobby injected the remaining cure into. Now they have to all escape from the hospital, rescue their friend, and find out what the hell has happened with the world since the crash.
One miniature criticism is these protagonists have to perform so many stunts and so many close calls it's amazing how much they manage to survive. Bobby even ends up in a circle of the Undead and is ducking down, preparing to be bitten when BAM. Saved at the last minute. Kind of crazy since a minor character is killed off kind of instantly yet they're bite and bulletproof. But in a way, that is the point. This book is meant to be a story of climbing across rooftops, jumping onto moving trains, outrunning helicopters and fending zombies off with a wheeled hospital bed. Implausible, yet totally adventurous and exciting.
The best part of this book, if you ask me, is when Bobby and the rest of the gang have to hide in these freezers holding dead bodies in order to hide from these gunmen after them. Simple, right? Just like Baywatch's hiding, right? No chance. Pete and Alice have to have their doors closed behind them, which they can't open from the inside. Bobby and Russ have to take a gamble keeping it open a centimeter in plain view if the guards look hard enough. And then it seems Bobby and Russ and the rest of her friends are about to die when they start looking through the freezers, and McKay somehow manages to really make my heart pound putting myself in their situation. I thought about what it was like when others know they are about to die. The atmosphere set it up perfectly. Not only that, but later on, when Pete and Alice are able to get out of their freezers, one of them is not breathing, suffering from hypothermia and an inability to breathe from being in that freezer. Being in that person's shoes left an extra chill at that.
Something I said I liked in the first book, as well as this one, were its very very small cast of characters. Bobby, Pete, Alice, Smitty, and the newest edition to the gang, Russ, feel together like a Breakfast Club you once had a lunch with at school where each and every one of them got a B- in Sociology. They're a ragtag of pals I'll never forget about. Bobby even admits that Pete and Alice can be sometimes annoying but after everything they went through together, they're now family, and that's the most tender line in the series. But it is heartwarming. It made me think about my best friends that became family to me and I think you might reflect on the friends you've survived the zombie apocalypse with.
In the first Undead book, the gist was these zombies were slow but very strong and one bite meant death. In this one, not only are they getting smarter, but a corporation, potentially Xanthro, is after them, and animals might have caught on to the Osiris disease. Basically, the Undead books are about as close as a book can get to a videogame, and even if it's at times an unrealistic-feeling videogame, being with these characters as they escape death time and time again makes it a prime example of literature fun. I mean, what did you expect when you saw the two covers, both from the knees down of a supposed cheerleader, the first one with a hatchet and the second one with a chainsaw, both bloodied purple?
This is the last book in the Undead series, and there's room for more. Like Proxy and Guardian by Alex London, I ended the series feeling a third book could easily have been in order. But both these series still had a satisfactory amount of pleasure, adventure, originality, and rereadability. Kirsty McKay has another book published called The Assassin's Game. Looking forward to it.