Dead City by James Ponti
- Method of Obtaining: I received my copy via the publisher.
- Published by: Aladdin
- Release Date: 10/2/2012
Most kids have enough to deal with between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and friends, but Molly Bigelow has something else on her list: hunting zombies. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology—but outside the classroom she’s busy dealing with the undead. Because not only do zombies exist, 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 given that her mother was the most revered (or feared, depending on your perspective) zombie hunter in the history of New York City, “regular” just isn’t possible. Molly’s got some legendary footsteps to follow—and some undeadly consequences if she fails.
- The author is a friend of my brother-in-law.
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I love a good, solid, middle-grade action book, and James Ponti has definitely upped the ante for the books out there with this gem of a novel. Molly Bigelow is a fun, quirky, and definitely brave young girl who enjoys hanging out in the morgue – but even more so, she’s fearless when it comes to stepping in and taking up the reins of an Omega. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a novel I’d enjoy – I’ve had about enough of zombies and out of all the paranormal creatures out there, they tend to be the least enjoyable to think about. I mean, rotting flesh, gross teeth, all that dirt from being underground, not exactly your typical fresh-smelling sort of date, you know?
But zombies aren’t just normal zombies in this book. There’s an added twist – they can actually think and speak, depending on the level of the zombie. There’s emotion in there as well – and that’s where Molly Bigelow comes in. She and her friends are there to be the wall of separation should a wayward zombie decide to attack the living.
I laughed out loud many times throughout this book, and found Dead City to be a fascinating look at no only what being brave can do for a young person, but also a lesson in consequences when rules are disobeyed. Molly was a flawed character and that is a good thing. I enjoyed the story arc so much I was willing to overlook most of the inconsistencies I found (of which there were a few) – but the one I did struggle with, I admit, was the idea that Molly as a warm-blooded person, could be mistaken for a zombie when touched by another zombie. However, that didn’t occur all that often and the rest, as I said, were easy to overlook for the sake of the story as a whole.
I very much look forward to the next installment of this exciting series and am glad that James Ponti is writing a story that combines strong male and female characters. It’s about time we saw something of equal strength on both sides of the equation!
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