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The Undertakers
Cover of The Undertakers
The Undertakers
Queen of the Dead
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"Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Harry Potter, with bug-filled corpses. Fans of comic-book heroes and video games will not be disappointed, and will be eager for further adventures. Fast paced and...
"Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Harry Potter, with bug-filled corpses. Fans of comic-book heroes and video games will not be disappointed, and will be eager for further adventures. Fast paced and...
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Description-

  • "Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Harry Potter, with bug-filled corpses. Fans of comic-book heroes and video games will not be disappointed, and will be eager for further adventures. Fast paced and surprisingly moving."—School Library Journal

    Twelve-year-old Will Ritter and his rag-tag army of teenage resistance fighters may have triumphed over the Zombies (alien-possessed corpses) last time...but that's the thing about the dead—they keep coming back. A new Corpse leader has crossed the rift and taken command of the invasion: The Queen of the Dead is even more brilliant and ruthless than her predecessor, and her ambitions are even deadlier. Will and the crew must somehow rescue his mother, prevent an assassination, and show FBI Agent Ramirez the truth about the Corpses—and the danger the world faces.

    But how do a bunch of kids prove to a grown-up that monsters are real?

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter 1

    Crossing Over

    The Queen crossed the Void between worlds on Halloween, and the dead welcomed her.

    She arrived without escort, emerging through the Rift without form-an entity of seething dark energy.

    Her minions were already assembled, dozens of them, as many as would fit into this arched, windowless chamber. Being here was, of course, a tremendous honor-and only the most highly ranked had been invited. They stood at patient attention, a vanguard for the Army of the Dead, lit only by the Rift, which resembled a wide, fiery crack in the chamber's rear wall.

    This "crack" did not close once the Queen's "Self" had fully entered this human realm.

    The Rift never closed.

    In the midst of the welcoming dead, resting atop a steel hospital gurney, lay the body of a young woman. The cadaver was the freshest available, as suitable a vessel as the legions could find. For the occasion, she had been dressed in tailored clothes and adorned with gold jewelry.

    No expense was spared.

    Nor was time wasted. No sooner had the Queen emerged from the Void than her dark energy leapt into the waiting body. This is essential, as their kind couldn't exist in this world without a host.

    The eyes of the woman on the gurney, which had been respectfully shut, snapped open. She sat up, moving stiffly with muscles that had begun to decay, and gazed down at her hands. In life, they had probably been long and delicate. Now they appeared purple, the fingers stiff with rigor mortis.

    Seeing them, the Queen felt disgusted but resigned.

    She rarely traversed the Void personally. But the sudden and inexplicable death of her predecessor, the late Kenny Booth-so well respected and accomplished a conqueror-had made it necessary.

    Oh, how she wished she could make that overrated fool pay for his failure. Sadly, his destruction made that impossible.

    But someone would pay. Oh yes. Someone would most definitely pay.

    "How long has this host been deceased?" she demanded, speaking English for the first time, wrapping her unfamiliar tongue around the unfamiliar language.

    "Six hours!" came the reply, barked by a dead man in a tailored suit who stepped dutifully forward.

    The Queen eyed him. His cadaver, she noted, was nearly as fresh as her own. But while his host was of interest, she also examined his Cover.

    They all had Covers, the illusions that allowed them to move unchallenged among the bald monkeys populating this revolting planet. Each Cover, each false persona, had been meticulously crafted to suit the individual. His was of an Earth male in his fifties, his smooth face distinguished and his hair pepper gray. To humans, he would appear as the picture of respectability, of professionalism, of thoroughly human prosperity.

    The Malum, after all, were masters of disguise.

    The Queen slid herself off the cot and stood, testing her new legs.

    They would do.

    The man before her smiled. "Welcome, mistress." She noticed with some approval that he spoke English, as was the protocol.

    "What is my name?" she asked.

    "You're Lilith Cavanaugh," he replied. Then he held up a folder of papers. "Your dossier is here: education, employment history, personal references. You have tax records going back twenty years. It's as perfect an identity as has ever been fabricated. I handled it personally."

    The Queen accepted the paperwork and scanned it. Later, when she was alone,...

About the Author-

  • TY DRAGO is a computer programmer, husband, father, and a born Quaker who lives in New Jersy. He is the editor/publisher of Allegory, an online magazine of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. He has also had short fiction published in Space and Time Magazine and Fortress Publishing's Yesterday I Will anthology.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books jbugg1010 - I am reading the first one and I love it so far
  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2012
    Will Ritter continues the battle started in Rise of the Corpses (2011) to protect humanity from the corpse-possessing invaders from another dimension. When a surveillance mission provides an opportunity to unearth a Corpse plot still in development, and with the new knowledge of how to use salt to kill the interdimensional invaders, the human Undertakers can take the offensive in their war over the world. To do this, they face the titular queen, sophisticated Lilith Cavanaugh, who has replaced the late Kenny Booth as the leader of the invaders. She blends a higher level of competence with a downright savage monstrosity, posing a much more pragmatic threat than Booth did. Alternating with Will's first-person narration, chapters written in third-person that focus on Lilith reveal more about the world the Corpses come from as well as their purpose. Lilith makes the fight personal for Will and in doing so, raises the stakes. While the first part of the story drags, near the end, a switch is flipped, and the story comes to life with a daring plan. Additional ponderings on corpse theft that go beyond gross-out descriptions, as well as the clear consequences of battle and lack of adult support, give moral and emotional dimensions to the otherwise straightforward story. Uneven, but the quality improves as the story progresses. (Science fiction/horror. 10-15)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2012

    Gr 5-10-Creatures from another dimension are trying to take over the world, and only kids like Will Ritter can see them. These beings inhabit human corpses, projecting a cover image that fools most people, but Will and the rest of the Undertakers see the rotting bodies beneath the glamor. In Rise of the Corpses (Sourcebooks, 2011), the young people foiled the plans of one of the Corpses and discovered a key weakness, but now a woman known to them as the Queen of the Dead has taken on the persona of Lilith Cavanaugh, a city planner, and has two goals: to increase her political power and to eradicate the Undertakers. Will and his friends face greater challenges than ever as they fight this new evil. As in the previous book, this one is full of fast-paced action and gripping suspense, along with a dose of humor. Drago does a good job of including key details from the first book as they are relevant to the plot, making it possible to enjoy this novel on its own. However, readers will get the most out of this book if they are familiar with the first one. Hand this series to readers who are looking for zombie stories and books with a lot of action.-Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 1, 2012
    Grades 4-7 When the Corpses return to Philadelphia, their boss is ticked that they were defeated by 12-year-old Will and his fellow Undertakers (which occurred in Rise of the Corpses, 2011). The queen of these zombielike creatures crossed the Void between worlds on Halloween to ruthlessly lead her minions in their revengeful attempt to take over the earth, and what follows is a play-by-play of rotting cadavers versus resourceful and brave teens. Each side has its own chapters, perspectives, successes, and occasional plodding plotting before the final (at least until the third book) climax, which anyone clamoring for some entertaining macabre adventures will want to devour.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

  • /imaginaryreads.blogspot.com "The action in this book is exciting and engaging and will captivate zombie fans from start to end.
    "

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