Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Jenny Undead (The Thirteen, #1)

Jenny Undead (The Thirteen)Author: J.L. Murray
Series: The Thirteen, #1
Published: December 31st 2013
Publisher: Hellzapoppin Press
Format: ebook, 281 pages
Source: Author for review
Buy: Amazon

In a world ravaged by disease and chaos, Jenny has a secret. She and her brother were part of a gruesome experiment conducted ten years earlier in an attempt to stop the zombie apocalypse. If the rumors are true, her mother was the hated pathologist who released the disease in the first place, leading to the destruction of government, civilization, and life as we know it.
Despite the constant terror of the undead, Jenny is as happy as a post-apocalyptic girl can be. She has friends, she's good with a knife, and she has Declan Munro by her side. But when she hears her brother might still be alive and living with the Underground, a religious group hiding in the now-defunct subway, Jenny jumps at the chance to find him. She infiltrates the group to right the wrong she caused when she ran away, leaving him in that lab.
When she finds him, though, Casey is not at all what she expected. He's been turned. And the impossible happens when Jenny is bitten. She and Casey are dead, but they're not like any other rotters. Their minds are still intact. And there are others: Thirteen children survived the mysterious experiments, and it’s up to Jenny to find them and bring an end to the plague. But not everyone wants the chaos to end.

Between battling her hunger for living flesh and the all-encompassing rage that goes with it, and the realization that a killer is stalking both the living and the undead, Jenny has her hands full. Coming between a dead girl and the people she loves is a big mistake. Because if you can count on one thing, it's this:

You wouldn't like her angry.
Although I’m understandably wary of self-published books (and growing more so as the time passes), sometimes it’s good to take a leap of faith and see where it takes you. Jenny Undead came recommended by Tim Marquitz, a great author whose opinion I trust, and let me tell you, I have a lot to thank him for. Jenny Undead is perfect for zombie fans, and especially for fans of Rhiannon Frater.

Jenny lives in a brutal, unforgiving, zombie-filled world, and her own family is to blame. Both her mother and her grandfather were scientists who experimented on Jenny, her brother Casey and several other kids. Jenny escaped her family years ago, but every day, she regrets leaving Casey behind. In her desperate attempt to find and save her brother, Jenny falls straight into a trap and her life (and afterlife) get changed forever.

Jenny is a heroine you’ll have no trouble following into one bloody battle after another. She is strong and charismatic, a natural born leader, yet she also has a softer, more vulnerable side, one that is scared to hope for a better life. After surviving a horrendous childhood and just marginally better adulthood, Jenny is a woman with strong principles and a very kind heart.

Ah, but let’s not forget the romance! When we meet Jenny, she’s already in a long, loving relationship with Declan Munro, a strong man with a reputation for being vicious and merciless. The depth of emotions these two share is astonishing and heartwarming. Jenny is the only thing that matters to Declan, and their relationship is the pillar that makes this book much stronger. Finding a book with an already established romance is a rare treat, and Jenny and Declan proved that authors should definitely do this more often.

To people who are understandably cautious when picking up an indie book, I’ll say only this: Jenny Undead is perfectly written, perfectly edited and perfectly formatted. I’ve seen traditionally published books in far worse shape. Don’t hesitate to pick this one up, I promise you won’t regret it for a second.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. Leaps of faith can be good, I just do not always dare them

  2. I really loath this cover... but I think I might give it a try. I love a good zombie apocalypse story :P

    1. I'm not too happy with it either, but I just saw the covers for books 2 and 3 and they're fabulous. When you see all three together and understand the story, this one totally makes sense.

  3. Like you, I'm extremely wary of self-pubs but I like the blurb for this one and, since you liked it, it seems worth a try. Definitely agree about the cover...but if all three work, I can understand, I guess!

  4. A most excellent review Maja! I usually keep an open mind to indie books but my overall experience to date is disappointing. There are some gems in the self-published world though and this sounds and this sounds like it could be one of them. I gotta check out the other covers since you said they all go together well, cuz I don't like this one either lol.

  5. Wow, the brutal and unforgiving world sound awesome

  6. I'm not sure this is the book for me Maja as zombies scare the ever-loving crap out of me, but I do love that the romance is an established relationship. Like you said, those are fairly rare and I now desperately want to meet Jenny and Declan. How gory is this one would you say?

  7. I know what you mean about indies but I am so happy you took a chance on this one and really liked it! It is awesome when that happens. I am not a huge fan of zombies but once in awhile I like them. I will have to keep this one in mind.

  8. I haven't heard of this one and while zombies aren't my favorite paranormal creature, I'm curious enough to give this a try. Especially since the romance seems so original and I love the idea of an already established relationship in place. Thanks for putting this one in my radar, Maja!

  9. I'm a bit wary of zombie books, but some of them have worked for me. I'm glad you found an indie you liked!

  10. I get my indie recs from bloggers. So, I know I'm going to enjoy this one. Oh thanks! So adding this one to my wishlist. I also like the established romance once in a while. It does seem rare anymore. :) Btw, Hellzapoppin Press is such a great name for a press! LOL

  11. oh a zombie book, I love them! I didn't know this one I confess and I'm not sure I would have been attracted by the cover but now I'm definitely curious about it. It's great to find books like that.

  12. I really enjoy zombie books and this is my first time hearing of this one. I'd definitely like to check it out because Jenny sounds like a pretty amazing character. Great review :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  13. Yep, I hear ya on the indie book thing. I won't pick one up these days unless it is highly recommended so I trust your judgement and will take a leap of faith and read this the next time I want a zombie story and an indie read!

  14. You had me at Frater, and yes I am very selective when it comes to Indies myself. I love zombies and I want to meet Jenny and Declan

  15. I love brutal, unforgiving zombie worlds. That's my type of book. It's great that the romance worked too. I'll have to put this one on my TBR list. Great review :)

    Kim @ YA Asylum

  16. Oh, I love that perfectly persuading last paragraph! Haha. I wouldn't have given this book any second glance, especially with that cover and it being self published, but after seeing a positive review from you, I think this deserve a try. And I think you totally sold me with the romance! Haha. Thanks for this amazing review, Maja! Glad you enjoyed this. :)

    Eunice @ Book Overdose

  17. I enjoy finding Indie books that are a rare gem and don't make you feel like you just read something written by a 13 year old.
    Established relationships I agree are hard to find in some type of books, so that's exciting! Great review.

  18. You had e at ZOMBIE. I have been the victim of quite a few Indie Zombie Books. Some bad, some really, really, bad.
    This sounds pretty freakin awesome.
    It just so happens I have been searching for a new zombie book to get lost in.

  19. I have read some indie books last year and I did enjoyed them. Most of them are good and very new to me.

    The cover looks scary and crazy. This sounds like Warm Bodies, eh?

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