Title: Play Dead
Author: Ryan Brown
Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge
First Sentence: "The drums outside beat hard enough to form ripples in the water."
Summary (From book flap):
For the first time in Killington High School history, the Jackrabbits football team is one win away from the district championship where it will face its most vicious rival, the Elmwood Heights Baders. On the way to the game, the Jackrabbits' bus plunges into a river, killing every player except for bad-boy quarterback Cole Logan who is certain the crash was no accident -- given that Cole himself was severely injured in a brutal attack by three ski-masked men earlier that day. Bent on payback, Cole turns to a mysterious fan skilled in black magic to resurrect his teammates. But unless the undead Jackrabbits defeat their murderous rival on the field, the team is destined for hell. In a desperate race against time, with only his coach's clever daughter, Savannah Hickman, to assist him, Cole must lead his zombie team to victory ... in a final showdown where the stakes aren't just life or death -- but damnation or salvation.
My Two Cents:
At first, I was skeptical about this book. Anyone who knows me knows that football and I are like cats and water: There's not a whole lot of love there. But, when I saw there were zombies, I had to read it. I so love zombies.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Sure, there was way more football than I would have liked, but a football game in a football-crazed town was the perfect setting for a team of undead teenagers. I would've liked to see more zombie fun, but, well, I'm used to playing Left 4 Dead, so brain-eating is kind of second-nature to me.
Brown is a skilled writer who knows how to pace his story properly. Things don't move too slowly or too quickly. He also adds a generous amount of humor, which is the mark of any good off-the-wall zombie concept in my book. I'd be interested to see what he comes up with next.
For me, this book wasn't so much about characters as what happened. Sure, I liked Cole and Savannah and Coach Hickman well enough, and I loathed the opposing team the proper amount, but the story was much more what propelled me through this book. I think I finished the whole thing in a few hours' time.
If you like zombies, or if you (Heaven forbid!) like football, I'd recommend this book to you. It's well worth it!