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Dead City (Dead City #1)

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,551 Ratings  ·  259 Reviews
A tween takes on undead New Yorkers in this paranormal action-adventure that “breathes new life into the zombie genre” (Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games).

Most kids have enough to deal with between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and friends, but Molly Bigelow isn’t your typical tween. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Aladdin
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Tonya Morris This was a really fun, teen zombie book. Nothing too much, even for the protective parent to worry about. I enjoyed that the main focus is about…moreThis was a really fun, teen zombie book. Nothing too much, even for the protective parent to worry about. I enjoyed that the main focus is about friendships and making connections. Also that the sisters may not 'like' one another, but there is very obviously a great deal of LOVE! An, "I can harass my sister, but YOU cannot! and I will protect her no matter what!" type of relationship. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Awesome. A gritty, urban, paranormal title that will be great for 5th grade and up. No romance (hooray!), strong smart girl main character, and best of all, it doesn't feel like an older YA title that got dumbed down for a younger audience. Happy dance! I can't wait to take this out to the schools when we do our pre-summer reading booktalks. Good dialog, great plot, and a "leave you on the edge of your seat" ending. I wanted a little more information on the actual how-people-become-zombies, but ...more
Barb Middleton
Feb 22, 2015 Barb Middleton rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humor, new-kid, grief
When Molly Bigelow drops a severed human finger into a zip lock bag thinking it is really cool, I couldn't help but think of my friend from childhood who had a spleen collection in her bedroom from all the animals she dissected in biology classes from high school and college. Nothing grossed her out. Nothing grosses Molly out either. She's not afraid of much. She helped her mom who was a forensic pathologist for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner before dying of cancer two summer ...more
Duchess Crystal
Oct 15, 2014 Duchess Crystal rated it it was amazing

I purchased Dead City a few weeks ago at a local school book fair. I was browsing the tables full of books when I came across this one. The thing that caught my eye is the cover so I picked it up, read the back and thought that it sounded pretty interesting so I was going to give it a shot.

I am so glad that I did.

I LOVE everything about this book!! It is gritty, funny, suspenseful and down right spooky at times. You will fall in love with the characters and their sense of humor, lo
Tammy Dahle
Dec 28, 2012 Tammy Dahle rated it really liked it
My thoughts:
I LOVED this book!
Let's start with the cover which is cool and creepy. Molly is ready to kick some serious zombie butt. Love the omega sign hidden in title-clever! I have no doubt many kids will pick up this book based on the cover alone.
Main character Molly is a smart, yet awkward 7th grader who is struggling to fit in and figure out where she belongs. Everything in her life suddenly changes when she finds herself accepted into a secret society of zombie hunters called the Omega Soc
REVIEW written for WASHYARG (Washington Young Adult Review Group):

Beginning cut not for spoilers, just because it's a plot summary and you can skip it if you just want to hear what I thought of the book :)

(view spoiler)
Jan 06, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It was a great book. It was adventurous and not too fake.

The beginning is a bit slow but once you get a little further in the book it starts to pick up.The plot in the book is very action packed.

I really enjoyed this book because of the action and I like to read books that are part of a series.
Mary Kay
Zombies. Mystery. Teenage angst.

If you are familiar with The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller, then you know that books from our less than favorite genres are sometimes kids FAVORITES. Such it is with Dead City, and with Blue Moon.

As an avid reader and lover of books, I always love that moment when my kids connect with a book so much that they want NEED to go get the next one immediately. Not wait for the library hold, not wait for the paperback. That
Jenny Jo Weir
This book was recommended to me by my 11 year old son. He said it was "a MUST read".

He was right! I truly enjoyed this book. There wasn't a dull moment in this book and the story ran along very well. I liked the protagonist and support characters. It's a very well written book and such a fun read. I now understand why my little guy liked it so much.

I'm looking forward to book 2 and 3 in the series.
Apr 19, 2015 Aliyah rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Mclaughlin
Feb 03, 2014 Ashley Mclaughlin rated it liked it
When I picked up the book, I hadn't realized that it was NOT intended for a High School Junior who reads at an advanced level. And though I know it was not intended for a reader like me, it was an interesting read.

The beginning of the book begins with a sort of prologue, which explains very little but introduces a nice action plot. It then throws you into the slow story of Molly Bigelow's life leading up to being a, yes, zombie hunter. And though the book has a slower, a bit of a boring, start,
Jessica at Book Sake
Nov 05, 2012 Jessica at Book Sake rated it really liked it
Dead City is a smart zombie read filled with sarcastic humor, my favorite! Molly, the main character is low on friends at the super smart school she attends – she doesn’t quite fit in, which makes her both relatable and admirable at the same time – she doesn’t give in to staying friends with those who don’t deserve her friendship.

We don’t see her on her own for too long though as the storyline picks up quickly and she is recruited into a zombie hunting group.

This is no ordinary zombie hunting gr
Nov 12, 2012 Jon rated it really liked it
Check Out Reviews at Scott Reads It
Zombie books are just so exhilarating and intense. Does that make me masochistic that I like to read about brain eating walking dead? Whatever I'm on a zombie binge reading streak (Enclave, Dead City, Dead Tossed Waves). Dead City was a fast and fun action packed read that was refreshing to read after reading way too many dystopias.

Dead City was truly an interesting and original page turner unlike anything I've read before. Dead City is nothing short of awes
Alice Liu
May 31, 2012 Alice Liu rated it it was amazing
James Ponti is a liar. In his bio, he states that he has never fought a zombie, yet his knowledge of the different levels of NYC, I mean "undead," suggests otherwise. In "Dead City," regular kid Molly Bigelow has a hard enough time being a motherless, socially inept geek who hangs out at the morgue in her spare time. To suddenly find out she has inherited a legacy as both a, undead protector and police thrusts her into situations that she is just not emotionally ready to ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Riley rated it liked it
I read Dead City by James Ponti. This book is about a teenage girl named Molly Bigelow. Molly is for the most part, a normal teenage girl. She goes to school at the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology of MIST for short. Her mother was a mortician and has recently died of cancer. Molly wants to follow in her footsteps so she hangs out at the morgue.
Molly learns that there is a secret organization called the Omegas. A group of people fighting to keep zombies controlled in the subway
Mar 09, 2014 Maryam rated it really liked it
Shelves: bluebonnets
Much to my surprise, I enjoyed Dead City a lot. The plot, with all its intricacies, is fast paced and smartly crafted. Molly and her Omega team friends are very engaging agents for the protection/destruction of the undead. And, oh, the setting---infused with so much history! I went straight to the web to find pictures of ghost subway stations and Roosevelt Island and Blackwell House...Kudos to James Ponti for creating such a riveting story. I predict lots of my students will become enthusiastic ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Del rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this book! This book is so unlike any other zombie-starring novels--whereas those novels make the zombies bad guys, this book reveals zombies (or the undead, they hate being called zombies) in a whole new way. Some are good, some are bad.

Level 1s, Level 2s, Level 3s.

Omegas protect and rule over them all.

However, some of the undead are restless...they want to take over New York City.
Virginia Davis
Apr 09, 2014 Virginia Davis rated it really liked it
I don't usually care for zombie stories, but this is an exception. It's clever, humorous, full of historical information about New York City and the subway tunnels and just enough gross torn off zombie limbs and big orange zombie teeth to satisfy most would-be middle school zombie hunters.
Chloe Montgomery
Nov 08, 2015 Chloe Montgomery rated it really liked it
Molly attends the morgue every Friday with her mother at least she used to now she goes alone ever since her mother died cause of “cancer”. But when molly finds out that there are zombies all over Manhattan she now must become a zombie hunter same as her Mother. As molly finds more out about zombie hunting she realizes her mother has been training her to be zombie hunter ever since she was small and she has some big footsteps to follow. Which leads molly to find more out about her Mother's death ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Natalie rated it really liked it

I don't know why, but I love them.

Excellent premise and all the characters are fantastic. Molly is excellent and easy to relate too.

Fun and adventurous without being too scary.
Chris Aylott
Feb 16, 2014 Chris Aylott rated it really liked it
Today's tweens must have stronger nerves than I do, because I can't imagine reading a zombie comedy adventure horror book at that age. Then again, I'm from the pre-Goosebumps generation, so what do I know? And truthfully, there's not much to be scared of here -- the emphasis is on the comedy and the adventure, not the horror. As lead character Molly Bigelow points out, a lot of zombies just want to live their unlives in peace.

Molly herself is a witty martial-arts-proficient zombie-busting seven
This review is also posted at http://readingnookandcranny.blogspot....

Perhaps I am just a little too old for this book or a little too obsessed with zombies right now to fully appreciate this novel. I like the Walking Dead type zombies, the kind that have no brains, no logic or reasoning. The empty, rotting shells that just roam around with faulty motor skills, trying to eat brains and to get cut into pieces.

The zombies (a term which, it turns out, they do not like being called. They prefer unde
Kim McGee
Feb 28, 2014 Kim McGee rated it really liked it
For having just lost her mother to cancer, being in a special geek school and fighting the undead on a regular basis - Molly has her act together. Molly's mom worked at the city morgue so Molly became comfortable with being around the newly deceased and her mom's suggested activities like training in the martial arts and bird calling seemed different but when Molly later learns that this was all to prepare her to join a secret society, Molly is all in. When you are part of the Omegas you don't j ...more
Jayce Senter
Feb 06, 2014 Jayce Senter rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I'm going to have to be careful who I recommend it to however.

While some kids can separate reality from fiction very easily, others will be disturbed by the idea of zombies. I can relate. I cannot handle intense books about serial killers because that's what I think about when I'm home by myself or when I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I know some kids would be that way about zombies, ghosts, etc. It was not scary if you can get over the idea of zombies.
Alexandria Grider
Aug 23, 2014 Alexandria Grider rated it really liked it
I liked how it gave details about everything. And how surprising the end was.
Teresa Scherping
Not every middle schooler spends her summer at the city morgue. But Molly Bigelow isn't your average middle schooler. Molly's mom used to work at the morgue before she died two years ago, and Molly has spent a lot of her free time there ever since, learning from her mom's coworker and friend, Dr. Hidalgo. Molly goes to MIST, a prestigious science- and technology-focused school in New York City, but she has trouble making friends. That is, until she's asked to join Omega, a secret society respons ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Cynthia rated it really liked it
This book is on the 2014-2015 Texas Bluebonnet Master List. It's exciting, suspenseful, and though at first it may appear to be a zombie book, it really is a mystery. Middle grade- young adult.
Mar 22, 2015 Trish rated it really liked it
Dead City

Severed fingers, death chambers, and scary noises. As far as field trips went, this rated well below the Museum of Natural History. (But it was still better than our class visit to the wastewater treatment plant.)

Up until she meets Natalie, Grayson and Alex, Molly has no friends to speak of. She is a brainy, socially awkward 7th grader attending the Metropolitan Institute of Science & Technology (MIST). Molly helps out in the morgue where her mother worked before she died. Little d
Jan 16, 2014 Logan rated it it was amazing

The book Dead City is about a young girl, Molly Bigelow, who is an 8th grade nerd at MIST, a Junior High Middle School. She doesn’t feel like she fits at school and she is still dealing with the loss of her mom who died from cancer. Also she has nightmares and is really afraid of heights because when she was five years old, she and her mom got chased up a tall tower by a guy they didn’t know. Everything changes when she joins the Omegas because she becomes friends with a popular group in school.
Jul 12, 2014 Gregory rated it really liked it
Dead City isn't’t a complete story. It’s the equivalent of watching the pilot episode of a 60 minute Sci-Fi/Fantasy show. We get to know our main characters and begin our introduction into their world and mythology. We meet our main antagonist and see what needs to happen for a better future. Molly Bigelow is a middle school loner who hangs out at the morgue where her mother worked before she died. She grow close to an intern during the summer, who introduces her to the world of Omega, the law e ...more
Feb 23, 2015 Alexis rated it it was ok
This book is about a young girl named Molly, who is in MIST(Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology) a gifted school. Her mother recently died and Molly wants to take her place, but little did she know what her mom really was. She was the Omega. Omegas are a group of people that fight and keep zombies out of the streets of New York City.

I rated this book 2 out of 5 because I thought the book was okay. I didn't really connect with the book because I usually don't read or enjoy books that
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What's The Name o...: YA teen girl joins zombie hunting group?? [s] 3 25 Oct 30, 2013 12:29PM  
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I grew up in Atlantic Beach, Florida and am a graduate of the University of Southern California. I've written numerous books and have worked as a television writer/producer. I'm the author of the Dead City trilogy, about a secret society of New York City zombie fighters, and an upcoming mystery series about a boy named Florian Bates.

More about James Ponti...

Other Books in the Series

Dead City (3 books)
  • Blue Moon (Dead City, #2)
  • Dark Days (Dead City, #3)

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“Zues?" I said.
"His computer. He named it." Then she whispered conspiratorially, "He acts like it's a person."
"I do not," he said as we walked down the hall toward his room.
"You gave it a birthday party," she said.
Grayson stopped walking for a moment. "Annual hard-drive maintenance and software upgrades do not count as a birthday party."
"No," she said. "But singing 'Happy Birthday' to it does."
He took a deep breath. They've obviously been through this before. "You know I was testing the new voice-recognition software."
Natalie looked at me. "Birthday party.”
“I hate zombies.
I know that sound prejudiced. I'm sure some zombies are really nice to kittens and love their parents. But it's been my experience that most are not the kind of people you want sending you friend requests.”
More quotes…