Book Review: Dead Set

Dead Set by Richard Kadrey

Rating23 Nerd Girl Rating

Author: Richard Kadrey

Release Date: October 29th  2013

Genre: YA/Horror

Pages: 309

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Buy it : Amazon / B&N

Blurb from Goodreads: After her father’s funeral, Zoe and her mother moved to the Big City to start over. But life’s not so easy, the money is tight, and a new school brings trials. Fortunately, she has an escape: her dreams. A world of freedom and solace removed from the loneliness and anxieties of real life, Zoe’s dreamscape offers another, more precious, gift: It is the only place where she can spend time with her closest companion — her lost brother Valentine.

Yet something is very wrong. An unfamiliar — and uninvited — presence has entered her private realm to threaten Zoe and Valentine, a disturbing turn of events that is compounded by an impossible discovery. A chance encounter at a used record store where the grooves of the vinyl discs hold not music, but lost souls, has opened up a portal to the world of the restless dead. Now, the shop’s strange proprietor is offering Zoe the chance to commune with the father whose passing took a piece of her heart. The price? A lock of hair. Then a tooth. Then…

How far into this eerie world will Zoe go to discover what she truly needs? And once she does, will there be enough left of her to come back?


First Line: For three straight nights Zoe dreamed about the black dog.

The  cover is what caught my attention in the first place. It reminded me of Wizard of Oz as does the story itself. 

Zoe is your typical teenager. Her father has passed away and his death has forced Zoe and her mother to move out of a nice home and into a small apartment in a not so safe town. New school, new town, new life, and Zoe and her mom are not getting along.

I loved this book for its simplicity of the beginning. There is a tragic beginning, but it is down played by the fact that there is also a new town and the teenager, Zoe, is just mad at the world. She finds a place that calls to her, a place that she thinks will help her find some piece and it is in a off the wall music store that sells records. But there is a catch, because some of these records hold the souls of the dead and one of them happens to be Zoe’s father.

This leads Zoe into an adventure and the discovery of a world beyond the living.

I started reading this book thinking that the story was going to go one way, and getting mad that I had already figured out part of it. Then the story took a completely different route and threw me off. It was fantastic and fresh.

Zoe was such a fabulous character. I even found myself loving her “dream” brother, Valentine. He was such a unique and loving character and always had Zoe’s best interest in mind. There were a few times that I thought he may actually be a spy or someone who would turn on her, but that was just because so many stories seem to take that route now days.

The world beyond the living was so twisted and creepy and it gave my horror loving mind something to chew on.

The only reason I gave this book a 3 star review is because I did become bored with the story a little bit and at times found it hard to continue reading, yet I loved so much about this. I am actually a little confused about my feelings for the story. It was different and I couldn’t figure out exactly what was going to happen, which is rare in YA novels. Also, there was no instant love/romance going on. This is simply a girl trying to figure out life after the death of her father and trying to do the right thing.

It really does give me a feel of Wizard of Oz. But I don’t want to go into too much detail as to how it is similar in case I ruin the story for someone.

Despite my rating, I would recommend this to friends because it was such a different story and it did keep my interest.

 As a little P.S. Here…if you love all the nerdy things of the world, you love the fact that Wil Wheaton even read and reviewed this book. Not the reason I bought or read the book, but it made me giggle in delight.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Dead Set

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