Roberta – Bobby – feels that she is on the school trip from hell. So when their coach pulls up at the roadside cafe in Aviemore, she does not join the rest of the class in the rush for drinks and food. To her horror, neither does the class rebel, Smitty. Can things get worse? It seems they can; as snow swirls around the locked bus, Bobby and Smitty find themselves in an unlikely alliance facing a horde of the Undead gathering outside. It is going to take all their ingenuity and strength to find a way to safety.
This is not a novel to linger over. Designed to appeal to fans of teen horror films, the action is relentless, the screaming non-stop and every chapter – even the final one, closes on a cliff-hanger. Nor is the author afraid to employ all the clichés associated with the genre – snowstorms, isolated countryside, an empty castle, an evil organisation, hands dripping with blood and two wisecracking teenagers among them. Characterisation is minimal, relying rather on stereotypes to ensure instant recognition. McKay’s style is as immediate. Long descriptive passages are avoided, dialogue abounds ensuring the reader is carried along without a stop. This impression is heightened by the contemporary language and constant references to current popular culture – The Waking Dead, X Factor, GCSE curriculum. In this way the author draws her audience into a familiar world providing the credible background to the horrors she then ladles on by the bucketful. Fast moving, readable, this is a lively addition to the teenage horror genre and will appeal to KS3 readers looking for instant gratification.