Tag Archives: J.R. Tague

#BlogTour – Leveling by J.R. Tague @JR_Tague #AmReading #YA #GoodReads

“I should tell you,” he hesitated. “We can expect some limitations on the reanimation I’ve performed.”

“You mean, like, I’ll still be Max McKay,” I said. A disappointment to be sure, but I could deal with it.

“In order to bring you back, I had to reattach your soul to your body—your dead body.”

I didn’t like where this was going. Images played across my mind of Dr. Frankenstein flipping a switch and watching the eyes of his monster snap open.

“Your point being?”

“Without the soul, the body ceases to be human. It is just a biological machine. All processes and reactions. More like a car than a person.”

Zombie. Once the word flashed through my mind I couldn’t shake it loose.

I looked down at my hands, flexing the fingers open and closed. “But I’m human, right? I still have a body and a soul.”

He looked uneasy for a moment, searching for a way to explain.

“Correct. Technically.” His voice grew soft, almost tender. “While in your mother’s womb, in an incredibly complex process, your eternal soul joined with this body. That union was perfect. Such an action can never again be performed precisely the same way. Once body and soul are separated and reunited, the two will never function quite the same again.”

My brain felt ready to burst from philosophical overload. I needed the bottom line. “So what exactly does that mean for me?”

“Your reanimation is a temporary fix.”


“It is inevitable that your soul and body will separate once more, Max. And when that happens, it will be for good.”

“How long do I have?” I swallowed back the dread threatening to choke me.

“A year or two at most,” he said quietly. “It’s impossible to know.”

His words may have been soft but they hit me hard. “Why even bother reanimating me, then? I’m only sixteen. I’m clueless. No one would even notice if I was gone!”

“I’ve done my job so that you can do yours.” His eyes grew solemn as they fixed on mine. “When next we meet in the in-between realm, I will have to follow protocol. Whether you are ready or not.”

“You should have just followed it from the get-go,” I said. “What difference is a year or two going to make?”

He looked up quickly to meet my eyes.

“Why, it could make all the difference. As a mortal, you should know that better than I.”

“But this is my life,” I said, gesturing around the room. “I go to school and I play games online. Sometimes I have to put up with my family. I don’t know how any of this is going to change in such a short time.”

“Perhaps it’s not the things around you that need to change.”


Max McKay gets a second chance at life when, after a bizarre accident on his sixteenth birthday, he is reanimated as a new breed of thinking, feeling zombie. To secure a spot for his eternal soul, Max must use his video game prowess as well as the guidance of Steve the Death God to make friends and grow up. As if all that weren’t hard enough, Max discovers that he’s not the only zombie in town. As he enlists the help of his new friends, Adam and Penny, to solve the mystery of their un-dead classmate, Max discovers that he must level up his life experience in order to survive the trials and terrors of the upcoming zombie apocalypse. And, even worse, high school.

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Genre – YA

Rating – PG

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Website http://jrtague.wordpress.com/