Sunday, August 25, 2013

Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Synopsis: Bryn Davis knows working at Fairview Mortuary isn't the most glamorous career choice, but at least it offers stable employment--until she discovers her bosses using a drug that resurrects the part of an extortion racket. Now Bryn faces being terminated (literally) with extreme prejudice. 

With the assistance of corporate double agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has a chance to take down the bigger problem--pharmaceutical company Pharmadene, which treats death as the ultimate corporate loyalty program. She'd better do it fast before she becomes a zombie slave--a real working stiff.

She'd be better off dead....

My thoughts: Although I wasn't completely blown away by this book it was a really good book with an interesting twist on the zombie trend within the Urban Fantasy genre. 

What worked for me: The tone of the book is set at a pretty dark pace which worked for this story. There are no rainbows and butterflies found in this book. It is a book about death and the corruption involved when humans control whether people die and stay dead or become undead. 

Our characters are quite complex from our heroine to our (maybe) hero. The bad guys are very nasty and the good guys live in a gray area where you constantly wonder if they are good or bad. Bryn is a capable heroine with a military background and an ability to  work with the dead from a mortuary standpoint. The secondary characters are well developed and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the second book.

There were enough twists and turns within the book to keep me more than interested and I couldn't help but connect with Bryn in her need to stay alive while other people used her as their puppet.

What didn't work for me: The fact that Bryn had quite a military background yet seemed to have no survival skills unless she had a gun in her hand. I was getting quite tired of her constantly getting smashed in the head or face, getting knocked out and/or walking into situations blindly with no apparent strategy. 

The fact that this book introduced a romance between reanimated Bryn and a fully alive man boarders on the ick. The only way I was able to go with it was to keep reminding myself that Bryn was not a traditional rotting brain eating zombie. The drug that Bryn has to take every day keeps her organs working or as Caine said "The drug maintains you. It doesn't bring you back to life, just supports your vital functions. If you wanted to get poetic, I'd say it replaces your soul." So, without getting into theological debates, essentially while Bryn is taking the drug she is, in fact, alive.

Overall: A book that won't appeal to everyone but for myself, it worked. I liked the darker path Caine took with this book and my inner psycho loved every gory scene. I am looking forward to the second book in this series.

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