Friday, November 1, 2013

Two Weeks' Notice by Rachel Caine

Synopsis: Bryn Davis finds out that making a living can be rough if you’re already dead...
After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife— with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost. Thankfully, some things have changed for the better; her job at the rechristened Davis Funeral Home is keeping her busy and her fragile romance with Patrick McCallister is blossoming— thanks in part to their combined efforts in forming a support group for Returne addicts. But when some of the group members suddenly disappear, Bryn wonders if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…

My Thoughts: No sophomore blues when it comes to the second book in Caine's Revivalist series. I enjoyed this one more than I did the first one.

What Worked: Bryn's personal growth from the first to the second book is tremendous. One of my biggest complaints of the first book was that if Bryn didn't have a gun she was nothing more than a punching bag for every Tom, Dick or Freddie to abuse. She got her butt kicked more than a bad MMA fighter in the first book. With this book she took her military training to a whole new level. She exuded confidence in bulk and could back it up. She was no one's victim even while tied up and tortured.

The relationship between Bryn and Patrick reached a whole new level in this second installment. Bryn being, technically, dead and Patrick being, well, not, a sexual relationship could have been an urpy concept however, Caine wrote it in a way that I completely believed it and liked it. Actually the complexity of relationships between all the characters was very well done. Including Joe Fideli's contribution to Bryn and all of her jobs and Liam, the Alfred to Patrick's Batman and his contribution to everything.

What Didn't Work: Parts of the book did drag a bit especially in the first 1/3 and I found it easy to set this book aside for something else until I got past page 100. Also even though I did love the advancements Bryn made towards being a bad-ass I would have liked some explanation on how she went from perpetual victim to thwarting professional kidnappers without (barely) breaking a sweat. Something like a rigorous training schedule for hand to hand combat or weapons training would have been an asset.

I didn't care for the Revived being called addicts either. To survive they all needed a shot on a daily basis. To me, addiction is the abuse of something, whether it be drugs, alcohol or gambling an addict would use to the point of abusing it. Having to have a shot once a day does not make an addict any more than a Diabetic reliant on daily insulin would be.

Towards the end, unfortunately, Bryn kind of fell into the TSTL category by making a bad decision for not only herself but for her sister Annie as well. This point is a bit teetering because I could see why she made the decision she did but I thought it was a bad one. Her sister thought it was a bad one and even Bryn herself was not completely on board with it. The results were catastrophic to Bryn but did open up a whole new level of awesomeness for this series. So, a minus and a plus all rolled into one!

In a Nutshell: I love this series. Zombies, who aren't exactly zombies...but might as well be, bad guys who might be good guys, bad guys who are living in bad guy land so deep even traditional bad guys won't go there, torture sequences in which nothing more than a spoon is used (mostly off camera) and several OMG moments towards the end ensure I am going to read the latest installment of this series ASAP. This series is not for everyone as it is a bit more gruesome than a typical UF series but for me it's a winner!

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