Read Working Stiff by Rachel Caine Julia Whelan Online


Bryn Davis was killed on the job after discovering her bosses were selling a drug designed to resurrect the dead. Now, revived by that same drug, she becomes an undead soldier in a corporate war to take down the very pharmaceutical company responsible for her new condition......

Title : Working Stiff
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ISBN : 9781101540237
Format Type : Audio
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Working Stiff Reviews

  • Flannery
    2019-05-21 07:55

    There are some kindred spirits working at TNT/TBS/USA who choose which movies to show regularly on the weekends. It's like they somehow know that I will ALWAYS watch Overboard, What About Bob?, Hook, Father of the Bride, and about a billion other movies--and there must be tons more people just like me that regularly think about dressing up as Bob Wiley for Halloween every year because why else would they keep showing the same movies unless people are watching them? Death Becomes Her, which you may or may not remember as MY FAVORITE MERYL STREEP MOVIE EVER EVEN INCLUDING HER MANY AWARD-WINNING PERFORMANCES, is always on basic cable on the weekends...and I pretty much know it by heart. It is just so bizarre, I mean, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, and Isabella Rossellini in a movie about two women dueling over a balding mortician and then taking a potion to live forever? That's pure cinematic gold. I saw Rachel Caine at an event last weekend and you can't really tell by looking at someone but I'm pretty sure she also likes Death Becomes Her. Evidence:click to enlargeI haven't fully signed on for the new zombie love story trend in books and I'm sure many people would try to argue with me about the main character in this book not being a zombie, so here's a quick two-question quiz to find out if you are a zombie:Question 1: Did you die at some point? If yes, move on to question 2. If no, congratulations! You are alive!Question 2: Are you somehow still walking around and "living" to a varying degree? If yes, congratulations (?), you are a zombie!Some people might say that you need to be craving brains to be a zombie. Then again, some people think bands like Nickelback and Creed make good music. Bryn, the MC of this book, dies and is subsequently revived by a chemical compound that must be taken daily to maintain her zombie, oops, I mean revived person's body. I know what you're thinking here--that's hot. You totally would be attracted to an animated, walking, talking, thinking corpse, right? Wait...something's not right here. We had a discussion at book club about whether or not the romantic element in this book was off-putting and it totally was to me BUT it is mostly for one reason and surprisingly, it isn't because Bryn is revived. Patrick sees her die. He sees her as a dead body. He sees her beat up, shot, and basically mangled and then sees her tissue regrowing in front of him. Um, that's gross. That is a constant reminder that the person you are looking at is artificially alive. Necrophilia is so in right now. I couldn't truly get on board with it in this particular book but she does basically live a normal life so I'm not ruling out romance with some future guy who doesn't know she's dead (SPOILER ALERT FOR HIM! "Hey, I've been meaning to tell you...I can't have kids." "Oh, is it something genetic?" "Meh, actually I'm a reanimated corpse. No biggie.")Overall, the mystery and intrigue were entertaining and the series started off with enough world-building and quirky characters that I'll come back for more. (*cough*some of the side characters are more interesting than the main girl*cough*) Since Bryn was in the military, I expected much more badassery to be happening but she gets punched out pretty regularly. Perhaps she'll really come into her zombie self in future Revivalist series books? Until then, you can most likely find me watching What About Bob? on repeat...

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
    2019-05-30 11:56

    I always find it especially hard to review urban fantasy books. I read them, I usually enjoy them, I spend a total of three minutes thinking about them, and after that, there’s really not much to say. But this book and its author Rachel Caine, who in all honesty hasn’t failed me yet, deserve my best effort. This isn’t my first book by Rachel Caine. I loved her Weather Warden series (at least the first three books that I’ve read so far) and I still moderately enjoy her Morganville Vampires. My expectations for this were pretty high to begin with and after reading the first book, I'm pretty confident that this will become one of my favorites. Working Stiff is full of small surprises. I can’t really say that it’s unpredictable because, you know, urban fantasy never is, but there were times when the plot went in the opposite direction from what I expected. After spending four years in Iraq, Bryn Davis understands well the importance of taking care of the dead. As odd as her career choice may seem, she is perfectly happy with her decision to become a funeral director. That is, until she discovers that her new employer is using the funeral home as a cover for some pretty serious and pretty disgusting illegal activities. Bryn is an amazing character, beautiful, strong, silent and incredibly stubborn. She is caught in an impossible situation, and while she does get overwhelmed by fear and acts foolishly from time to time, she never whines. At least not in a way that would bother me. She also knows how to be funny without being overly sarcastic. I can’t really reveal the name of Bryn’s love interest because that would ruin one of the small surprises I’ve mentioned. I can, however, say that he’s one of the hottest and most attractive male characters in urban fantasy. I should know, I’ve read them all. He is 100% human which means that he doesn’t have any supernatural powers to hide behind, but he is still more amazing than any vampire, were or mage I can think of. I kid you not. Silent, serious ex-marine type with a tenderness he shows only rarely, he reminded me of Benton Wesley from the Kay Scarpetta series. (I always had a thing for smooth, smart, suit and tie guys like Benton.) He alone would be reason enough to read this book. If you like urban fantasy, you are going to love Working Stiff. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.

  • Tatiana
    2019-05-28 15:45

    Starts very well - morbid, entertaining, fast-paced, with an interesting zombie twist. Then gradually becomes dull. This book is not UF, but rather a mystery, but as such has nothing to offer in terms of paranormal. The heroine is humorless, with a very unconvincing military background and remains rather vanilla throughout the story, and her love interest has no charisma. I need my UF to be more fun and have spunkier characters.

  • Catherine
    2019-05-30 13:58

    I am incredibly impressed to see Rachel Caine offer such a different type of story than her other two UF series, Weather Warden and Outcast Season. Faintly skeezed out, to be honest, but impressed. I was surprised to see Caine dip her toe into the zombie genre, but I willingly followed, based on past success with her writing style. I wasn’t disappointed, but I was surprised. I knew this would be about zombies, but I thought the heroine’s role would be different based on the vague back cover summary and past experience with UFs.Bryn was just the type of UF heroine I like. I was wary about how she would be portrayed after I read that she was fresh from the military, but I shouldn’t have troubled myself. Bryn was not portrayed as a Wonder Woman and, having been in the military, I easily related to her struggles (but eagerness) to slip back into a civilian role. Her worry about the appropriateness of her outfit choice after having been stuck in a uniform for years and her wry observations about civilian bosses being just like military CO’s made it easy for me to slip into her shoes and sympathize. I loved that Bryn got her butt kicked more often than not. Well, I didn’t love the fact that she was hurt, but I liked that she wasn’t played up to be more elite than she was just because she was in a military supply unit in the war. Because, honestly, she wouldn’t have been authentic cast as a Rambo type after coming from that MOS. I also really enjoyed how normal her emotions were. She wasn’t emotionally stunted and closed off. She even cried! She didn’t do it frequently, but her life was turned upside down and she didn’t always react calmly. All throughout the book she struggled to cope with how her life had changed. She never whined about it, but I don’t think I would have blamed her if she did. The girl got a raw deal. Where this book really excelled for me—beyond the characters, which I loved—was the harsh look at the new reality that Bryn was forced to deal with. It was, to put it quite bluntly, terrifying. The lack of control she had over her life, her body, had me feeling jittery, and it wasn’t even me. Everywhere I looked, there were more bad deals, just equipped with a differing degree of suckage. Bryn had to face the fact that she no longer ruled her life and that there was no escape for the foreseeable future. I loved the story, and I loved the grittiness of it, but the lack of sugarcoating on Bryn’s situation made me feel sympathetically claustrophobic and trapped. Add that to the horror of facing the truth about what she is and, more importantly, what she can easily become without the shot, and you have an incredibly intense and emotional story.Although Working Stiff could be gory and gritty, Caine paired it well with a nice dose of humor to help lighten the mood when it got too dark. Although this was not a Romance, there is a nice little relationship in the making. We only got to see the foundation laid out here, but it looks to be a good pairing. The love interest, Patrick McCallister, and Bryn seem to have their fair share of issues to work out before they can settle into couplehood, not the least of which is the reality of what she has turned into. I felt that Pat was brushing it aside a little too easily and really preferred Bryn’s struggle with it, because I was struggling with it. Caine made sure to expose us to situations that wouldn’t allow us to ignore the truth of what she was dealing with. It’s not cute, it’s not a game. It’s horrifying and I am still completely freaked out by it. The fact that I don’t like zombies and yet I completely loved this book is a true testament to the author’s skill. I occasionally found myself sympathizing with a few—well, one, really—of the “bad guys” and their lack of compassion toward the welfare of the victims. I can’t say that I didn’t find myself struggling with the exact same opinion that he/she had, so it was hard not to see their side of things. My struggle with that made it quite an interesting read.Favorite Quote:"You are unbelievable."There went that tiny little smile again, tight and controlled, meaning nothing. "I do date, Bryn. Occasionally."She bet he did it on a schedule. 1900 to 2100 hours, dinner. 2100 to 2115, drive the girl home. 2115 to 2130, sex. 2135, shower, kiss good-bye. 2140, drive home."I don't date jackasses," she said. "Just so we're clear."Review posted on Fiction Vixen.

  • Felicia
    2019-06-04 15:48

    OKAY! So I'm not as objective as I could be, because I know the author (But ONLY because I love her work, we connected over Twitter because I'm a fangirl, haha). Any Rachel Caine book has good stuff for me, but to be honest, I didn't really wanna read this book because I HATE ZOMBIES and whenever I see a book with zombies I immediately think of how bad they'd smell and then don't read. HOWEVER this book deals with the "undead" in a much more interesting, scientific way that I really enjoyed! It's a great start to a series for sure!SLIGHT SPOILERS: Basically in this world science (and modern drugs) can sustain the undead, which leads to some really interesting conspiracy theories and "big bad business" plots, which I thoroughly enjoyed. As always, all the secondary characters are interesting and add a fun mix to the conflict equations. The love interest is no David from the Weather Wardens but he was relatable and yummy without the author hammering us over the head about how hot he was (David's in my literary "hot 5" so it's hard to compare anyone to him, hehe). My only criticism is that I was kind of unclear on the main character's problems sometimes. Her backstory is that she had been serving in Iraq and suffered trauma, but I felt like either she needed to be MORE traumatized, or kick ass more, she was a bit passive at times and let herself get bullied to the point where I was yelling, "Get your military training out and kick him in the FACE!"The ending was really strong though and I'm looking forward to the next. For a smart, not-formulaic urban fantasy series, you should give this a try!

  • Rane
    2019-05-19 13:05

    There's something about an underdog that gets people rooting for them, those team or person whom you cheer for to beat the odds and win the gold or have their Happy Ever After with sparkles and fireworks and for me Bryn Davis fit that bill. Bryn won me over quickly with her everyday working girl,normal person just trying to do her job and the normal family drama we all deal with. Bryn could have been any one of us and for me that was very appealing and made me connect on a early on with her as a character. Bryn's first work day though is one for the books!Trying to gain her feet after working on the battlefield, Bryn feels comfort working as funeral director and things seem to be really looking up for her, until she stumbles upon her boss's drug deal, and not any drug, one that revivals the death, a walking talking, thinking zombie. Knowing to much Bryn is killed in cold blood...only to be brought back as a zombie or working stiff herself. Now living day to day with this hanging over her head, a drug that keeps her alive, Bryn is hired to find the provider of this so call drug before time is up for her. I found myself comparing this to the early 90's movie "Death Becomes Her" with a potion keeping the person young, but if one doesn't take care of themselves...well it wasn't pretty. For Working Stiff, there's nothing darkly humorous about the whole process of being turned. The whole thing pretty much...bites. Your forced to rely on this drug, miss it one day you start to decompose, and even if you start you don't die and scares you when like Bryn your forced to see the full effects of this drug on others. The serious matter of what would you do to live forever and the price your willing to pay is the question that runs through your head but Caine keeps you on your toes with the building story and Bryn and although it got off to a very slow start it soon picks up. She doesn't scare you only gives you just enough of a taste to know what's at stake, but doesn't rely on it to keep the reader into the story. Bryn proves time and again that she goes on her smarts then her fists or her healing ability to make it out of some tricky spots and makes the best of the situation that you can only applaud and root for her. Along with her lovable bulldog Mr.French whom you MUST LOVE!Caine also throws in the story a touch of humor and lightness to not drag you down along with two wonderful men into Bryn's life. No love triangle here, one becomes the trusted and caring friend whom has Bryn's back and Patrick...Patrick was a puzzle in his self. You wonder about him, but for sure you know his feelings for Bryn grow into something more and deep. I find this relationship very fulling because it builds through-out and most likely will keep building through the series.This was my first read by Caine and I can understand why so many love and adore this series and this series has gone off to a great start I'm eagerly looking forward to more of this series and into Caine's backlist of books.

  • ᴥ Irena ᴥ
    2019-06-10 13:50

    It's hard to decide what to think when it comes to a book with pretty great idea, but stops there. I spent the whole book waiting for that something on the next page that would push it past that line.After four years as a soldier, Bryn takes a job as a funeral director and experiences the worse first day in anyone's life. The back-room macabre business of Fairview Mortuary turns out to be deadly for its new funeral director. All throughout the book I felt sorry for Bryn. It doesn't help the book's case that she is beaten (and I'm not talking slapped) at least twice. Strangely, that part is the same one that makes me like something. You see, Bryn was an ordinary soldier, she didn't have any advanced military training. There are a couple of true tlsl moments though. When someone is after you and at one point even threatens your dog, you don't ask your sister to walk your dog alone. Working Stiff is the first book in Revivalist trilogy and as such it introduces the main theme. Someone is reviving people and they need a special drug to stay alive. What is convenient in all that is that except for the drug they need, those people don't have any other problems. Dogs don't act weird around them, they are hard to hurt, they can enjoy food, drink and sex. I guess it wouldn't be an attractive story otherwise.Then again, there is one true horror moment in the book that gives you a clear picture what exactly happens to those that are left without the drug too long. Being buried alive won't be the first on the list of 'worst ways to die' anymore. If the story went in that direction, it would be more interesting. Which brings me to my main issue with this book. It couldn't decide what it's going to be. Parts are horrific and parts are just plain urban fantasy (and not even a good one).I don't know when or if I am going to continue to the next book. Not much in Working Stiff except for the rare horror elements makes me want to read further.

  • AH
    2019-06-12 13:41

    A fresh take on zombies. No eating of brains occurs in this book. My first impressions of this book were that it was different from most of the urban fantasy books I’ve read. Different, in a good way. Working Stiff is a completely new take on zombies, a far more sinister take than the usual fare.The premise seems straight out of those medical conspiracy thrillers with Big Pharma as the evil bad guys. Paranoid, secretive characters and evil henchmen round out the cast. A large pharmaceutical company inadvertently develops a drug that reanimates corpses. Returne must be administered daily or the person decomposes rapidly. And yes, the drug is really expensive.The book starts off with our heroine Bryn Davis’ first day of work at her new job at a funeral home. Bryn experiences the absolute worst first day of work ever and ends up dead…and revived. Apparently the funeral home was a black market point of sale for the drug. Bryn is put to work to find the source.So begins an exciting, action packed thriller. Bryn works with the James Bond-like Joe Fidelis, husband and father of three and contractor to Patrick McCallister. Patrick is the head of security for Pharmadene, the drug company.It was hard to connect with Bryn. She seemed a little stilted and mechanical. Perhaps it was her recent military exposure in Iraq, I’m not sure. I did enjoy Joe and Patrick as her handlers. Patrick had a rather interesting background that involved a “stately Wayne Manor” complete with an Alfred-like character, Liam. I loved Manny and Pansy and I wish that they had more time in the story.If you are looking for something different for your zombie reading pleasure, try Working Stiff.This is book 1 of the series. The expected publication date of book 2 Two Weeks’ Notice is August 7, 2012. I can’t wait!Review posted on Badass Book ReviewsUpdate May 23, 2012 - Working Stiff is now on the Badass Book Reviews' Best Badass Zombie Books List. Check it out!Update 11/16/12 - For fans of Manny and Pansy, check out Devil's Bargain - There's a reason for Manny's paranoia.

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    2019-06-12 10:01

    3.5 to 4 StarsI wasn't loving this at first, it felt different than her other books that I've read but around the 30% mark that all changed and this became more classic Rachel Caine. In fact, I really liked it and will be continuing the series.

  • Kelly
    2019-06-17 08:59

    (4.5 stars) Rachel Caine’s Working Stiff is technically a zombie novel, but it’s not your typical zombie novel. It’s not your typical urban fantasy, either. In fact, it might be more properly termed urban soft science fiction, as the zombifying agent is a nanotech drug rather than magic. But whatever you call it, it’s an excellent book that has me kicking myself for not having tried Caine’s novels before (I’d only read her short story “Death Warmed Over”).Bryn Davis is one of the most relatable urban-fantasy heroines I’ve seen. She’s neither Superwoman nor a clinging vine. She’s just a young career woman with an endearing mix of strengths and vulnerabilities, who is forced into a desperate existence and must struggle to survive.We first meet Bryn as she’s about to begin work at Fairview Mortuary. Working in the funeral business may seem like an odd choice of profession, but Bryn isn’t bothered by bodies after a stint in the Army, and she finds a sense of honor in working with the dead. But her first day on the job is a day from hell — and that’s before she stays late at the funeral home and learns that the owner is selling an expensive drug that brings clients back from the dead. Now Bryn knows too much. She is murdered……and then wakes up. Turns out Fairview was being raided that same night by men from Pharmadene, the company that makes the resurrection drug, Returné. Thinking Bryn might have information on Fairview’s supplier, they used the drug to bring her back. Now she is, to all appearances, alive, as long as she gets her daily shot of Returné. If she doesn’t, her body will begin to break down and she will die a slow, agonizing death. If she can’t provide any useful information to Pharmadene, she’ll be written off as a bad investment and her shots cut off. If she does sniff out the supplier, Pharmadene will have no more use for her and again, no more shots. Working Stiff is filled with nonstop tension, as Bryn investigates the mysterious supplier and gets deeper into danger from Pharmadene with every pricey shot that goes into her arm.Yet she’s not as alone as she thinks. Caine brings two wonderful men into Bryn’s unlife, but this isn’t a love-triangle cliché. One of the men does indeed become a love interest, after a slow, cautious growth of trust. The other is that rarest of creatures in urban fantasy: a dear platonic friend.There’s not much more I can say without spoiling the twists, but I will say that Working Stiff is really, really good. It’s sometimes creepy, sometimes sad, sometimes terrifying — Bryn’s death scene is a wrenching example of all three — but always riveting, and it’ll make you think about what really makes a person “alive.” The ending leaves Bryn with even more troubles than before, and leaves the reader jonesing for the sequel.There’s one loose end that niggles at my brain. (view spoiler)[ I’m a big dog lover, and Bryn’s sweet, brave bulldog Mr. French is a great addition to the story. So I wonder, where is he? He simply isn’t mentioned in the later chapters of the story. I hope he’s OK, and that he’s either blithely pooping on Bryn’s floor or that Liam swooped in and got him. I’m worried about the little guy! (hide spoiler)]Written for Fantasy Literature's Rachel Caine page

  • Kale
    2019-05-21 08:44

    Talk about rigor mortis. What a chore this book was to read. Bryn Davis is an ex-military newly licensed mortician who stumbles upon the black market dealings of her employer. Turns out her boss sells more than death's accessories but a drug for an afterlife. Reanimation is all but impossible and Bryn is going to find out first hand as she's thrown into a second life filled with corporate espionage and dependent on finding the back ally dealer suppling the stolen drugs. This whole book was stiff. The characters bland. Joe and Patrick had promise but they were secondary characters. Pansy was vibrant and interesting but she was a third string player. The big problem was just a dull heroine. Bryn had the personality of a walking corpse. I also found that the chapters were way too long, they added to the feeling of not getting anywhere in this book. Unfortunately there was also no romance happening at all and just when you think something is going to develop Bryn gets beat up. More like a punch in the gut for the reader. The story line was ok, but took forever to get anywhere. There just wasn't anything to get invested in. Working Stiff was working hard to bore. With a sad lead character, no romance, an extremely long drawn out setup, there was really nothing to interest me or hold my attention. This book was one great failed concept after another.

  • TheBookSmugglers
    2019-05-21 14:01

    Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers: twenty-six year old army veteran Bryn Davis, the first day at a new job in a new career is a frightening but exciting prospect. Armed with the best outfit she can afford and a box of freshly minted business cards, Bryn starts her first day as Funeral Director at Fairview Mortuary with the aim to impress her new boss, Mr. Fairview, with her personability and professionalism. Unfortunately for Bryn, things quickly go from bad to worse when one of her first consultations ends with a grieving teenage daughter killing herself in the mortuary bathroom. Then, after the mess is cleaned up and reports are filed with the police, Bryn finds herself in the middle of a holdup when another of her consultation clients for the day returns with a gun. To add to that misery, Bryn ends up inadvertently stumbling across Fairview’s dirty, if lucrative, side business: drugs. Not just any drug, but a black market designer serum called Returné – which can bring the recently dead back to life, and keep them young, alive, and virtually invincible so long as they keep receiving regular daily doses.Naturally, Fairview is not pleased with Bryn’s meddling and her hell of a first day comes to an even worse end: Bryn is murdered in cold blood.Of course, what kind of book would Working Stiff be if our intrepid heroine died and never returned after the first couple of chapters? In short measure Bryn finds herself born again, revived by the very drug whose discovery led to her own death. Brought back to life by a pair of suits, Bryn finds herself automatically enrolled in pharmaceutical juggernaut Pharmadene’s ultimate employee loyalty program – she’s informed by her new cohorts Joe Fideli and Patrick McCallister that she represents an investment for the company, and one that’s expected to pay out very soon. In return for daily doses of Returné – the only thing keeping Bryne from decomposing and dying a slow, painful death – Bryn has to take over her old boss’s black market business to help the company find Fairview’s old supplier. Things are never as simple or straightforward as they seem, especially with a drug with as much potential for power as Returné, and soon Bryn finds herself mired in a corporate espionage plot with terrible, far-ranging consequences.There are a few things I have come to expect from every new book from Rachel Caine, namely awesome worldbuilding, a tightly written plot rife with high-stakes action, and a strong and wholly winsome heroine. I am thrilled to report that true to form, all of these elements are present in Working Stiff, resulting in one hell of a first novel in what looks to be a new must-buy Urban Fantasy series. From a worldbuilding and plotting perspective, Working Stiff completely rocks. The story itself is as high-action and high-stakes as the Weather Warden books, though on a much more secretive and corporate level. There are twists and turns, and a significant amount of uncertainty when it comes to characters that Bryn can trust, and all these elements are handled effortlessly by Ms. Caine.Premise-wise, I loved the concept of Returné and the lengths that a company like Pharmadene would go to in order to keep it proprietary, even to the point where the company would kill its own employees only to revive them (it’s on hell of a way to guarantee employee loyalty, and also brings a fun double meaning to the notion of “corporate zombie” – or the titular “working stiff”). And it’s not just the concept of a drug that can bring someone back from the dead that impressed me, but the idea that Returné is something that needs to be taken on a daily basis in order for the revived to continue living. With this unique little twist thrown in the mix, there’s a very real and present danger over Bryn’s head from the onset of the book as she needs the drug every day, without fail, in order to stop decomposition. Hell, she can’t even really DIE thanks to the serum (even a shot to the head or the shattering of all her bones wouldn’t stop the nanites in the injection from repairing her body). Short of complete dismemberment, Bryn is basically invincible so long as she gets her shots on time – but this also means that without a constant source of Returné, she’s going to survive and be conscious for her body falling apart around her. Needless to say, it’s a terrifying thought for Bryn, and it makes her decisions about what is almost certainly a short future lifespan even more important.From a character perspective, Bryn is everything anyone could ask for in a series heroine. Smart, earnest, and capable of making the tough moral decisions when she has to, Bryn is a new kind of badass (and, if you’re a Caine fan like myself, thankfully remarkably different from Jo Baldwin or Cassiel). Even though Bryn has been in the army and is trained in weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, she’s not some automatic killer/ninja badass, which immediately sets her apart from the slew of Urban Fantasy heroines on the market. No, Bryn has no special abilities or superpowers beyond the ability to painfully heal after being beaten or shot, granted to her by the nanites in her bloodstream. She needs help, she gets into a lot of trouble, but Bryn also steps up when she needs to. In this reader’s humble opinion, Bryn is an incredibly real, believable young woman, and a heroine worth rooting for.Beyond Bryn, there’s also a bevy of secondary characters that are also fully developed and wonderfully realized. Patrick, the love interest, is a strong hero with ambiguous loyalties and a shady past that is revealed gradually throughout the book – complete with a good amount of sexual tension (this is UF after all). Joe, Bryn’s other cohort, is hired muscle but a surprisingly caring family man with more going on beneath the surface. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as there are secret allies, sadistic and power-crazed villains, corporate zombies and double-agents all thrown into the mix.In short, I loved this book – Working Stiff is an awesome start to a fantastic new series. Rachel Caine has done it again, and I cannot wait for next August.

  • Shelley
    2019-06-07 15:45

    *Rating* B-*Genre* Urban Fantasy*Review* Having read the entire Weather Warden series, as well as the Morganville Vampires YA series by Ms. Caine, I really didn't have much hesitation in starting Working Stiff, the first book in the Revivalist series.Caine’s main protagonist is Bryn Davis a 26 year old Iraq war veteran who isn’t afraid of dead bodies. Let me stop here for a minute and say to those that have served or are still serving in that country; thank you very much for your service, your dedication and your sacrifice. I, for one, shall never forget.Bryn becomes funeral director for Fairview Mortuary where things are a little strange. On her first day on the job, Bryn stumbles onto Fairview’s dirty little secret because she is a noisy little thing who instead of running away as fast as she can, decides to say and ends up paying the cost for her nosiness.Fairview is using a drug called Returne’ to revive the recently dead and then keeps them hooked on the drug by giving them daily injections for a steep price. Call it what it really is; they’ve created zombies who don’t eat brains but are a source of ill-gotten funds for Fairview's owner.Naturally, Bryn becomes a pawn after being killed, and then brought back to life using Returne’. In walks Patrick McCalister who is chief of Security for Pharmadene Pharmaceuticals. McCalister tells Bryn that Pharmadene pretty much owns her now because of his choice to bring her back to life. Bryn has only one choice now; work with Pharmadene to find out who has been giving Fairview the drug and she will continue to get her life extending drug. Failure to cooperate and she becomes expendable. *Perceptions* I’m not on the whole Bryn bandwagon that says she is an amazing character who is smart, etc. First of all, no smart person given the chance to run away or stay after being threatened by her boss and a piece of garbage mortician who previously wanted to have sex with Bryn, would have stay behind and ended up in the situation she does. Oh wait; yes they do its call horror movies! DOH! ::head slap::Second, if you have a gun, and you are in the process of getting robbed, shoot the son of a bitch already! Then again, Bryn does get shot and beaten a whole hell of a lot. Third, (view spoiler)[ when your sister comes to visit unexpectedly and you know that you are pretty much being watched 24/7/365 by the evil cooperation who has you by your balls; you get her the hell away from you and to a place that is a safer than your apartment that has already been broken into. You don't give her the freaking codes to your door, or anything else!(hide spoiler)] I can‘t un-spoil this part without giving away the ending of the story and the lead in to the next book.Bryn doesn’t actually become a GOOD character I can relate to until she is taken by the villainous cooperation VP who wants world domination and decides to create even more zombies at the expense of Bryn’s own existence. In the meantime, she broods, she whines and cries (not all the time mind you but enough to give her a head slap a few dozen times).Romance, Meh. Ok, so, this is the first book of the series and thus you can pretty much guess who the interest ends up.I think Patrick and Joe Fideli’s characters were a lot more interesting than Bryn. I also think that several secondary characters like Pansy and Manny for instance, are more interesting as well. Overall, I gave this a B- for effort, and will most likely continue with the series just to see where Caine takes Bryn et all from here.

  • Siobhan
    2019-06-14 12:44

    My sister is a big fan of Rachel Caine and introduced me to her work through the Morganville Vampires series. Whilst I did enjoy the books, I wasn’t as crazy about them as my sister. I believe I was more open to the flaws, aware of the parallels to other young adult vampire novels. As a whole, I enjoyed them and was willing to try other Rachel Caine books. Thus, when I saw the Revivalist series going cheap I was willing to dive in.The Revivalist series is different to the Morganville Vampire series in a number of ways, mainly this series introduced me to Rachel Caine’s adult fantasy and moved me away from her young adult fantasy. There isn’t a very big different in the method of storytelling and writing style, you can still tell it is Rachel Caine, but certain aspects of the story make it appropriate for adult readers rather than the younger readers. Another big, and obvious difference, is the creatures involved in the story. Like many members of the population, I’m a big zombie fan. I enjoy a good zombie twist, and I was interested to see what this one would bring. The story promised something different to the norm, and I was excited to see what it was. Whilst this wasn’t my favourite twist on the undead element, it was a nice change. It introduces us to new elements, new rules, and brings something different to the table. I’ll be completely honest by saying I wasn’t completely pulled into the story at first. Elements were interesting, but I wasn’t pulled in. Then, in typical Rachel Caine fashion, I found my feelings changing. I went from being merely interested to being truly addicted, finding I needed to finish the book in a single sitting. I cannot tell you what changed or when, all I know is I was sucked in and found myself addicted to the story and in need of finding out what happened.Although I was addicted and powered my way through the book, I wasn’t completely content with the story. I feel as though there wasn’t as much action as there could have been, that events didn’t quite reach the impact they could have. I also found I wasn’t completely happy with the characters. I really enjoyed some of the side characters, but I wasn’t truly happy with our main character. I feel like details were given that never really came into play – namely her background in the forces. I enjoyed certain elements of our main character, but I feel like a lot was added but never really used.It was an addictive story, an interesting story, and it certainly left me wanting more.

  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    2019-05-28 11:03

    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyFrom page one, WORKING STIFF was a wonderful surprise. I did not expect to fall in love with the heroine so quickly; Bryn's careful, quiet personality is so winning and fierce I was captivated. She has a life and a job history prior to working at the funeral home, and that made her all the more human and interesting. This rapport with Bryn is the gateway into her world, and gives emotional heft to the rest of the story.And oh, what a story. So many familiar themes of immortality, loss and vulnerability are woven into this most delicate balancing act of rebirth. WORKING STIFF felt more like vampirism from a foot-soldier's perspective than a zombie story; Bryn's continued existence relies on an organization that is rotten to it's core. Anyone who has ever wondered if they could survive the collapse of society without access to life saving prescriptions will relate to this book, Bryn has a daily death sentence hovering over her. And yet, even as she lives, she's caught in the perfect stasis that is immortality. No going forward, but the fear of falling back into death and darkness hanging over every moment... her emotional journey is both heart-wrenching and riveting. Bryn and her world were so interesting to me, it was easy for friendships and love interest to get lost in the shuffle. They were there, they were sweet and sexy and dangerous by turns, but I was more fascinated watching Bryn adapt to the changes in her life than anything else. As I close WORKING STIFF, I'm still emotionally invested enough to worry about these characters. At odd moments I find myself planning strategies to keep Bryn safe, and I can’t wait for Book Two to set my mind at ease.Sexual Content:Kissing; references to sex, necrophilia, and sexual assault.

  • Christine (KizzieReads)
    2019-05-30 07:36

    I loved this! The premise of this story is nothing that I've read before. I've read a few zombie books, but not like this. I loved all the twists and turns at the end. The writing was engaging and the story was fast paced. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. But I have to say, what a very bad first day on the job!! LOL

  • Maria V. Snyder
    2019-06-02 15:38

    The premise for this novel sounded intriguing and it's written by Rachel Caine, so reading this was a no brainer for me :) I liked the world and the supporting characters were cool, but I had some problems with the main character, Brin. She had such potential, but there isn't enough plot to really show what she can do, and she's very passive throughout the book. Lots of things happen to her, but rarely does she initiate anything - the plot problems are solved by others. She does get pro-active at the end, but not because she figured anything out - she's just reacting. And some things that happen, make no sense at all (view spoiler)[like when she was mugged - plus she had a gun, but never uses it effectively! (hide spoiler)].This book has a ton of internal angst/inner dialogue. Now some of it is certainly warranted as a really bad thing happens to her, but that's not what I enjoy in a book. Yes, there needs to be some, but I like my heroines to be proactive, problem solvers.

  • Shannon
    2019-05-30 15:49

    Working StiffThe CharactersBryn DavisPatrick McCallisterThe StoryThere is so much going on in this story. It all starts when Bryn is caught up in a crazy scheme and ends up being ugh…. less than alive. Like a lot less. Like really she’s dead and being revived by a drug. A drug that’s causing a lot of problems. Problems Bryn has to clean up. Of course that is never an easy task. This was an excellent read (er.. listen). The narrator was great. The story itself was excellent. Rachel Caine’s imagination never ceases to amaze me. The Random ThoughtsI’m so mad that neither my library nor Scribd has the next installment. 4 Stars

  • Christen (GoldiloxReads and Whimsify)
    2019-05-31 09:41

    "There were so many layers of reality to the world. Nothing stopped for death; nothing stopped for grief or horror or tragedy." Working Stiff is the first in Rachel Caine's new Revivalist series. Prior to this, I had only been exposed to Caine's writing through the first in her Weather Wardens series, which I had mixed feelings about. After readingWorking Stiff I'm ready to dive into anything she's written! I really really liked this book! I really don't know how to classify it though. I think that may have been the problem for those who didn't love it - it doesn't really fit into urban fantasy even though that's what it's commonly classified as. There are no vampires, shifters, fae, dragons, werewolves, etc. Wait, you say, there are zombies! Well, yes and no.Working Stiff introduces us to Bryn Davis, a former military woman who spent four years in Iraq but is not a badass by any means. She is just a regular person like you or me. She has taken a job as the funeral director at Fairview Mortuary due to similar experience during her time in Iraq. Her first day sucks. There's just no other way to put it. And after a long and hellish day Bryn stumbles upon a serious scandal involving her new boss and the fact that he is profiting from an experimental drug that brings dead people back to life. So, of course, she is promptly murdered and brought back to life using said drug. Here is where you are thinking "Zombie alert!" but no, not really. First of all, the "zombies" are created using science, not magic. Secondly, the drug just brings the person's body back, it doesn't made them into a mindless drone or give them a wild craving for brains. The drug plunges nanites into the person's bloodstream to repair the damage of death and the person must get a fresh shot of these nanites every day in order to sustain life. So, really, this book is a little more like a sci-fi read than an urban fantasy.Whatever the heck it is, its damn good! The glue that holds this whole story together is Bryn. Caine writes Bryn in such a way that you can really relate to her. She's normal. She knows how to shoot a gun well since she was in the military, and she has some minor fighting skills. But other than that she is no kick-ass heroine. Don't get me wrong, I love my ass kickers! But I equally loved Bryn for all her normalcy. And she's not the whining wimp in the corner either. She is a nice balance just like most people would be in Bryn's 'situation' (you know, being practically dead and having to rely on a daily shot to keep from rotting away and and all). Another favorite about this story for me were McCallister and Joe. They are the two Pharmadene security employees tagged with tracking down the rogue who is selling the drug and was Bryn's boss's supplier. McCallister is short and to the point and his exterior melts away very slowly. I liked that his affection for Bryn (and vice versa) took time and they didn't jump into the sack in chapter two. In fact, don't count on there being much romance in this book. I also really loved family man Joe and his affection for Bryn, even though its a very different affection than that of McCallister. Joe had one of my favorite lines in the book, because it pegged the situation just right:“Bryn, my job is to make sure you don’t do anything stupid. So yeah. I followed you. When you leave your house in the middle-class version of ninja clothes, I pay attention. You didn’t look like you were running out for milk and kibble.”Other side characters I adore include Liam the proper estate administer and Mr. French the fabulous guard dog!Oh, and there is definitely some action here. It's not exactly nonstop, but it's there and its quality over quantity for sure.I give this book five strong stars and I CANNOT wait for number two in the series. The story evolved and grew as the plot went on and the ending left me wanting more! Congrats to Caine for a fantastic first in a new series and another brand new fan!

  • Kara-karina
    2019-06-03 10:04

    This was one of those extremely gripping and chilling conspiracy thrillers with excellent characters, pace and world-building. Why then 4 stars and not higher? you would ask.To put it simply, I'm squeamish. I love zombie novels, but my perfect zombie is someone who I can kill away as a mindless monster. You know, like in Zombieland?Bryn, the main character, dies on her first day at a new job as a funeral director simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her boss is selling this new powerful drug from a medical corporation Pharmadene, which literally can revive the dead to the same age and perfect condition when they died.He does it under the table, and the corporation investigates him to find the leak - his supplier. All clients are recently dead who agreed to pay extortionate sums of money just to keep living.Bryn stumbles onto one such transaction and in a struggle of a corporation security team bust she is killed and revived for an interrogation. The catch is she has to prove her worth to keep on getting injections of Revive once a day and keep on living. If you miss just one dose you body starts decomposing... but the subjects can't die easily unless they are dismembered or incinerated...You remember that black comedy with Bruce Willis, Death Becomes Her?This book is very much like it.Only there is not an ounce of paranormal, and Bryn's situation is truly horrific. At one point the sadistic corporation vice-president decides that she doesn't need her anymore and wants her to die naturally while she records the process, and you go through all the pains of decomposition with Bryn...I truly felt for her and admired her sheer will to keep plodding along no matter what.However in all this the attraction of McCallister, her overseer, to Bryn was making me feel slightly queasy.All in all, this is intense and gripping story which I hope to God will never happen in real life. There is much more to it than I mentioned and I really recommend it. It just wasn't exactly right for my constitution, which doesn't mean you'll feel the same way.

  • Kwoomac
    2019-05-28 09:43

    Goodreads giveaway. pretty cool premise: a pharmaceutical lab accidentally creates a drug that can revive the dead. Our protagonist works at a funeral home and stumbles upon her boss misusing the drug to revive dead clients who have the money to pay him to stay live. Not really stay alive as they are already dead when he first meets them. A family member who can pay requests the deal. Anyway, she gets murdered, brought back to life, and then gets involved in trying to figure out who all the players are in the whole mess. Should've been good but the story gets bogged down. There's this whole storyline about the mind control that's built into the drug (which didn't make any sense to me.) Anyway the story got muddled and overwrought and there were way too many climax moments: (view spoiler)[joe almost dies from gunshot, Bryn is kidnapped, Bryn's sister is kidnapped , manny goes crazy and doesn't trust anyone, even his girlfriend(hide spoiler)]Plus, when Bryn becomes undead, she doesn't really get the bonus of any superhuman powers. Sure, her body regenerates when she gets wounded, but that's it. Also, I wasn't really fond of Bryn. She should have been more self-reliant. Once these two FBI-type guys show up, she turns everything over to them. My biggest complaint was how little she managed her own "Undeadness" She has to get a shot everyday to continue to stay alive, but at no point does she try to get hold of the drug. She just trusts these guys to keep track of when she needs another shot and then have them supply it. No way would I ever do that.(view spoiler)[ Then there's the whole deal she makes with the FBI at the end. They'll supply her with the drug for 50 years. So, she's gonna stay 25 or however old she is, while Patrick ages. The relationship is creepy enough to begin with, but that's gonna be gross(hide spoiler)]I did enjoy the author's writing so maybe this series will tighten up as it goes along.

  • Jessica`~Blahyze~`
    2019-06-08 12:57

    This book was a bit of a surprise, not really what I was expecting, in a good way. One of the more original storylines I have come across in a while. What I really loved about this book was the way Bryn the female lead character was written, she has spunk and is tough. I really liked the sassy way she handled sleazy jerk Freddy coming onto her;“Bryn was shaken, not that she’d let him see it. “Take no for an answer. Freddy. You ought to know the word by now. I’m sure you hear it enough.”“Ouch.” He seemed more amused than hurt. “Look, I don’t really want to be seen in public with you either; you’re not exactly up to my usual standards. So how about a quickie down here? Nobody here but Mr. Granberry; I don’t think he’d mind. I could break out the wine coolers.”“If you come near me with a wine cooler, I hope you go both ways, because I will shove it up your ass,” Bryn walked for the door, half expecting him to grab her and throw her to the floor, but when she looked back Freddy was still standing there, smiling at her.”Unfortunately for Bryn, she gets mixed up in some mess with Freddy and her boss, they are running a drug out of the funeral home where she works, using it to bring people back to life, once they discover Bryn knows their secret they kill her but the company that made the drug has other ideas for Bryn, they have a leak within their facility funnelling out money and the drug, they need Bryn to help them find out who it is. Bryn being under the thump of Pharmadene and Harte turns out to be worse than death, but meeting Patrick though the situation turns out to be the bright side. This was a really great read that has so many twists and turns. It leaves you begging for the next in the series to find out what will happen with Bryn’s sister and how the relationship will progress between her and Patrick.

  • Jennifer Y
    2019-05-21 14:05

    First ThoughtNot your "classic" zombies but still an interesting concept. Why I ListenI've had Working Stiff on my TBR since it's release day and after listening to a sample of the audio, the narration sounded like one I would enjoy. And I was right. The story and narration both kept me entertain. Julia Whelan get a great job with the voices and timing of the narration. I've already purchased the next book on audio.The StoryBryn Davis has the worst first day on a job ever.... She dies and then comes back as a "zombie". After serving in the military and dealing with dead bodies, Bryn thought she would be a good match in the postion as the new funeral director at Fairview Mortuary. But little did she know that her sales training was not going to help her when she stumbles upon a secret side business her new boss is running from the basement of the mortuary.Bryn quickly finds herself wrapped up in government and corporate red tape and plans to take over the world, while still having a little time for romance.Issue(s) I HadThe only real issue I had with Working Stiff is that I had a hard time believing that Bryn, who was over in Iraq for 4 years would be so "helpless" and naive at times. I'm hoping after the events toward the end of the story that we get a tougher Bryn in the next book, Two Week's Notice.Will I Continue the Series?Yes. I enjoyed the world that Caine has created and I look forward to seeing what's next for Bryn.Looking for Something Similar?White Trash Zombie series by Diana Rowland

  • Sofija
    2019-06-15 10:37

    Strangely I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I am a huge fan of Ms.Caine works. I’ve read all of her series and enjoyed them immensely. But “Working stiff” was not to her usual standards. Her style and ability to tell a story was still excellent, but this time the story was lacking compelling characters. I can’t help to compare Bryn with other Ms.Caine heroines. Bryn wasn’t a badass as Joanne. I hated that she had her ass kicked all book long. She was in the army for four years! Not just in the army, but in Iraq. You kind of expect her to be able stand up for herself. She also wasn’t clever like Claire. She couldn’t once figure out what was going on and who stands behind it all. She even wasn’t fearless and strong as Cassiel. Bryn kept feeling sorry for herself. Well that is understandable. Life really hit her in the teeth and then kicked her a couple of times while she was still down. But I want to see some inner strength in a character. And this book was bloody. But that’s the usual case with Rachel Caine. She tries to fill her books with so many casual victims as possible.It wasn’t bad. I just expected more. We will see how it will go with the next one. P.S. how do you pronounce Bryn???

  • Feistygodwin
    2019-06-17 13:43

    I'm not sure what to think about this book. I finished it a couple of days ago and I still can't decide whether or not I love it or hate it, so I've decided it's somewhere in between and those usually turn out to be the best books in my experience. This book alternated between riveting my attention to the page and creeping me the hell out. There were spots in this book where I couldn't NOT turn the page to find out what happened next! But there was a definite 'ick' factor to the book. Bottom line- I'll round up and give it 4 stars and state my intention to pick up the sequel.

  • Heidi
    2019-06-04 09:57

    First I would classify this book more as a Sci-Fi Thriller than a Paranormal Book. I think the labeling of this book as a "zombie" book is inaccurate and here is why...The main character Bryn is killed and brought back to life by a new wonder drug called Returne. This drug can restore a dead person to life but of course there is a catch and that is the person must receive a daily dose of the drug in order to maintain the facade of a normal functioning human being. Without the drug the body begins to decay and rot within a week the "dead individual" is a living, rotting, maggot infested corpse. Ms. Caine had two separate descriptions of this state in her book that I loved and will quote for you. ~The first is "She was an animated, breathing mimicry of life" and the second quote from the book "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." ~These two quotations best sum up the basis of the book. So if you are looking for the next zombie book this in my opinion does not fit the bill. However, there are many good reasons to read this book.What I liked:* The entire premise; the ability to bring people back from the dead with a drug is intriguing to say the least. The implications of this possibility are dangerous, mind-numbing. Not to mention the far reaching consequences. I was horrified at the perverse manipulations of the drug. We should hope that this drug Returne remains in the fiction classification.* The morgue setting. The book begins with Bryn starting her first day as a funeral director at a mortuary. I was fascinated as I was dragged into the macabre of the funeral industry. Her boss and the mortician provide extra creepiness and chill factors. Then after an emotionally charged first day on the job to top it all off she is killed; talk about your bad first day. The roller coaster ride starts off thrilling.* The good guys Joe Ferari and Patrick McCallister. I wasn't sure of their standings but each character has layers of complexities and as the book progresses and new facets to each of their personalities are provided I decided that they are affable and heroic.Mr. French the lovable bulldog provided a little comic relief. I was disappointed that he just dropped out of the story. * The twists and turns of this book were surprising. This book took me on an unexpected adventure and ended up being completely different from my expectations.And the not so much:* This book has a complex plot it starts out fast and thrilling but it is convoluted and the middle portion of the book dragged for me.* I am not convinced that this can evolve into a best selling series. I enjoyed the book; it is a great stand alone story. Yes, there are plot lines that are designated as the basis for future novels but I can honestly say I am not sure if I will continue with this series. I am satisfied with the resolution. I am not compelled to madly rush out and purchase the next novel when it releases. I may read another book in this line or I may not. Too early too say.* I was intrigued by the sinister characters of Fast Freddy and Mr. Fairview but they were taken out of the story prematurely. I thought they had more potential. Instead the bad guy turns out to be someone unexpected and it just didn't quite work for me.* Finally I had problems with the idea of Bryn being a normal functioning human even though she was dead. The building of an intimate relationship between her and another character is unnerving. How could a normal living guy not be disturbed by intimacy with a dead girl? I am not certain that this is a viable possibility due to the many complications of Bryn being deceased.Final thoughts, Working Stiff was an interesting book with a chilling concept. A good stand alone novel. It is not a zombie book. It works more as a sci-fi thriller. If you are looking for paranormal books with zombies and the supernatural this is not your book. I enjoyed the story but found the plot had several divergent paths that may be distracting for some readers. Yes, it got a little slow in the middle but then it picks up with surprises and thrills to the end. I would rate it 3 1/2 stars.

  • Liv
    2019-06-04 15:01

    Interestingly, I have not yet read any of Ms. Caine’s popular novels from the Weather Warden or Morganville Vampires series, aside from encounters through short story compilations. So this was my first venture into Ms. Caine’s works.This novel, book #1 of the Revivalist series, featured heroine Bryn Davis, who died on her first day of her job as a funeral director as a result of discovering the dark secrets that her new boss was brewing in the morgue of the funeral home where she worked. Upon being rescued by Joe Fideli and Patrick McCallister, who were security agents of Pharmadene, a giant pharmaceutical corporation, she was “revived” by the use of a newly engineered chemical, Returne. In other words, she became a living, breathing, walking dead.I’m not normally a big fan of zombie-themed articles. So when I came upon the idea of dead people being resurrected in this novel, I was initially put off. However, as the story progressed, I became very engrossed and the idea of “revived” people became less frightening. Although I must admit, the fact that Returne users could turn into rotting living beings if daily injections were missed, was a rather disturbing idea and was truly appalling, and it was what made this story unique in its own way.I had some trouble categorizing this novel, because it was a mix of paranormal, science fiction, horror, and mystery. I liked the world-building and the idea of a medical substance that could produce such phenomenal results as reviving dead people and leveraging them for use as “puppets”. However, I struggled with how a pharmaceutical corporation could have so much power, to the extent of monitoring, tracking, hunting, and killing employees and potentially ordinary civilians. It sounded more like the works of a government-backed covert operation than a work-for-profit commercial company.Character-wise, I liked Bryn. She wasn’t super intelligent nor was she a kickass protagonist, but I could see her slowly developing throughout the course of the novel. She was initially a victim, and upon discovering that she had been turned into a not-truly-living-but-also-not-really-dead being, she went through the different phases of denial, pain, anger, and then onto reconstruction and acceptance. In general, I thought she was a likable character. Her budding attraction to Patrick McCallister was something that was palpable and I liked their pairing. Patrick was an honourable character working for a questionable corporation. His solemn, no-non-sense demeanour and troublesome past gave him an air of mystery and I certainly could see his potential to grow more. This story’s plot was okay. There was quite a bit of running around before the culprits were discovered and real actions took place, but there were sufficient actions to keep my attention on the overall story. I did notice some inconsistency with the setting though. For example, both Bryn and Patrick were supposedly bugged and hence their conversations, actions etc were constantly under surveillance by Pharmadene, except when they used a scrambler to “hide” their whereabouts and/or conversations. However, on one or two occasions, they’d carry out a conversation as though they had forgotten about this fact. I wasn’t sure if it was a minor oversight by the author or a miss on my part. Although this book was a quick and easy read, I thought its theme was somewhat dark and its subject wasn’t really “light”. The only thing that was “light” about this novel was Joe Fideli, who was a fun character with a somewhat normal life (he actually had a wife and kids). So if you’re looking for something fun to read, this wouldn’t be my recommended choice.Nonetheless, I thought it was well-written in general and I would give it 3 stars.

  • Kayleigh {K-Books}
    2019-05-24 11:44

    I really don't know where to start with this review. Working Stiff is definitely not what I expected it to be and most of the way through the book I couldn't decide whether this was a good thing or a bad thing.Bryn thinks getting a job at Fairview Mortuary will be a positive thing on her life. The job is stable and it has a decent wage. What she doesn't count on is there being a big secret behind the Mortuary and she finds herself smack down in the middle of it which could be dangerous for her. Her bosses are using a drug to revive the dead, will she be able to stop them without risking her own life.I have to say that this is in no way anything like Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series. If you are coming into this book with her Morganville series in mind prepare to be a little disappointed. This book is in no way bad and by the end I enjoyed it but I was quite disappointed with this book. Rachel Caine is a fantastic Paranormal author so when I heard about her 'zombie' series coming out I couldn't wait to read it. I thought there would be a supernatural twist on zombies. I couldn't have been more wrong. I was actually quite disappointed to find that in this book there is a very scientific explanation for it. Don't get me wrong I like books where the author has done the background research and finds a real-life way to explain it. I absolutely adored "Feed" by Mira Grant and that is a very scientific take on the zombie novels but it is definitely not what I was expecting from Rachel Caine.I found this book very slow going to start with and it did take me quite a while to get through it and I found myself plodding through it just to get through it. However the more I read the more I started to really enjoy it. The storyline for this book is superb and it's a really brilliant idea. I think my negative feelings toward this book are more because of what I call "First Book Syndrome" rather than the actual book. In a lot of series I find that the first book is setting the basis for the rest of the series and I don't enjoy it as much. However when I have read further on in the series I end up really loving them.As much as I struggled with the book to start with, I did end up enjoying it and most of that is to do with the characters. I always love Rachel's characters and this is no exception. I loved Bryn. The things she has to face in this book I don't think anyone could deal with as well as Bryn does. She is so strong and there were things in this book that shocked and disgusted me but at the same time I could not stop reading. I really loved watching the characters relationships develop and I loved seeing a hint of romance blossoming at the end. I really loved Patrick. At times he's ruthless and I wanted to hate him but I always saw that softer side to him. Him doing what had to be done but not really liking it. I loved that Bryn brought out the real him and saw a side to him that nobody else saw. I just really love all of Rachel's characters and having a cute dog called Mr. French in there helped too. What can I say? I'm a sucker for dogs with cute puppy eyes.I will definitely be reading more of this series when it is out and I think it will just get better and better. The beginning of the book was slow but the events and action towards the end of the book definitely made up for it.I think it's a great storyline and a promising start to a original and interesting series. I can't wait to see what happens and how Bryn and Patrick's relationship evolves from here.*Thanks to Allison & Busby Publishers for a Review Copy of this book.

  • Kt
    2019-05-30 13:56

    Bryn Davis knows being a funeral director won't be a very glamorous job, but it's a steady paycheck and she doesn't really mind death, or more accurately corpses. She's very happy to be starting her new job at Fairview Mortuary, but all that changes when she learns things aren't as cut and dry as they seemed. There's an extortion ring going on behind closed doors with deadly consequences. She teams up with Patrick McCallister to try and destroy the drug company behind it all, but things get a little tricky as she also needs them to survive. Bryn will have to avoid being sucked down the rabbit hold too far or she will lose more than her life, or unlife as it were.With Bryn's military background, and her nonchalance around corpses, I had assumed that she would just be another typical hard case urban fantasy heroine. So many of them are overly tough and have a laundry list of skills that sometimes seem to stretch the believable. I was very happy to find that my initial assumption about Bryn was very wrong. While she does has an amazing inner strength, she also isn't afraid to show emotion. You can really feel just how much everything effects her, and that sucked me right into caring for her plight. Now the other thing that make Bryn such an amazing character is that while she did have her breakdowns when things just got to be too much to bear, she never once let the situation get the best of her. She would cry it out and then "keep on trucking" as they say. The sheer determination it took to keep going was nothing short of admirable and I was rooting very hard for her every step of the way.The world behind Working Stiff was truly spellbinding, yet also quite terrifying. With everything centered around the extreme corporate corruption, it makes you wonder how much of the events in the book parallel things that could happen in real life. The resurrection drug may be a little far fetched in our reality, but if you just picture some other "miracle" drug in place of it, I imagine things could really get that deadly in the end as everyone scrambles to control it. However, putting the corruption aspect aside, what truly makes Working Stiff such an incredible read is the depth of emotion in the characters. Somehow they are still able to form real connections, despite the extreme paranoia and lack of trust. What should have been survival of the fittest, with an every man for themselves mentality, became shaky alliances and then steadily into something a little more. By choosing to trust one another in the unbearable situations, they proved their humanity and truly solidified my attachment.Working Stiff took off with a bang and never once slowed down. Typically a book takes a little while to really gain the reader's interest and attachment to the characters, but in Working Stiff, I found myself captivated from almost the very start. There was plenty of action, with even the slower parts being full of danger, suspense and paranoia. I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like this book, but I absolutely loved it. In fact, Working Stiff may just be Rachel Caine's best work yet, and trust me that is saying something. As soon as I finished it I was already looking for more, and I simply cannot wait to see what happens next. If you are looking for a fast paced read full of action and danger to keep you more than entertained, the Working Stiff is perfect for you.

  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    2019-06-12 09:00

    So far I have largely avoided the trend for all things zombie and perhaps that's why I overlooked the imminent release of Working Stiff, the first in a brand new series named Revivalist by Rachel Caine. I was a huge fan of her Weather Warden series so when I ran across the description of this novel I put aside my natural aversion to shambling mindless brain eaters and added it to my TBR. I figured that Caine might be the author to change my mind and convince me zombies had a place on my reading list.Bryn is ex military and starting her civilian life as a funeral director. I like what we learn about her, she is smart, considered and strong but Bryn's first day does not go well. A teenage girl mourning her father commits suicide in the bathroom, the morgue attendant attempts to molest her, a gunman is roaming the halls and then she is murdered by her boss when she stumbles upon his nasty secret, an illicit trade in a drug called Returne that reanimates a deceased person and can keep them alive indefinitely as long as they continue to inject it. Hoping that Bryn can answer some questions, Patrick McCallister authorises the use of Returne to revive her and Bryn discovers she is now a pawn in the corrupt machinery of Pharmadene, the developer of the drug. The actual idea of this drug is almost too horrifying to contemplate, and Caine instigates some twists that make it a particularly terrifying prospect. Unless Bryn receives her daily dose, for example, her body will begin to deteriorate while her mind will remain intact. Caine's description of the process isn't too graphic but my imagination shudders at the idea of slipping skin and leaking fluids. Really though, it's the emotional implications of Bryn's new status which gives her character an edge. Caine is quite brutal in exposing the issues Bryn now has to struggle with including the loss of her identity and ability to make life choices. Bryn is constantly under pressure, and the result is a raw, gritty intensity that provides depth to her character. McCallister is the rich, mysterious, Alpha hero with all the appeal that implies but the developing romance is slightly awkward, after all Bryn is technically dead and McCallister is an ordinary human. If you can get past the connotation of necrophilia, then the partnership is actually fairly standard for the genre. Patrick is a little too dominant for my tastes but Caine does hint at emotional depths that I am sure will be revealed as the series progresses.To be honest, zombies still creep me out but Rachel Caine has convinced me that Working Stiff is the start of an entertaining and exciting new series. This is a fast paced, action packed story with a strong premise and interesting characters and I am sure its going to quickly find a fan base amongst urban fantasy readers looking for something a little different. I'm looking forward to the next one already.