Working Stiff (Revivalist #1) - Rachel Caine
Grade: Adult - UF
Rating: 5/5 stars
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 clientele as part of an extortion racket. Now, Bryn faces being terminated--literally, and with extreme prejudice.
With the help 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... (Description from Goodreads)
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The blurb for 'Working Stiff' does not do it justice. When I read that there was a drug that resurrects the dead, images of zombies and brains for dinner flashed across my mind. I've never really jumped on the zombie bandwagon, but I'm a big fan of Rachel Caine's 'Morganville' series and really wanted to see what her new adult series was like. Oh, My God. I ADORED 'Working Stiff'; it wasn't at all what I was expecting (no eating brains, which is always a positive in my books). If I hadn't needed to sleep a few times, I wouldn't have put the book down.
Pharmaceutical company, Pharmadene, has created a wonder drug (Returné) that brings people back from the dead. There is a problem though, someone from the company is secretly supply Fairview Mortuary with Returné, and they are reviving their clients. This is where the idea of Zombies started crossing my mind, but the drug doesn't turn dead people into mindless beings. Returné is not a one time only shot. If you start taking it, you're taking it for life; literally. Without a booster shot every day, you run the risk of slowly decomposing within 4-6 days. Revived beings depend upon Pharmadene's drug to survive. Luckily the drug makes you relatively indestructible; there's always a plus side to being dead. It's a sort of gross but cool reality, in terms of excitement and emotional pull in the book. In a way 'Working Stiff' is like a paranormal-zombie sci-fi book with the potential to turn into a dystopia if the Pharmadene finds a way to use Returné to rule the world.
Leading lady, Bryn Davis, brings excitement, mystery and so much emotion to the story. I was a little wary at first, I wasn't sure what to expect from the ex-military-turned-funeral-director; but I loved her almost immediately. What I enjoyed about Bryn was that she didn't just accept everything new happening around her. It's not easy to be thrown into a crazy world where people come back from the dead, and she reacts in perfectly normal ways, like having emotional break-downs. I also really liked that she has a dog, Mr. French. You don't see a lot of books where characters have pets, and it made me love Bryn just a little bit more for having a dog that she made sure to check on, even when she's in shock beyond anything you could imagine.
You can't help getting caught up in the events. You're on the edge of your seat trying to work out who the mysterious supplier is, wondering how Pharmadene grew into such a large facility full of paranoid employees and extreme security systems; and hoping Bryn and McCallister will finally get a few minutes alone so they can admit their feelings for each other.
I loved 'Working Stiff', can't wait to see what happens next.
Originally posted on Goodreads