Addiction that may leave you rotting, literally
Title: Working Stiff
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison and Busby
My ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Bryn Davis is having a truly horrid first day at work. Her makeup is incorrect, her shoes are pinching and she feels out of place in her new dress suit at Fairview Mortuary. Her new employer seems creepy and to top it all off she is killed. Yes, she is killed when she discovers that the owner is selling a a drug Re t urne, which brings the dead back to life as long as they being given a dose, they will live another day. If the supply is cut off, they simply rot away. In the mayhem, in which Bryn died, she is Revived back, using the same drug to get more information about the circumstances of her death When they realise she doesn't know much she is used as an undercover person to find the person who was the supplier of this dangerous drug, smuggling from it's manufacturers Pharmadene.
The worst part of it is that it never stops. Death keeps coming. We get older; we get tired; we get sad and lonely because nobody understands what we do or why we do it. Police firemen, they're heroes. Us, we're pariahs. and everyday, there are more bodies.".”
Working Stiff turned out to be an excellent start to a new Urban Fantasy series. It started off slowly but once the plot began there was no going back. I was sucked right into the story. I loved Bryn. She is not your usual UF heroine, she is a normal girl from a small town, just out of the army and want to start living a normal life. That's what I loved about her. She does not try to be a smart ass to try to be sarcastic, she was very real and felt grounded. I could relate to her feelings and what she was going thought from dying and being brought back to life. She made mistakes on the way but she learnt from them . She was learning to cope, to deal with her 'addiction' which was her greatest strength and her greatest weakness too.
" Bryn's first embalming instructor had told her, straight up, that two kinds of people enter the death business: freaks and true believers.”
She was not your girly girl but she was not butch either. She was a fighter and she would do down fighting to the very end.
The side characters used added so much flavour to the story. I loved Liam, Joe Fideli, Kyle, Pansy, and Manny the paranoid genius scientist who is all fairness should be locked up. I adored Mr. French ( her bulldog) too, who will her little animal antiques cheered Bryn up when she felt down.
"Everybody's dying Bryn. You're just maintaining it better than most people - that's all."
"You can't actually believe that."
"I do," he said."I believed it from the moment I saw you wake up. I knew you were a fighter. I knew you'd break my heart.”
But most of all, I am really curious of Patrick McCallister. He is a mystery. He is introduced as Joe Fedeli's boss who had ordered Bryn's Revival. He is stoic, guarded, quiet , expressionless corporate puppet. But as you read more, you learn more about him and everything is not what meets the eye. I really enjoyed learning more and more about the enigma that was Patrick McCallister.
"You saw; she could still feel-"His voice turned fierce. "I wont' let it happen. I will never let you suffer. Bryn. Believe that even if you never believe anything else about me.”
I particularly liked this book for not only being a great start to a very promising Urban Fantasy series but for also being a breath of fresh air in the saturated urban fantasy world which is full of vampire, werewolves, steam punk and even dystopia. It's not even an Urban Fantasy to be precise it's more of Sci Fi. It did borrow some ideas f rom zombie's but the Revived don't crave brains or simply try to eat you.The idea behind it all is terrifying and I have to add the book is not from the faint hearted. It contains a good amount of gore and blood. Caine does not hesitate in describing how you slowly rot away if you are denied a dose of Returne. In fact it is quite gritty and dark once you look past the action.
Oh, God, she felt a sudden flush of heat, one that transmitted directly from the warmed area on her neck down though her body to pool...lower. He was right up against her, his chest brushing hers, and she felt the tension in his hands as he continued to hold her. Instead of pulling back, he stayed where he was, as if he had more to say.
But he didn't. .”
I really enjoyed this book at lot and after the ending I can't wait for the second book. I had never read Rachel Caine before and now I'm kicking myself for not having done so before. I would recommned to all Urban Fantasy fans who are bored by the vampire and werewolf books and want something new to go pick this book up. Right now.
"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. ”