Working Stiff (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Working Stiff by Rachel Caine
Revivalist #1

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) 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..

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.

(Received copy from publisher)


Pre-order from Amazon:
Working Stiff: A Revivalist Novel

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Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
Horror and Urban Fantasy


  1. I love how the description says terminate with prejudice which is a very accurate choice of words but I find it interesting lingo. Fab review :)

  2. Ahhh! You know how happy I am that you loved this book, right? If you loved it, I will love it. WOOT!

  3. @Alexis Thank you!

    @Smash Hey Book Twin.. I can't wait to see what you think! :-)


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