Working Stiff was a great reprieve from the stereotypical zombie story. Rachel Caine creates a very dynamic universe that is full of unexpected twists and turns.
A typical first day at a new job turns horribly wrong for Bryn. Her new career in the mortuary field is cut short when she accidently walks into a drug dealing scheme. She is brought back to life by Pharmadene employees as a way to gather more information on who stole the drug Returne and what they are trying to do with it on the black market. But working for Pharmadene isn’t so easy. There are lies, cover-ups, and the constant threat of having the drug taken away from Bryn. Not to mention Returne also creates some unexpected protocols in people where they can be extremely susceptible to obeying orders. The story becomes more and more of a thriller where Bryn has to find her handlers and stop Harte from taking over the world.
I will be honest; I’m not always into the whole zombie fandom. I quite frankly find it a little boring. It’s so seldom you find a smart zombie or the use voodoo zombies (which I think is actually quite interesting). If it wasn’t the fact this book was a Rachel Caine book, I might have missed the book. But I love how the book has a humor about the and even tried to play itself off as ‘please don’t turn into just another zombie looking for brains.’
I loved the universe this book was set in. You got so involved in the setting and could see the mortuary in your head and a cheap apartment that Bryn was living in. But the tech was slightly more evolved. It’s something that could stand in time for at least a brief period of time without dating itself the way things like Robocop and the Jetsons did.
I also liked the characters a lot in this book. Bryn was great since she had a realistic balance. She could be strong but there were times when she was weak and she could get freaked out by the circumstances she was in. Then there was Pat McCallister. He was nuance and could go from sleezy to sexy to I can handle anything in a minute. Plus the supporting cast was well used. No one was introduced and then dropped off the face of the world.
My biggest gripe about this book is the fact it lacked transitions. The book would go from event to even to event. Little time to digest or really slow the book. The transition time could be as simple as a “it was a long night.” In the end this is minor problem. Since everything else was well done and I love fast paced books. It wasn’t something that made me want to weep at missed opportunities for greatness. Instead this is my more nit-picky comment.