Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Patient Readers Wanted

Working Stiff: A Revivalist NovelWorking Stiff
Book #1

Let me preface by saying that I did end up liking this book. However, it was a struggle getting to that point, because I really did want to give up a few times along the way. This is indeed a long 320pg read, due to its many editing and flow issues, not because it was a little gruesome and dark (which it is-->Zombie Book). With that said here are my thoughts on this book.

Not what I expected from favorite author, Caine. A story about a young female ex-vet who chooses a career in funeral directing seemed interesting, but with a slow start that dragged on way too long, without hint of a twist or surprise, this one definitely didn't grab me. I was left wondering through most of the beginning, whether this was actually UF or just some sleepy chick-lit fiction sans the humor.

Unlike most of her other books, this one is written in 3rd POV, which is fine but still a little weird for UF. However, at one point in the book, there is a marked switch in voice, which I assumed is just a mistake. I probably wouldn't have kept reading if it weren't for the author's name. It felt like it took forever to drudge through and wait for something of interest to occur. When something does end up happening, the book still remained a little somber, depressing, & slow, tempered with bursts of action throughout. There is definite flow issues in this book.

I love Caine's work, but this book is either in dire need of a good editor or a complete rewrite. Slow & inconsistent pacing, mediocre writing, & a somber tone (which was not extremely edgy or dark), I don't know what happened, but this could have been so much better. Some may view this book as having more of a gradual dramatic build, than being depressively slow. And I agree that not all books have to be non-stop UF action rides, but if you are going to give me slow & somber, at least make it meaningful. I think with a bit more humor thrown in to break up the constant somber dread that loomed over this book and some really good editing, this book could have really shined. As it was, the only comic relief came from the uber paranoid scientist Manny, and it may have just been unintentional.

Taken alone, the zombie story itself was quite interesting and different, once I finally reached that point in the book. I also didn’t mind that the protagonist seemed, in other people’s opinions, to have acted out of character to her military training. She was after all working in Supply, not Special Forces. The climax and ending made me glad that I stuck with it until the end. I hope the next book addresses the issues I saw with this one. If so, I would gladly pick up another book in this series. I recommend this book to very patient readers, who don't mind a little a violence and gruesomeness.

There are currently many other good zombie reads that I would recommend over this one. For humor, check out My Life as A White Trash Zombie, and for something more serious, Mira Grant's  Newsflesh series or Littlefield's Aftertime books. And of course the Steampunk sub-genre, which is steadily growing in popularity with UF readers, also tends to have a lot of zombie content.

-Life is too Short to Read a Bad Book-


  1. I loved White trash zombie!!,
    I have been wondering about this one by Rachel Caine. I really liked her Weather Warden Series.
    I will probably still check this out.

  2. It's not a bad book by any stretch, it's just poorly edited and really depressing. I'm also not the most patient of readers, so others may think this is 5 star read. Not sure if they are fake reviews, but other have reported that they believe that this is a fast paced action book.

    While there were parts that were, it was definitely lacked consistency, in regards to pace.

    Have you heard of Pay Me in Flesh? I have a feeling it's along the same lines as White Trash Zombie. I'm hoping to grab the ebook soon to check it out.

  3. I haven't, let me know what you think when you do get around to it. If its any like the WTZ, then I will for sure check it out.