Monthly Archives: April 2014

Two Week’s Notice

This is a review of “Two Week’s Notice” by Rachel Caine. It is the second novel in the Revivalist Series. It follows on from “Working Stiff“.

As this book is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers.

Bryn Davis is one of the Revived. That is, she was dead until she was brought back to life through the drug Returnè. She’s alive but not. More like a zombie. Dead, and then brought back. Little robotic nanites live in her system, constantly repairing her body and keeping it from decaying, and repairing any other damage she may sustain. But to do this, they require the daily shot of Returnè. Essentially Bryn is an addict, and she really can’t go more than 24hours without her fix.

And she’s not the only one. In the wake of the Pharmadene disaster that befell employees in “Working Stiff“, there are a number of dead(-but-not-quite) people who are not quite sure how to adjust to life as a revived person. Bryn has been unofficially helping them out, forming a support group, and talking them through tough situations (“how do I tell my family that I am a … y’know … zombie?”). But when Bryn notices that a few too many of the Revived have been falling out of touch and essentially disappearing, she can’t help but wonder if Pharmadene or the Government is responsible for trying to clean up their mess.

Bryn’s Revived sister Annie, is still missing herself and this is worrying Bryn to no end. With the help of the spunky Patrick McAllister and their friend Joe Fidelli, Bryn sets out to find her sister and get to the bottom of the missing Pharmadene employees. It goes without saying that Bryn’s probably going to be in for a whole lot of hurt.

As with “Working Stiff” (and indeed any Rachel Caine novel I have ever read) I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and premise of this novel. It was interesting, gruesome, horrifying and at times touching. There was a huge twist at the end that I really didn’t see coming.

I am definitely looking forward to reading the third and final installment, the ominously titled “Terminated”.

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Working Stiff

This is a review of “Working Stiff” by Rachel Caine. It is the first novel in the Revivalist Series.

Bryn Davis has just started her first day at work at a funeral home. It’s her dream job, and she’s so happy that all of her hard work has paid off. She’s excited and she’s very keen to get down to business and show her new boss what she can do.

She has the worst first day on the job ever. The absolute worst. Not only does tragedy strike, but she also uncovers a secret that her boss really wants to stay hidden. He’s a drug dealer. But he’s most definitely not your run-of-the-mill dealer. Oh no. He’s in the business of dealing with death, and the drug he’s got to peddle is a very special one.

Brynn is backed into a corner and involuntarily becomes addicted to the drug. Once you start taking it, you’ve got to continue. The alternative is death. Slow and horrible and all too inevitable. She’s been approached by Pharmadene the original developers and producers of the drug. They wish to find out how the drug is leaving their hands. They believe that Bryn is the ideal agent for them to utilize. They agree to provide her with the drug she desperately needs in return for her help in solving their leak.

I really enjoyed this novel. I love Rachel Caine’s writing style and her other series. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this series and this protagonist, but I really enjoyed this novel and Bryn’s character. I was engrossed (and a little grossed out) right from the beginning of this novel. I look forward to completing this series.

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Vampire Academy

This is a review of “Vampire Academy” by Richelle Mead. It is the first novel in the Vampire Academy Series.

I read this series years ago, and loved it then. As this novel has been recently turned into a film, I decided to re-read the series, and review them.

Rose Hathaway is a teenage dhampir. She’s a sort of half vampire. There are Moroi, good magic-wielding vampires. They still need blood to survive, but they never kill for it, and they not immortal. With only an aversion to sunlight, they’re not that different, just a bit taller and more ethereal than the average joe. When they have children with other Moroi, they produce Moroi children. When they have children with dhampirs or humans, they produce dhampirs. Dhampirs are sturdy and strong. They’re fitter than humans and hardier than the Moroi. This makes them the ideal candidates to be trained to guard the Moroi. And they do need guarding. Because there are other vampires, and they’re far from good.

Strigoi are the undead. They are evil vampires that are immortal, but have lost all sense of morality and survive only to kill and cause suffering. Their favourite prey is Moroi, but they’ll happily kill dhampirs and humans to survive. They can’t go out during the day, and ultimately they’re the reason why Moroi need their dhampir guardians. Rose was training to become such a one. That is until she and her best friend Lissa (Moroi Princess Vasilisa) decided to leave their school St Vladimir’s Academy, and live out in the human world, on the run.

But they’ve been located by the school’s guardians, and it’s back to St Vladimir’s. The girls are in trouble and they’re not telling why they left in the first place. Lissa is yet to specialise in her elemental magic. Moroi teens usually manifest their magic by having particular skill and aptitude with one element. Even though Lissa seems behind in her magic use, she’s developed other useful skills. Skills nobody else seems to have…

Rose is back into her hardcore guardian training, but she’s missed so much. This has led to her having to undertake extra classes with top notch (and pretty hot) guardian Dimitri Belikov. When strange and sinister things start to happen around Lissa again, will Rose be up to par with her guardian skills? Will she be able to protect her?

I enjoyed this book the first time around, and I enjoyed reading it again now. It didn’t matter that I’m a few years older than I was, it’s still a good, entertaining book. I love the friendship and devotion that Rose and Lissa share. They truly value one another and go to great pains for each other. I also like Rose’s interesting love-predicament. I love the way Mead tackles issues like mental health in her YA novels. She provides insight into what it’s like to suffer from a problem that not many people are willing to openly discuss. I look forward to seeing the movie adaptation of this book.

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