This review is for the audiobook version of Working Stiff by Rachel Caine, the first in the Revivalist series. Bryn Davis was killed on her first day at her new job as a funeral director after discovering that her new boss was selling a black market drug that could bring the dead back to life. After receiving a dose of the top secret drug she joins forces with the team trying to keep it out of the wrong hands. There’s the expected skulking around, spy games, danger, and daring-do. The romance was kind of shoehorned in at the end, after a lot of being confused by and annoyed with each other they pledge to be together forever? I wasn’t sure we needed that at the end of the first book in a series. Leaving the relationship less certain might make for a more interesting sequel (which I haven’t read, so maybe they’ll break up, despite the fact that she needs him to live?)
On its surface, this is a zombie book, but this zombie can feel think and seems normal; however she requires a daily dose of a highly controlled, expensive drug to keep Bryn from decaying (which she would experience while conscious) which is even bleaker than usual for a zombie story. She is faced with her eventual fate, and her own mortality repeatedly through the book. While it was written and performed well, the subject matter is considerably heavier than I would expect from this author or genre (or the cover!).
I would listen to the next book in the series if it was available from my local library systems, but wouldn’t pay for it.