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Working Stiff

(Revivalist #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  4,658 ratings  ·  658 reviews
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, and with extreme prejudice.

With the help of corporate double-agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has
Mass Market Paperback, 306 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Roc (first published July 27th 2011)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  4,658 ratings  ·  658 reviews

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There are some kindred spirits working at TNT/TBS/USA who choose which movies to show regularly on the weekends. It's like they somehow know that I will ALWAYS watch Overboard, What About Bob?, Hook, Father of the Bride, and about a billion other movies--and there must be tons more people just like me that regularly think about dressing up as Bob Wiley for Halloween every year because why else would they keep showing the same movies unless people are watching them? Death Becomes Her, which you m ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I always find it especially hard to review urban fantasy books. I read them, I usually enjoy them, I spend a total of three minutes thinking about them, and after that, there’s really not much to say. But this book and its author Rachel Caine, who in all honesty hasn’t failed me yet, deserve my best effort.

This isn’t my first book by Rachel Caine. I loved her Weather Warden series (at least the first three books that I’ve read so far) and I still moderately enjoy her Morganville Vampires. My ex
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, dnf
Starts very well - morbid, entertaining, fast-paced, with an interesting zombie twist.

Then gradually becomes dull. This book is not UF, but rather a mystery, but as such has nothing to offer in terms of paranormal. The heroine is humorless, with a very unconvincing military background and remains rather vanilla throughout the story, and her love interest has no charisma.

I need my UF to be more fun and have spunkier characters.
I am incredibly impressed to see Rachel Caine offer such a different type of story than her other two UF series, Weather Warden and Outcast Season. Faintly skeezed out, to be honest, but impressed. I was surprised to see Caine dip her toe into the zombie genre, but I willingly followed, based on past success with her writing style. I wasn’t disappointed, but I was surprised. I knew this would be about zombies, but I thought the heroine’s role would be different based on the vague back cover summ ...more
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
OKAY! So I'm not as objective as I could be, because I know the author (But ONLY because I love her work, we connected over Twitter because I'm a fangirl, haha). Any Rachel Caine book has good stuff for me, but to be honest, I didn't really wanna read this book because I HATE ZOMBIES and whenever I see a book with zombies I immediately think of how bad they'd smell and then don't read. HOWEVER this book deals with the "undead" in a much more interesting, scientific way that I really enjoyed! It' ...more
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, keeper
There's something about an underdog that gets people rooting for them, those team or person whom you cheer for to beat the odds and win the gold or have their Happy Ever After with sparkles and fireworks and for me Bryn Davis fit that bill.

Bryn won me over quickly with her everyday working girl,normal person just trying to do her job and the normal family drama we all deal with. Bryn could have been any one of us and for me that was very appealing and made me connect on a early on with her as
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to AH by: Catherine
A fresh take on zombies. No eating of brains occurs in this book.

My first impressions of this book were that it was different from most of the urban fantasy books I’ve read. Different, in a good way. Working Stiff is a completely new take on zombies, a far more sinister take than the usual fare.

The premise seems straight out of those medical conspiracy thrillers with Big Pharma as the evil bad guys. Paranoid, secretive characters and evil henchmen round out the cast.

A large pharmaceutical com
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
It's hard to decide what to think when it comes to a book with pretty great idea, but stops there. I spent the whole book waiting for that something on the next page that would push it past that line.

After four years as a soldier, Bryn takes a job as a funeral director and experiences the worse first day in anyone's life. The back-room macabre business of Fairview Mortuary turns out to be deadly for its new funeral director.
All throughout the book I felt sorry for Bryn. It doesn't help the book
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
3.5 to 4 Stars

I wasn't loving this at first, it felt different than her other books that I've read but around the 30% mark that all changed and this became more classic Rachel Caine. In fact, I really liked it and will be continuing the series.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
(4.5 stars) Rachel Caine’s Working Stiff is technically a zombie novel, but it’s not your typical zombie novel. It’s not your typical urban fantasy, either. In fact, it might be more properly termed urban soft science fiction, as the zombifying agent is a nanotech drug rather than magic. But whatever you call it, it’s an excellent book that has me kicking myself for not having tried Caine’s novels before (I’d only read her short story “Death Warmed Over”).

Bryn Davis is one of the most relatable
Sep 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Talk about rigor mortis. What a chore this book was to read.

Bryn Davis is an ex-military newly licensed mortician who stumbles upon the black market dealings of her employer. Turns out her boss sells more than death's accessories but a drug for an afterlife. Reanimation is all but impossible and Bryn is going to find out first hand as she's thrown into a second life filled with corporate espionage and dependent on finding the back ally dealer suppling the stolen drugs.

This whole book was stiff
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-favorites
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers:
For twenty-six year old army veteran Bryn Davis, the first day at a new job in a new career is a frightening but exciting prospect. Armed with the best outfit she can afford and a box of freshly minted business cards, Bryn starts her first day as Funeral Director at Fairview Mortuary with the aim to impress her new boss, Mr. Fairview, with her personability and professionalism. Unfortunately for Bryn, things quick
*Rating* B-
*Genre* Urban Fantasy


Having read the entire Weather Warden series, as well as the Morganville Vampires YA series by Ms. Caine, I really didn't have much hesitation in starting Working Stiff, the first book in the Revivalist series.

Caine’s main protagonist is Bryn Davis a 26 year old Iraq war veteran who isn’t afraid of dead bodies. Let me stop here for a minute and say to those that have served or are still serving in that country; thank you very much for your service, your d
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My sister is a big fan of Rachel Caine and introduced me to her work through the Morganville Vampires series. Whilst I did enjoy the books, I wasn’t as crazy about them as my sister. I believe I was more open to the flaws, aware of the parallels to other young adult vampire novels. As a whole, I enjoyed them and was willing to try other Rachel Caine books. Thus, when I saw the Revivalist series going cheap I was willing to dive in.

The Revivalist series is different to the Morganville Vampire ser
Maria V. Snyder
Aug 21, 2011 rated it liked it
The premise for this novel sounded intriguing and it's written by Rachel Caine, so reading this was a no brainer for me :) I liked the world and the supporting characters were cool, but I had some problems with the main character, Brin. She had such potential, but there isn't enough plot to really show what she can do, and she's very passive throughout the book. Lots of things happen to her, but rarely does she initiate anything - the plot problems are solved by others. She does get pro-active a ...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

From page one, WORKING STIFF was a wonderful surprise. I did not expect to fall in love with the heroine so quickly; Bryn's careful, quiet personality is so winning and fierce I was captivated. She has a life and a job history prior to working at the funeral home, and that made her all the more human and interesting. This rapport with Bryn is the gateway into her world, and gives emotional heft to the rest of the story.

And oh, what a story. So many fami
Christine (KizzieReads)
I loved this! The premise of this story is nothing that I've read before. I've read a few zombie books, but not like this. I loved all the twists and turns at the end. The writing was engaging and the story was fast paced. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. But I have to say, what a very bad first day on the job!! LOL ...more
Working Stiff

The Characters

Bryn Davis
Patrick McCallister

The Story

There is so much going on in this story. It all starts when Bryn is caught up in a crazy scheme and ends up being ugh…. less than alive. Like a lot less. Like really she’s dead and being revived by a drug. A drug that’s causing a lot of problems. Problems Bryn has to clean up. Of course that is never an easy task.

This was an excellent read (er.. listen). The narrator was great. The story itself was excellent.
Christen (GoldiloxReads)
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"There were so many layers of reality to the world. Nothing stopped for death; nothing stopped for grief or horror or tragedy."

Working Stiff is the first in Rachel Caine's new Revivalist series. Prior to this, I had only been exposed to Caine's writing through the first in her Weather Wardens series, which I had mixed feelings about. After reading Working Stiff I'm ready to dive into anything she's written! I really really liked this book! I really don't know how to classify it though. I think
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was one of those extremely gripping and chilling conspiracy thrillers with excellent characters, pace and world-building. Why then 4 stars and not higher? you would ask.

To put it simply, I'm squeamish. I love zombie novels, but my perfect zombie is someone who I can kill away as a mindless monster. You know, like in Zombieland?

Bryn, the main character, dies on her first day at a new job as a funeral director simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her boss is selling this new
Jessica  `~Blahyze~`
This book was a bit of a surprise, not really what I was expecting, in a good way. One of the more original storylines I have come across in a while. What I really loved about this book was the way Bryn the female lead character was written, she has spunk and is tough. I really liked the sassy way she handled sleazy jerk Freddy coming onto her;

“Bryn was shaken, not that she’d let him see it. “Take no for an answer. Freddy. You ought to know the word by now. I’m sure you hear it enough.”

“Ouch.” H

Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Thought
Not your "classic" zombies but still an interesting concept.

Why I Listen
I've had Working Stiff on my TBR since it's release day and after listening to a sample of the audio, the narration sounded like one I would enjoy. And I was right. The story and narration both kept me entertain. Julia Whelan get a great job with the voices and timing of the narration. I've already purchased the next book on audio.

The Story
Bryn Davis has the worst first day on a job ever.... She dies and then c
Jan 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Strangely I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I am a huge fan of Ms.Caine works. I’ve read all of her series and enjoyed them immensely.

But “Working stiff” was not to her usual standards. Her style and ability to tell a story was still excellent, but this time the story was lacking compelling characters.

I can’t help to compare Bryn with other Ms.Caine heroines. Bryn wasn’t a badass as Joanne. I hated that she had her ass kicked all book long. She was in the army for four yea
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what to think about this book. I finished it a couple of days ago and I still can't decide whether or not I love it or hate it, so I've decided it's somewhere in between and those usually turn out to be the best books in my experience.

This book alternated between riveting my attention to the page and creeping me the hell out. There were spots in this book where I couldn't NOT turn the page to find out what happened next! But there was a definite 'ick' factor to the book.

Bottom lin
Pam Nelson
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting beginning to what I can only assume will be an outstanding series.
I really liked Bryn and did NOT see that coming like at all. The sudden demise of over half the characters was a shock but in a good way. I know that sounds odd and it is but this book is that interesting.
Patrick, Joe and Bryn I think of as the three amigos. They are in it together like its them against the man. The paranoid guy and his girl are interesting I hope to see more of them in the books to follow.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
First I would classify this book more as a Sci-Fi Thriller than a Paranormal Book. I think the labeling of this book as a "zombie" book is inaccurate and here is why...The main character Bryn is killed and brought back to life by a new wonder drug called Returne. This drug can restore a dead person to life but of course there is a catch and that is the person must receive a daily dose of the drug in order to maintain the facade of a normal functioning human being. Without the drug the body begin ...more
Jul 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, sci-fi
Interestingly, I have not yet read any of Ms. Caine’s popular novels from the Weather Warden or Morganville Vampires series, aside from encounters through short story compilations. So this was my first venture into Ms. Caine’s works.

This novel, book #1 of the Revivalist series, featured heroine Bryn Davis, who died on her first day of her job as a funeral director as a result of discovering the dark secrets that her new boss was brewing in the morgue of the funeral home where she worked. Upon be
Kayleigh {K-Books}
I really don't know where to start with this review. Working Stiff is definitely not what I expected it to be and most of the way through the book I couldn't decide whether this was a good thing or a bad thing.

Bryn thinks getting a job at Fairview Mortuary will be a positive thing on her life. The job is stable and it has a decent wage. What she doesn't count on is there being a big secret behind the Mortuary and she finds herself smack down in the middle of it which could be dangerous for her.
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 li ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-are
So far I have largely avoided the trend for all things zombie and perhaps that's why I overlooked the imminent release of Working Stiff, the first in a brand new series named Revivalist by Rachel Caine. I was a huge fan of her Weather Warden series so when I ran across the description of this novel I put aside my natural aversion to shambling mindless brain eaters and added it to my TBR. I figured that Caine might be the author to change my mind and convince me zombies had a place on my reading ...more
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