I’m a big fan of Rachel Caine, especially in her beginning books. I loved the Weather Warden series at the beginning and same thing with Morganville Vamps, after a while I stopped loving them as much but still thought they were great reads and enjoyable. So when I found out she had a new series coming out I was super excited. I love the beginnings (lets face it when a series that you like ends you kind of dread reading that last chapter). As stated in the previous book review, I am trying to open myself up more to genre as a whole including the zombie/horror subgenre. I bought this book after I already started Strange Angels, and figured this would be the perfect follow up, if anyone could make me enjoy a book about zombies, it would be Rachel Caine.
The thing I love about paranormal books is that the author really gets to make the rules. I can’t tell you how many times I have picked up a book about vampires and found that they all kind of have the same general idea but the differences in one authors version of a vampire to another is sometimes drastic. So as far as zombies go, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I love Caine’s interpretation of it. Bryn being a zombie never really grossed me out the way zombies in general do, and she didn’t gross me out because Caine didn’t make her some creepy crawly thing that goes bump in the night. Instead Bryn is still the same person she always was, just with a daily injection to maintain her in “living” status, along with a couple other surprises about her condition that go along with the plot. Even so, Bryn is just a person, her thoughts and feelings are the same as they were before she was murdered and brought back to life.
Another thing I like about the book is it “big bad” if you will is totally believable especially this day in age. There is a pharmaceutical company out to cure cancer and instead “cures” death (as long as you get your daily injection that is). While companies like these are responsible for most if not all of the drug advancements out there, it’s easy to see them as the bad guy because let’s face it they are all about the profit margin. And the company in Caine’s book takes that concept to the extreme, image what a company could do or control with a drug like this and you have a slight idea of how this book goes. In the end the bad guys in any book or story are all about getting power, and this book is no different. What makes this interesting for me though is that I can believe a company like this could be a bad guy in the world I live in. In most paranormal fantasy books I can’t imagine a rogue werewolf faction showing up in my community and wrecking havoc. Making the bad guy believable in the real world was great and intriguing.
As for the characters for the most part I liked them, particularly the main characters. Bryn is trying to find her way in a situation that can only be described as F-ed up, and suddenly she has to handlers if you will to keep her together, alive, and on the right path. Joe is much more likable right from the start, he’s as open as her can be and friendly, he puts Bryn at ease which in turn allowed me to get to know Bryn better as I was reading. Patrick on the other hand is more stand offish, there is clearly more going on with him than meets the eye, and while some insight is given as the book progresses, I have a feeling that a lot more will be revealed as the series goes on. Thankfully the book isn’t all serious, or completely go go go, in fact there were some amusing moments in there where the characters felt more real and in a way became more dynamic because of that. This was particularly true in one scene with Patrick and his “butler”, Liam, joking about how he was Alfred, and how Liam would be willing to search the lower levels to see if there was a Batcave somewhere.
In the end I was very pleased with this book. The novel didn’t end on some huge unsatisfying cliff hanger, but left it open enough for the reader to have an idea of where the next in the series was going to start. I’m looking forward for the next book to come out.