Author:Â Rachel Caine
Unique Elements:Â Reanimation, zombies, torture, and medical experimentation
Series:Â Revivalist (Book #2)
Release Date:Â August 2, 2011
Number of Page:Â 304 Pages
MSRP:Â $7.99 (Paperback)
Discount Link:Â Click Here
Website:Â Click Here
Reviewed by: M. Anne DeLeeuw
Final Score:Â 3.5 Moons (out of 5)
Two Weeks Notice is the second book in the Revivalist Series by Rachel Caine.
At the end of Working Stiff, funeral director Brynn Davis, along with compatriots Patrick McAllister (former Marine), and Joe Fideli (all-around badass/family man,) took down Pharmadene executive Irene Hart, who was using both murder and the companyâ€™s drug ReturnÃ© in the ultimate corporate loyalty scheme. The FBI took over Pharmadene, and put Brynn on their payroll.
In Two Weeks Notice, Brynnâ€™s newly-christened Davis Funeral Home is doing good business, her connection with the FBI ensures her a supply of her daily ReturnÃ© shots, and sheâ€™s started a support group for the revived who still remain and are trying to put the pieces of their lives together. The only dark spot on her relatively bright horizon is the fact that Mercer, the creator of ReturnÃ©, and his henchman Fast Freddy, the former mortician of the Fairbanks Funeral Home, have kidnapped Brynnâ€™s sister Annalie, and Brynn is determined to get her back. But her determination distracts her from the real trouble â€“ the members of her support group are slowly and quietly disappearing.
Two Weeks Notice starts off slowly. Very, very slowly. The plot of the first book is rehashed, and the state of all the characters slowly plods along. It seems to take about a third of the book until the action finally starts up. But, once things finally get going, it becomes a real page-turner. While I found Working Stiff very predictable, there are several huge plot twists inÂ Two Weeks Notice that I definitely did not see coming. Although, at the very end of the novel, there is even less of a resolution than there was at the end of the first movie, and yet again it is left open for the third book.
I suppose that taking up a lot of a bookâ€™s beginning by explaining the plot of the previous one is a sort of â€œsix of one, half-dozen of the otherâ€ kind of situation. On the one hand, if a reader hasnâ€™t read the first book or has waited a long time to read the second one, it is a good thing that the previous story has been summarized so that the reader can keep up. But on the other hand, I found myself really bored for a really good chunk of the book. In fact, if I hadnâ€™t had this review to write, I might have stopped reading altogether.
At the end of Working Stiff, it was implied, I thought, that Brynn and Patrickâ€™s relationship had reached its inevitable physical conclusion. But a few pages into Two Weeks Notice, it was revealed that even though Brynn had moved into Patrickâ€™s mansion, she was very reluctant to consummate their relationship. Patrick, being the perfect man, would, of course, never take advantage of Brynn, so their sex life (or lack thereof) rests on Brynnâ€™s very indecisive shoulders. I figured that this was a ploy to increase the sexual tension between the two of them, but I canâ€™t say that I ever really felt any. Since Rachel Caine started out as a romance novelist, the more likely scenario was that she just wanted to write a really good sex scene. And I will grant her that once the sex scene finally comes, (pun intended) it is a good one. However, the scene happens after a particularly stressful time for both of them, and given the fact that they have more than enough opportunities to have â€œstressed out sex,â€ Iâ€™m surprised that they havenâ€™t been going at it like rabbits.
There is one character, however, who is introduced later on in the book and who adds a really amazing dynamic. In the previous book, Patrick reveals a dark part of his past to Brynn, in the form of his serial killer brother. But he neglected to mention anther equally disturbed person who was also an important part of his life. Patrick thought that this person was dead but, as youâ€™d expect, they only used to be. This character, whom I donâ€™t want to give away, turns out to be very delightfully sociopathic, but doesnâ€™t come across as at all campy or stereotypical either. I guess the only downside about them is that a reader might actually start to be interested in their characterÂ more than the protagonists.
Two Weeks Notice is much, much, much darker than its predecessor. The gore starts off with a very disturbing murder/suicide and just gets worse from there. (Although, for the hard-core horror fan, â€œbetterâ€ might be a more appropriate adjective.) I donâ€™t have much of a stomach for horror, and at times I did feel uncomfortable with the story. Anyone with a similar constitution â€“ youâ€™ve been warned.
As for any zombie fans who might have been disappointed by the lack of brain-munching at the end of Working Stiff, you might be pleasantly surprised with one of Two Weeks Noticeâ€™s big plot twists. Iâ€™m not going to give anything away, but it definitely checks the â€œblood and gutsâ€ box.
I am kind of conflicted about Two Weeks Notice. On the one hand, the slow start, rehashing of the previous bookâ€™s plot, and an unresolved ending made it very difficult to enjoy. But on the other hand, the big and unexpected plot twists made it a much more interesting read.
I think I can say that I prefer Two Weeks NoticeÂ to Working Stiff, but Iâ€™m still on the fence about whether or not to recommend it to anyone â€“ mainly because one has to struggle through the latter to get to the former.
Story:Â 2.5 Moons (out of 5.0)
Dynamics:Â 3.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Gothic Fit:Â 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Final Score (not an average):Â 3.5 Moons (out of 5.0)