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Two Weeks Notice by Rachel Caine
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Two Weeks Notice (2012)

by Rachel Caine

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No sophomore blues when it comes to the second book in Caine's Revivalist series. I enjoyed this one more than I did the first one.

What Worked: Bryn's personal growth from the first to the second book is tremendous. One of my biggest complaints of the first book was that if Bryn didn't have a gun she was nothing more than a punching bag for every Tom, Dick or Freddie to abuse. She got her butt kicked more than a bad MMA fighter in the first book. With this book she took her military training to a whole new level. She exuded confidence in bulk and could back it up. She was no one's victim even while tied up and tortured.

The relationship between Bryn and Patrick reached a whole new level in this second installment. Bryn being, technically, dead and Patrick being, well, not, a sexual relationship could have been an urpy concept however, Caine wrote it in a way that I completely believed it and liked it. Actually the complexity of relationships between all the characters was very well done. Including Joe Fideli's contribution to Bryn and all of her jobs and Liam, the Alfred to Patrick's Batman and his contribution to everything.

What Didn't Work: Parts of the book did drag a bit especially in the first 1/3 and I found it easy to set this book aside for something else until I got past page 100. Also even though I did love the advancements Bryn made towards being a bad-ass I would have liked some explanation on how she went from perpetual victim to thwarting professional kidnappers without (barely) breaking a sweat. Something like a rigorous training schedule for hand to hand combat or weapons training would have been an asset.

I didn't care for the Revived being called addicts either. To survive they all needed a shot on a daily basis. To me, addiction is the abuse of something, whether it be drugs, alcohol or gambling an addict would use to the point of abusing it. Having to have a shot once a day does not make an addict any more than a Diabetic reliant on daily insulin would be.

Towards the end, unfortunately, Bryn kind of fell into the TSTL category by making a bad decision for not only herself but for her sister Annie as well. This point is a bit teetering because I could see why she made the decision she did but I thought it was a bad one. Her sister thought it was a bad one and even Bryn herself was not completely on board with it. The results were catastrophic to Bryn but did open up a whole new level of awesomeness for this series. So, a minus and a plus all rolled into one!

In a Nutshell: I love this series. Zombies, who aren't exactly zombies...but might as well be, bad guys who might be good guys, bad guys who are living in bad guy land so deep even traditional bad guys won't go there, torture sequences in which nothing more than a spoon is used (mostly off camera) and several OMG moments towards the end ensure I am going to read the latest installment of this series ASAP. This series is not for everyone as it is a bit more gruesome than a typical UF series but for me it's a winner! ( )
  ChristinaT. | Dec 3, 2016 |
Two Weeks' Notice
4 Stars

It’s business as usual for Bryn Davis at the funeral home until the FBI pull her in with a “request”, and she finds herself immeshed in a new conspiracy fighting against a lethal foe with ties that are a little too close to home.

A good continuation to the series but fair warning The Revivalists is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. The tone is dark and gritty, and the descriptions are quite gory and gruesome, particularly toward the end.

The plot starts out a little slow as Bryn copes with the aftermath of events from Working Stiff but the action heats up quickly and Bryn is soon dodging bullets, surviving explosions and escaping deranged interrogators at government facilities. There are also developments in her personal life as she and Patrick grow closer both emotionally and physically.

The secondary characters are engaging, especially Patrick’s right hand, Joe Fidelli, and his left, the Alfred-like Liam. The villain is seriously disturbed, which says a lot since the sickos from book #1 were bad enough, and there is a wicked little twist associated with the character as well.

The third and final book is already out and it will be interesting to see how Bryn handles the changes wrought in this installment. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
Listened/Read for Fun (Audible/Paperback)
Tracking Books Read Review (Short)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.50

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: OH MY Two Week's Notice was such a good listen! I am so glad I had Terminated ready to go when I finished.

Overall Thoughts: I have pretty much devoured this series back to back. Two Weeks Notice did exactly what the middle book in a trilogy should do: advance the story. We got more action, romance, back story, and emotion. Middle books should always be the "meat" of the trilogy and this one delivered. Bryn (the leading lady) is probably one of my favorite characters in Urban Fantasy. She is kick ass but mostly she is just dealing with the hand that she has been dealt. I tend to admire the leading ladies that are "human" about their circumstances. The rest of the cast of characters are great too. My favorite thing about Rachel Caine is she writes characters that I care about and want to root for! The Revivalist series though is probably my favorite!

Audio Thoughts:

Narrated By Julia Whelan /Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins

Julia does a fantastic job with Bryn and the rest of the characters in this series. Her pacing and rhythm are very well done. She also has one of those voices that you can listen to on higher speeds and it doesn't distort at all. Overall very well done.

Final Thoughts: I love this series! ( )
  thehistorychic | Dec 16, 2013 |
I don't use star ratings, so please read my review!

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife—with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost.

Thankfully, some things have changed for the better; her job at the rechristened Davis Funeral Home is keeping her busy and her fragile romance with Patrick McCallister is blossoming—thanks in part to their combined efforts in forming a support group for Returne addicts. But when some of the group members suddenly disappear, Bryn wonders if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…”

Initially, I wasn’t going to continue with this series after reading Working Stiff. While I definitely thought Caine had some interesting ideas, I didn’t think their execution was handled well. And although I enjoyed this novel more than the first one, I still think that there things that keep me from really liking this story.

For one, even though I think the fate of Bryn and her kind—slow dissolution and rotting once they no longer have access to the Returne drug—is pretty horrific, it is at least a different take on the undead. Bryn is fully herself and conscious of her actions, and that’s a nice change of pace from the shambling zombies of most books. On the other hand, the drug—or lack thereof—becomes an all-too-convenient plot device to threaten Bryn. It’s not just that not getting her shot will cause her to have withdrawal symptoms; it’s that she’ll physically rot away, as will all of the Revived.

Also, by the end of this book the whole unique zombie scenario is turned on its ear and made into nothing more than a cliché once again. I was willing to grant the author points for originality until that happened. Without giving too much away, the thing that leads to more common zombie-ish stuff comes about as a natural outgrowth of what a rogue government agency might do with a revival drug; however, there are probably other directions it could have gone instead of taking the obvious path.

On the plus side, there’s a new villain in town: Jane, a homicidal, psychopathic manic who will literally stop at nothing to get what she wants. She enjoys causing pain and gets glee from torture and death. She’s a bad guy you’ll love to hate. She walks the line of being something of a caricature, but most of the time, her actions and behavior make her truly creepy.

The plot takes some interesting twists and turns as readers find out who’s doing what and how far the government is involved in what’s going on with Returne. Personally, I felt that the convolutions could have been done with a bit more clarity, because by the end, I had to really think back to remember who supposedly did what to whom.

I found this book to be a quick and mostly enjoyable read, so I can’t complain too much. Two Weeks’ Notice is an interesting addition to the ranks of novels featuring the undead, but it relies a bit too much on plot devices that can get old by the story’s end.

This review originally appeared on Owlcat Mountain on July 22, 2013.
http://www.owlcatmountain.com/two-weeks-notice/
  shelfreflection | Jul 22, 2013 |
Still dead, but hey, she's got her own mortuary... Brynn Davis is coping with her new situation - she's running the funeral home, started a support group for the dead-and-revived employees at Pharmadene, and she's ready to take the next step with oh-so-appealing Patrick McCallister. Unfortunately, the deal she made with the FBI is about to come knocking - and for Brynn, saying to to the job would mean a fate worse than death. Literally.

Caine cranks up the intensity and the action. ( )
  SunnySD | Jul 8, 2013 |
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To my dear friend and superhero, Rosemary Clement-Moore. Just because.
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It was a perfect day for a funeral.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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After members of a support group for addicts of the experimental drug Returne suddenly disappear, Bryn Davis begins to wonder if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground.… (more)

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