Dying for a living Cover Dis­claimer: I was giv­en a copy of this book for review.

Stars: 3

Review

Dying for a liv­ing is set in an unde­fined future where there are par­tic­u­lar peo­ple who have the abil­i­ty to come back from the dead. This trig­gered a back­lash and the dif­fer­ent Chris­t­ian church­es unit­ed under a sin­gle strong leader to fight this threat. Mean­while, an agency is using these gift­ed few in the best way pos­si­ble: To let peo­ple with way too much mon­ey get a sec­ond chance at life by hav­ing some­one die in their stead. It’s a bit com­pli­cat­ed, but that’s the gist of it.

The main char­ac­ter is filled with snark, to a large extent as a defense mech­a­nism against a world that hates her for what she is while cov­et­ing the ser­vices she can pro­vide. She is backed up by hot boy­toy Lane and her best friend Ally (with the inevitable tri­an­gle dra­ma), and things are going fair­ly nor­mal­ly …

Until it no longer does. She finds her­self being ques­tioned over a murder—her own, to be precise—and gets impli­cat­ed in the mur­der of her abu­sive step­fa­ther. Mean­while, someone’s still try­ing to kill her—as they’ve killed sev­er­al oth­ers like her—and she needs to sort out the emo­tions in her lit­tle tri­an­gle dra­ma. What exact­ly is going on, and is she going crazy?

Though the premise is quite inter­est­ing, the book takes quite some time to get going, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly try­ing to do too much, explain too much, in too short a peri­od of time. When I final­ly real­ly got into it, I read two more pages and end­ed up star­ing at the back cov­er, which was a bit dis­ap­point­ing.

It’s writ­ten all in first per­son, and occa­sion­al­ly Jesse’s voice is grat­ing, at least for me. I think the main time it real­ly bugged me was a sex scene between her and Lane, where it was too clin­i­cal to be tit­il­lat­ing, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly mak­ing me feel like I shouldn’t be read­ing it in pub­lic. It was a very strange jux­ta­po­si­tion!

In the end, I think it’s a decent book. If the sub­ject matter—living-dead agents try­ing to uncov­er a conspiracy—seems inter­est­ing, it’s worth a read as ori­gin sto­ry for the sec­ond book. I did read the first chap­ter of the sec­ond book, and the pace seems to pick up quite a lot.