Making a Living: More Potent than a Toxic Beetle

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Making a Living, by Caroline Fréchette

How am I supposed to resist reading a book that begins with, “When Nathan came to, the dead girl was crying. He was relatively sure she wasn’t supposed to do that.”?

Let me explain the title of this review. Last Thursday while I was taking a walk and about to take a sip of juice, a small beetle flew into my mouth. (Tasted terrible and I got puffy. The little begger is fine. I spit him out.) After a doc confirmed I was only suffering from an inflammatory response to the beetle’s coating, I went home. So, here I was exhausted, swollen, and lying in bed. I picked up Making a Living. Not even suffering from beetle toxin could make me put this book down. I even managed to stay awake through Benadryl!

Omigosh, what a great read this was. I gobbled it up like a burrito.

The first page made me feel like I’d just walked into a room wanting to say, “Oh, um, I think I’m interrupting something.” Because we’re put right into the middle of an uh-oh situation. We meet Nathan, the mistrusting soul who is completely unaware that anything good has ever existed in the world, and Annie, the undead ghoul scientist who still has a brilliantly functioning brain. They live in the time decades after a meteorite hit, which killed many people and turned them into zombies—mostly brain-dead zombies. But Annie is different. She not only has a brain, but a heart. Even though she drains some lifeforce out of Nathan so her body can remain intact, she does so remorsefully. Her goal is not to kill the living, but to make herself alive again.

And Nathan? Dude got some crazy powers. He can talk to electronics. Electricity also revives him, when it would normally kill us. This guy actually can stick his fingers in the sockets. I love how his computer is sentient, and his friend. Oliver also gets ticked off when Nathan forgets to plug him in. Quite a rational pet peeve, really.

The story is about how Nathan and Annie work together towards her goal. But stuff happens. Yeah, stuff. That’s what I have to write so I don’t give anything away.

All I want to say is read it! READ IT! REEEEEEEEEAD IT! The characters and world-building just sucked me right in. So many times I said, “Okay, one more chapter and then I’m going to sleep.” Nope. Usually ended up being three more chapters. Or four. Or five.

Making a Living has a perfect pace, without any lulls. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed it.

Word of warning, though. You might get food cravings. I know I did.

Burritos for all!

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network,  a blog featuring writers with disabilities and/or chronic illness. She also likes cupcakes.

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