Dying for a living by Kory M Shrum


“On the morning before her 67th death, it is business as usual for Jesse Sullivan: meet with the mortician, counsel soon-to-be-dead clients, and have coffee while reading the latest regeneration theory. Jesse dies for a living, literally. As a Necronite, she is one of the population’s rare 2% who can serve as a death replacement agent, dying so others don’t have to. Although each death is different, the result is the same: a life is saved, and Jesse resurrects days later with sore muscles, new scars, and another hole in her memory.

But when Jesse is murdered and becomes the sole suspect in a federal investigation, more than her freedom and sanity are at stake. She must catch the killer herself-or die trying. “

When I read this book description, I felt that ‘Dying for a Living’ had great potential. The protagonist’s situation reminded me a little of that TV series ‘Forever’ where Ioan Gruffud plays a 200 year old man trying to unlock his curse of immortality. Usually when you have an immortal character, they will actually be unable to die whereas in ‘Dying for a living’ and in ‘Forever’ the characters die but keep coming back to life.

So I had high expectations for this curious little book, and whilst it was a good read it wasn’t all I expected and hoped for. The title ‘Dying for a Living’ describes quite literally what Jesse does; she finds a client who has found out they are scheduled to die soon, and when they have an accident or a heart attack etc she replaces their death and then wakes up a few days later plagued with rigor mortis and new bumps and bruises.

The language was simple but effective and the plot easy to follow. There was an interesting sort of love triangle/two love interests, however I felt that this could have either been emphasized more or left out entirely as it felt a little half-hearted. On the other hand I did like the twist to the triangle where one competitor was male and one was female. I felt that it added another dimension to Jesse’s character.

All the characters were nicely developed; especially Jesse who’s sometimes overconfident and sassy nature got her into a few sticky (and amusing) situations. There were a few little details (such as the inclusion of Jesse’s pug Winston) that made the novel a little more endearing but also added another element of humor.

The book did get a little confusing at places where I felt that bigger conspiracies were being hinted at. This book is the first of five so whilst the ending of the book was satisfactory enough, there was no proper conclusion (naturally to entice you into buying the next book…)

It was a good page turner with an interesting setting and characters. I think it would be a great summer read for anyone looking for an action packed new series.

4/5 rating.


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An aspiring cellist, I absolutely adore reading, and even if it means squeezing it into the cracks of my busy life I am still determined to read more! For me, a truly great novel isn't just flashy with a fast paced plot and glossy characters, it is good literature that traps you with every word and entices you to read on. I write quick-to-read book reviews on CreativeThoughtBubble, as well as occasionally publishing short stories of my own.

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