Currently complete with 7 novels.
Genres: urban fantasy, science fiction
Jesse Sullivan has a rare neurological disorder allowing her to die for another person. Dying for another has become a business, and Jesse an agents. When someone tries to kill her, Jesse finds herself embroiled in a plot beyond her wildest dreams.
The beginning of the series was incredibly entertaining. Something about it just worked. Shrum managed to draw me into the story so easily. It was the initial concept, that someone could die for someone else, that drew me in in the first place. The characters, the story, and the flow kept me in the story. Yet, the series took a…let us call it a turn. There was a point in the series that I had to take a step back and go “what now?”. I’m still not certain how the story took such a dramatic turn to the weird. I still had a lot of fun reading the series. I did end up feeling bruised, emotionally. Part of it is because I read the entire series in three days, part of it was because of the story.
Jesse was a fun character. She is sarcastic (and it wasn’t forced sarcasm, either), she is fun, and she is always looking to make others laugh but she doesn’t suffer fools around her. Also, she never has two of the same shoe on. Jesse is also running scared of her own life because of past hurts. She uses everything to keep the world at enough of a distance where it can’t hurt her again. She was a good lead to read about.After the first book in the series, we got more narrators. They were all people close to Jesse. It was also all first person which got a bit confusing at times.
I really liked the concept of these zombies (you can’t convince me to call them necronites, sorry). The idea that you can die for someone else is pretty unique. It isn’t an old phenomenon in this world. It is pretty new in the grand scheme of the world, only a few decades from what I can tell. There also appears to be a massive conspiracy going on in this world, too. We slowly learn everything there is to know about what in the world this conspiracy is up to.
Every few books, it felt like the game changed again. Everything ends up different. I felt like we were chasing our tails the entire time through the series, just trying to keep up with the 180° changes going on all the time. I’m got a bit annoyed with the constant changing of the way everything is going to play out, though. I know there was a reason for it, but I just kind of wish that things would have stabilized.
The romance in the series tended to get to me at times. It starts off with a bisexual love triangle. It descended into jealousy, hurt feelings, and a bunch of people feeling inadequate. I just don’t like these kind of love triangles. I hate it when everyone ends up feeling hurt instead of feeling in love. Even once we get past that stage, the romance juts never felt like it worked to me.
I hate Caldwell. He is such a great villain. You can tell there is still some humanity left in him, which makes it even worse because of what he does to everyone but those few he cares about. He makes you just so dang angry, though. Everything Caldwell does is evil with a purpose. We just take a long time to figure out just what that purpose is.
Other than the weird direction the series took, there weren’t many surprises by the end. We learned around book four about the direction t he series would take towards the end. Everyone had a part to play, they just had to actually play it. The series did feel artificially extended. I really think this series was meant to be 4 or 5 books long, and it got extended to 7. In fact, the last two books felt like they were originally meant to be one, but it got too long and Shrum had to split them up.
Overall, I’m glad I read the series, but I don’t think I’ll ever read it again. It was an interesting read. It emotionally hurt me. I’m just not willing to go through those hoops again.