Working Stiffs by Scott Bell

The Naked Reviewers
4 min readJul 19, 2018

Joe Warren, an unemployed electrical engineer, has a terminally ill girlfriend and a bank account bumping rock bottom.

Jobs are scarce in 2050, since nanotechnology has created the ability to animate the recently deceased, who are put to work performing menial labor at low wages. These Revivants have glutted the job market, leaving their living counterparts out in the cold.

Joe goes looking for a helping hand and mistakenly gets arrested with a group of freedom fighters. The only cause Joe wants to fight for is Joe, but federal agents coerce him into spying on the Children of Liberty.

When Joe reluctantly infiltrates the protest group, he finds something he never expected or wanted. Friends. And he discovers that maybe there are things in life worth fighting — and dying — for.

Tinker Books’ Review: 5-Stars

I enjoyed this one. A good book that leaves me wondering if there will be a sequel.

Caught up in a peaceful protest outside the Office of Benefits and Welfare Joe Warren is arrested along with many of the protesters. The Children of Liberty are declared traitors and terrorists and as such can be held by the Homeland Security Agency and without any rights to speak of as we know them today. Three weeks later upon his release, Joe goes home to find his girlfriend who was dying from a brain tumor has been turned into a ‘Revivant’ the apartment they lived in has been rented to someone else and everything they owned except for a few of Joe’s personal things has been given to goodwill. With nothing left of his old life, and refused welfare support, Joe turns to an old school buddy, and a life of crime to support himself. That doesn’t work out so well for Joe.

In this dystopian novel set in Chicago in the near future, with interest payments on the national debt in the trillions, daily spending deficits in the billions and massive unemployment, the US is rapidly going bankrupt. Combined with a police force (Homeland Security Agency) that has near omnipotent powers of arrest and summary execution, Scott Bell’s “Working Stiffs” presents a frightening view of what the world could end up being. With many jobs filled by “Revivants” who are people who died and were re-animated by infusing their bodies with nanobots, unemployment and homelessness are rampant. Free Medicare is useless to people who can’t get doctors or hospital bookings without waiting for months. How will Joe survive?

Well written and loaded with surprises, well-developed characters, and a lively sense of humor this book will keep you wondering what sort of misfortune will befall Joe next.

RA Winter’s Review: 4.8-Stars

I walked into this piece cold without reading the blurb. I’ve always loved Scott Bell’s writing and this one didn’t disappoint.

The plot was unique. Scott Bell looked into the future and put a twist on the zombie apocalypse and brought us a new type of hero in an average Joe who was just in the wrong jail at the wrong time.

Set in a (hopefully) dystopian future, the world has continued on a downward spiral. The world has changed and now you can choose to become a zombie before your actual death by having revenant nanobots implanted.

Joseph Warrens is a down on his luck, broke and with a girlfriend who has a brain tumor. Because medical treatment is scarce, his girlfriend’s tumor is past the curable phase. Joseph’s temper gets the best of him and he is plunged into jail and becomes friends with a ‘terrorist’ group, the Children of Liberty.
Homeland Security recruits him to infiltrate the cell.

This propels Joseph into a world that he didn’t know existed and one he will change forever.

Scott’s writing is excellent and the plot will keep you turning the pages all night long.

I highly recommend any of Scott Bell’s books and loved this one.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 5-Stars

I absolutely love Scott Bell’s writing abilities. When he puts pen to paper, magical things happen and Working Stiffs is no exception. I feel the cover fits the genre, has great colors and imagery, and would stop me for a closer look if I was scrolling for something to read. I could go on all day about how strong the writing is, each word propels you forward.

Working Stiffs is a zombie story with a twist. The dead don’t stumble around eating people, they work at menial jobs. Sounds like a good idea, get the dead to do the jobs no one else wants. Until that puts many out of work, including the main character Joe. I loved how the first chapter plunges us into Joe’s life when he robs the rich at some gala event.

Getting arrested not only changes Joe’s life, it changes everything. Scott has done a wonderful job with this dystopian world of the functioning dead. There is just the right amount of humor, intrigue, and tons of great action with guns blazing.

You like fast-paced, humorous, dystopian? You’ll love Working Stiffs. You like action adventure with good guys against bad guys, this is the book for you. You want all of that with an un-dead twist, get Working Stiffs today.

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