“The Stubborn Dead” turned out to be a fun supernatural/urban fantasy read for me, probably far more than I anticipated for a brief read. In this novella, Rachel Miller is a rescue medium whose assigned to a case that gives her more than she bargained for. Recruited by Slyvia Elkeles, Rachel thinks she’s arriving to exorcise a regular spirit, but turns out facing a rare creature called a rodach, whose origins are unknown. Not only that, if she can’t manage to rid of it properly within 48 hours, she’ll face banishment at the behest of the Council she works for. As the clock winds down, Rachel realizes there’s far more internal scheming that she initially thought, and steadily works her way to uncovering the mystery behind the events and players behind them.
I felt this had a Supernatural episodic vibe to it. I liked the characterizations, the brief worldbuilding, and the teasing intrigue of the players involved leading up to what I’m assuming is a larger series featuring the same cast. The bits of humor and interactions between the characters in spurts (I liked Rachel’s exchanges with Kit near the end as well) is well drawn, though I wouldn’t say fully developed except for when the story’s within the perspective of Rachel herself. I did end up wishing it was slightly longer to give us more insight on the world and the magic/methods that Rachel has, but for the flow and dynamic of the story – it was quite well done.
I would definitely recommend those who like a short, humorous, teasing “ghost buster” story to read “The Stubborn Dead” – it’s wonderfully written, engaging, and certainly encourages me to check out the extended series from this off-shoot.
Overall score: 3.5/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Carina Press.