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Death Most Definite (Death Works) by Trent…
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Death Most Definite (Death Works) (edition 2010)

by Trent Jamieson

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1621273,595 (3.61)4
Member:regularguy5mb
Title:Death Most Definite (Death Works)
Authors:Trent Jamieson
Info:Orbit (2010), Edition: 1, Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Wishlist, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Steven is a Pomp. He acts as a conduit for the souls of the recently dead to pass on to the underworld. Working for Mortmax industries with his fellow Pomps, they work in the Brisbane subsidiary (with other branches across the world) to ensure the ghosts pass on and the evil Stirrers don’t come back the other way

Except things are going badly wrong. Pomps are dying, ghosts are going unpomped and the whole organisation has fallen apart. Worse, the Stirrers are coming through in greater and greater numbers, hunting down more Pomps and increasing the amount of bleakness and death in the world.

Leaving Steven alone except for Lissa – a ghost of a Pomp who won’t pass on, is determined to see Stephen survive and for whom he has developed a disturbing attraction. He’s the only one left to track down what is happening, to stop the Stirrers, to Pomp ghosts into the afterlife and, above all, stop a Regional Apocalypse that could consume all of Australia.

I’ve seen a couple of versions of humans acting as Grim Reapers as it were but nothing like this. It’s an original story with a novel world and concept. For uniqueness alone I’d give it a lot of points simply because it is so very new.

Except for the epic ending, the characters are also rather lacking in woo-woo super powers which also adds an interesting twist. This isn’t a “my new shiny ability will save the day” situation. Pomps have, abilities, certainly, but when being chased by people with guns there’s not a whole lot they can do except run or die.

The nature of the stirrers was also an interesting enemy. Creatures dangerous not because they’re zombies (though it’s a new twist on the idea of zombies) but because they suck in life and hope out of the world, leading people to despair, people to just lay down and die, birds fall from the sky, plants wilt, even the microbes in the soil to die from their presence

It’s also set in Brisbane, Australia, which is pretty unusual for most Urban Fantasy I’ve read. Add in, there was a clear sense that the author clearly knew the city well. I get a very strong sense of place and location from the book, a reality to it that comes from knowledge and experience.

It also manages emotional impact. Even while being funny and downright slapstick and silly at times (perhaps a little too much now and then, but I laughed so I won’t criticise) but we still have emotional impact of how much he’s lost – and the Stirrers in the bodies of his loved ones.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
Unlike a lot of people, I don't have a particular hate-on for present tense narration. I do it myself, often, when I write -- but sometimes it just doesn't work, and it didn't work here. For the first chapter I was just wondering what felt off, but once I noticed it, I couldn't stop noticing it. Because it's in first person, it pretty much has to be the person's own thoughts: but it's impossible to believe that when the narrator keeps explaining things to the reader. It's a difficult line to walk, obviously, because the reader does need to understand what's going on.

The idea itself is kinda fun -- it doesn't feel well-worn, like a lot of urban fantasy does -- but the execution lets it down, and the bland, self-absorbed main character too. I really only skimmed through it, and I didn't find it very memorable at all. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 20, 2013 |
This was fun. There's lots of humor but there's a lot of action and drama too.

Things that are really great:
Different world from the usual fantasy fare. The only "standard" things in this aren't that common: a being called Death and psychopomps, except these are human. There have been great TV shows with reapers such as Dead Like Me and Reaper but this is still different. It really felt fresh to me.

Non-stop action.

Humor that is fairly funny.

Main characters who actually have families and friends. I don't remember the last time I read a series where the lead is close to Mom and Dad, where they're in his life on a regular basis. They aren't constantly bitching at him or being crazy or evil, and he's not constantly trying to avoid them like is so prevalent in UF, when the parents even appear at all.

This man cries. He's not a crybaby but he weeps when he's faced with things like loved ones dying.

There's a border collie who's just a ordinarily smart dog, nothing supernatural or over anthropomorphized.

Death the character is different in that there are 13 of them. He's not usually amiable and fun, nor is he terrifying all the time which is cool and not the norm for UF.

This author loves science fiction and there are hidden references throughout. My favorite is that Steven says on several occasions, "I'm a pomp not a [insert job here]." Fans of the original Star Trek will understand. I particularly like that no one calls attention to them so you'll only notice if you're a true fan.

His hair. This was laugh-out-loud funny to me. He is always worrying about his hair looking good. He survives a bloody attack and the first thing he asks his ally is, "Does my hair look okay?" He comments more than once, "At least my hair looked good." It was definitely supposed to be funny and it was. It fit the shallow slacker he was.

He wears a suit through the majority of the book. I just love this break from UF stereotypes of tight leather and even tighter t-shirts.

Steven goes through a lot of changes and growing up throughout.

The love interest is awesome; although he falls in love way too quickly, it's not love at first sight, either. If this weren't an excellent story without the love story, I'd label it as paranormal romance. It's the kind where he would do anything for her. I just slurp that stuff up.

The ending was quite a surprise. I knew what was coming only in the last chapter or so and even then I thought there would be a slightly different resolution.

It takes place outside of North America in a city I know nothing about except that it's in Australia. Jamieson made Brisbane come alive for me. It's obvious that he loves this city and really knows it well.

Things I didn't like as much:

Although the women were strong and equal, all the positions of power were held by men (except for one near the end that was mentioned in one sentence). The others were necessarily women for the characterization: Mom, the love interest, and one of two pomps in a heterosexual relationship. The only other women mentioned were a couple of aunts that were scary and no one liked, and another main character's wife. I don't think Trent is consciously sexist. I think that when we think about directors and top leaders we are conditioned to naturally think of men. I think it usually has to be a conscious choice to put a woman in a place of power. I just wish more people would think about it and make that conscious choice.

One solution to the problem at hand was put off even though the world was ending because it would be extremely painful. If he'd known what it entailed, I would understand, but he was used to pain and when he was desperate and almost killed over and over again, he still didn't consider this solution until 3/5ths of the way through the book.

They only talk about Hell as the place where everyone goes. It's not really Hell, it's more like the Greco-Roman underworld, but it is referred to hell several times. I don't think Hell makes sense without a Heaven or at least some relevant mythology so I wish he'd never called it Hell.

Overall:

The likes way outweigh the dislikes for me.

Ironically, I started this book in the wee hours of the morning, and by the time I got back to it, I had had to put my own beloved border collie mix to sleep. I chose to read it because it was funny and light. Then it got heavier and sadder and talked about death a lot including the death of his border collie but somehow it was what I needed. I'm thankful to the book for that and it will always resonate with me because of it. ( )
  maybedog | Apr 5, 2013 |
This was fun. There's lots of humor but there's a lot of action and drama too.

Things that are really great:
Different world from the usual fantasy fare. The only "standard" things in this aren't that common: a being called Death and psychopomps, except these are human. There have been great TV shows with reapers such as Dead Like Me and Reaper but this is still different. It really felt fresh to me.

Non-stop action.

Humor that is fairly funny.

Main characters who actually have families and friends. I don't remember the last time I read a series where the lead is close to Mom and Dad, where they're in his life on a regular basis. They aren't constantly bitching at him or being crazy or evil, and he's not constantly trying to avoid them like is so prevalent in UF, when the parents even appear at all.

This man cries. He's not a crybaby but he weeps when he's faced with things like loved ones dying.

There's a border collie who's just a ordinarily smart dog, nothing supernatural or over anthropomorphized.

Death the character is different in that there are 13 of them. He's not usually amiable and fun, nor is he terrifying all the time which is cool and not the norm for UF.

This author loves science fiction and there are hidden references throughout. My favorite is that Steven says on several occasions, "I'm a pomp not a [insert job here]." Fans of the original Star Trek will understand. I particularly like that no one calls attention to them so you'll only notice if you're a true fan.

His hair. This was laugh-out-loud funny to me. He is always worrying about his hair looking good. He survives a bloody attack and the first thing he asks his ally is, "Does my hair look okay?" He comments more than once, "At least my hair looked good." It was definitely supposed to be funny and it was. It fit the shallow slacker he was.

He wears a suit through the majority of the book. I just love this break from UF stereotypes of tight leather and even tighter t-shirts.

Steven goes through a lot of changes and growing up throughout.

The love interest is awesome; although he falls in love way too quickly, it's not love at first sight, either. If this weren't an excellent story without the love story, I'd label it as paranormal romance. It's the kind where he would do anything for her. I just slurp that stuff up.

The ending was quite a surprise. I knew what was coming only in the last chapter or so and even then I thought there would be a slightly different resolution.

It takes place outside of North America in a city I know nothing about except that it's in Australia. Jamieson made Brisbane come alive for me. It's obvious that he loves this city and really knows it well.

Things I didn't like as much:

Although the women were strong and equal, all the positions of power were held by men (except for one near the end that was mentioned in one sentence). The others were necessarily women for the characterization: Mom, the love interest, and one of two pomps in a heterosexual relationship. The only other women mentioned were a couple of aunts that were scary and no one liked, and another main character's wife. I don't think Trent is consciously sexist. I think that when we think about directors and top leaders we are conditioned to naturally think of men. I think it usually has to be a conscious choice to put a woman in a place of power. I just wish more people would think about it and make that conscious choice.

One solution to the problem at hand was put off even though the world was ending because it would be extremely painful. If he'd known what it entailed, I would understand, but he was used to pain and when he was desperate and almost killed over and over again, he still didn't consider this solution until 3/5ths of the way through the book.

They only talk about Hell as the place where everyone goes. It's not really Hell, it's more like the Greco-Roman underworld, but it is referred to hell several times. I don't think Hell makes sense without a Heaven or at least some relevant mythology so I wish he'd never called it Hell.

Overall:

The likes way outweigh the dislikes for me.

Ironically, I started this book in the wee hours of the morning, and by the time I got back to it, I had had to put my own beloved border collie mix to sleep. I chose to read it because it was funny and light. Then it got heavier and sadder and talked about death a lot including the death of his border collie but somehow it was what I needed. I'm thankful to the book for that and it will always resonate with me because of it. ( )
  maybedog | Apr 5, 2013 |
This is the first book in the Death Works series. It’s the story of a hungover pomp named Steven (no, he’s not a pimp, he’s like…a modern day, living grime reaper), who needs to focus to get the job done. People are dying all around him, someone or something is trying to shot him and there’s a dead girl distracting him. And that’s just how the story begins…

The story is set in Brisbane, Australia and takes the reader to the underworld where we meet Death himself.

The book is different. It’s written in first person (which put me off to begin with but the author did such a good job that I soon forgot about it) and the topic is death, but it’s not dark and gloomy. There’s a touch of zombie activity and the author throws humour and romance in to spice it up a bit. It’s an enjoyable first book introducing fresh characters and the “presence” of something bigger that is going to cause havoc in the next two books. ( )
  KarenLeeField | Aug 31, 2011 |
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Epigraph
But lo, a stir is in the air! -- Edgar Allen Poe, 'The City in the Sea.'

Brace yourselves -- Old RM humour
Dedication
For Diana
First words
I know something's wrong the minute I see the dead girl standing in the Wintergarden food court.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031607800X, Mass Market Paperback)

Steven de Selby has a hangover. Bright lights, loud noise, and lots of exercise are the last thing he wants. But that's exactly what he gets when someone starts shooting at him.

Steven is no stranger to death-Mr. D's his boss after all-but when a dead girl saves him from sharing her fate, he finds himself on the wrong end of the barrel. His job is to guide the restless dead to the underworld but now his clients are his own colleagues, friends, and family.

Mr. D's gone missing and with no one in charge, the dead start to rise, the living are hunted, and the whole city teeters on the brink of a regional apocalypse-unless Steven can shake his hangover, not fall for the dead girl, and find out what happened to his boss- that is, Death himself.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:02 -0400)

Steven de Selby has a hangover. Bright lights, loud noise, and lots of exercise are the last thing he wants. But that's exactly what he gets when someone starts shooting at him. Steven is no stranger to death-Mr. D's his boss after all-but when a dead girl saves him from sharing her fate, he finds himself on the wrong end of the barrel. His job is to guide the restless dead to the underworld but now his clients are his own colleagues, friends, and family. Mr. D's gone missing and with no one in charge, the dead start to rise, the living are hunted, and the whole city teeters on the brink of a regional apocalypse-unless Steven can shake his hangover, not fall for the dead girl, and find out what happened to his boss- that is, Death himself.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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