Customer Reviews for

Managing Death

Average Rating 4
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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The second Death thriller is a terrific entry

    Due to the unmanaged deaths of many of his extended kin's Psychopomps who worked like he did at the family firm Mortmax Industries (see Death Most Definite), Steven de Selby has been promoted to Australia's Regional Manager. He knows he is not ready for this new position that he got due to being the last Pomp standing so he does what most young males do - he turns to drink, rage and more drink and his girlfriend Lissa.

    Finally he accepts that he has no choice except turn the Death collection firm around though he faces plenty of issues starting with a stirrer revival epidemic due to a shortage of experienced Pomps (thank goodness for high unemployment as the survivor benefits are excellent not that the recruit will care), plan for a Death Moot, organize the office Christmas party and deal with an apparent zombie master who wants to end the world as Steven knows it. In other words he has to stop wallowing in survivor guilt and begin Managing Death while avoiding death as someone wants to reengineer the system; all that and a few drinks at the Christmas party.

    The second Death thriller is a terrific entry that has less action than its predecessor but stronger character development especially Steven, who comes out of his PTSD to find the regional end of the world, has become more global. Told by Steven, fans will enjoy insight into his work, office pace, and an Australia turned upside down by Trent Jamieson. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Steven's rapid rise to the top of the dead heap, but he knows there is always someone gunning to take you down; in his case that is literally not figuratively.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Harry Potter for Grown-Ups!

    The Short of It

    The unendingly creative, and hilarious Jamieson brings us the second book in his Death Works series. Fantastic and fun, Managing Death feels a bit like reading Harry Potter for Grownups, while riding Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and listening to Aerosmith (maybe just a little drunk on booze). The writing is superb, featuring tight plots, boundless imagination and witty charm. He gives us sterling characters woven through a wonder of new mythologies, which they navigate with perfect pacing. The book manages to be at times funny, at times scary and over-all profound. He counts among a handful of living fantasy writers who can juggle all that so well.

    The Review

    I have to confess...I've pretty much stayed away from books that hint that they may involve rituals, demonic gods or blood lust. Why? It's simple. I scare really, really easily. I'm afraid of the stuff seeping into my dreams and taking over. I honestly got creeped out by The Hobbit when I read it in Jr. High, just for an example of how very wussy I really am.

    But, in this case the publisher's description seemed too delicious to pass up, and I decided if the book was half as entertaining as the potential the concept offered, I'd chance a few nightmares. After all, surviving Mockingjay relatively unscathed, (ha!) I'm kinda feeling like I can take on the world. So yes, I took a chance on this book on the strength of the publisher's description alone. I knew nothing about the series or the author, but a quick Googling, (google-ing? Am I making up words again? Yes.) took me to his entertaining website complete with funny you-tube vids where he talks to himself whilst shamelessly plugging the book. Encouraged, I dove in.

    I'm so glad I did.

    Oh, and before we start - let me clear something up; No demons in the book. Not a one. Some other scary fantastical characters...yes, but nothing I would consider truly demonic.
    The Concept

    The whole idea of Death being managed in modern times by a multi-national conglomerate was genius. It takes the back-stabbing of office politics to a whole new level. One of the most fun things about the book was that I never knew who to trust. And Steven de Selby, our main character who is finding his feet in his new position as Regional Death for Australia, is just as unsure.

    "So I rule the land and the sea around Australia as Death, because once there were warriors and they killed Death itself."

    "No, you cannot kill Death, only shape it's form. And no, you do not rule the sea."

    Harry Potter for Grownups? Really?

    Really. I was in a state of childlike wonder reading most of the book at not only the humor with which it was told, but the sheer magic of the thing. Self-healing buildings and magical powers aside, The whole underworld and death mythology that Jamieson has created is so well-built up, so layered, so deep. He takes us to an entirely new, incredibly creative world in which nothing is quite what you expect. He takes known mythologies like the character of Death and the classical underworld concept and bends and twists them in the most fascinating ways. His writing also reminded me a bit of Neil Gaiman, especially his Anansi Boys for the dark, timeless myth. Throw in some Zombies, more than a little magic and a stellar cast of characters and you've got something really great.

    Publisher (Orbit) provided copy for review.
    This is partial text of the review originally appearing on my blog

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

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