Dead Harvest

( 12 )

Overview

Meet Sam Thornton, Collector of Souls.
 
Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure their souls are dispatched ...

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Dead Harvest

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Overview

Meet Sam Thornton, Collector of Souls.
 
Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure their souls are dispatched to the appropriate destination.
 
But when he’s dispatched to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before.
 
“No.”
 
File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Souled Out | Damned If You Don’t | Collector Mania | On The Run ]
 
e-book ISBN: 978-0-85766-219-4

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A war is brewing between angels and demons in this twisty, fast-paced, and thoroughly enjoyable urban fantasy debut. Sam Thornton is a Collector: he takes souls from the damned and sends them into eternal misery. It should be straightforward to collect the soul of 17-year-old mass murderer Kate MacNeil, but something isn’t right; her soul is too pure. Collection of an innocent soul can throw off the balance of good and evil and spark a chain of events that leads to the end of the world, biblical style. Sam’s convinced that Kate’s been set up, but determining who is behind it is deadly business. With both Heaven and Hell chasing him down, Sam’s in a race against time to save Kate and stop Armageddon. Sam is a likable antihero, pleasantly human despite being unquestionably damned, and the politics of Heaven and Hell provide plenty of material for sequels. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, the Donald Maass Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"A war is brewing between angels and demons in this twisty, fast-paced, and thoroughly enjoyable urban fantasy debut... Sam is a likable antihero, pleasantly human despite being unquestionably damned, and the politics of Heaven and Hell provide plenty of material for sequels." - Publishers Weekly

"A very promising first novel." - Locus

"With a candid style that exhibits solid confidence and finesse, Chris Holm pulls readers in and pins us to the edge of our seats with a cleverly conceived story that is flawlessly executed." - NY Journal of Books

"Chris Holm’s smooth writing style and rather charming characters (yes, Sam is charming, so there), made Dead Harvest a pleasure for me. 4.5/5 stars." - My Bookish Ways

"Dead Harvest does not feel like a debut. Chris F. Holm's writing is assured and the world building is outstanding... I completely enjoyed reading Dead Harvest with its unlikely anti-hero and world painted in shades of gray. The Collector series is on my must buy list." - The Qwillery

"The first book in The Collector series, is completely fresh and absolutely distracting. You won’t be able to put it down, and you’ll want a stiff drink and a smoke to go with it." - Sacramento Book Review

“...classic mix of deduction, ultra-violence, narrow escapes, shocking revelations, and sudden turns of fortune that make noir such a satisfying genre. Also, possessions, demons, seraphs, and lucky cat statues. Just fantastic enough to be entertaining, but not so unrealistic that it stretches the bounds of credulity.” -Josh, In Order of Importance 

"A great protagonist, powerful bad guys (you have to love Bishop, the bad guy who can be anybody), pacing, tension and some really clever twists (the need for, and effects of, meatsuits is particularly cool) make this one of my favourite books."
-CheffoJeffo

Library Journal
As a collector of souls, Sam Thornton wanders the world, ensuring that the damned reach their intended destination. When he is ordered to "collect" the soul of a 16-year-old girl found guilty of brutally murdering her family, Sam believes the girl might be innocent. But refusing an order from his superiors is not an option. Soon Sam and Kate, his charge, are on the run, and the mystery of why certain powers want to claim her soul grows deeper and more dangerous with each step. VERDICT Blending urban fantasy with noir mystery, Holm's debut is a dark, moody tale of fallen heroes in the modern world. Fans of Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" books, Tanya Huff's "Blood" novels, and Larry Correia's "Monster Hunter" series should enjoy discovering a promising new author.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780857662187
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 604,329
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Holm was born in Syracuse, New York, the grandson of a cop with a penchant for crime fiction.  It was the year of punk rock and Star Wars, two influences that to this day hold more sway over him than perhaps his wife would like. 
 
His stories have appeared in a slew of publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Beat to a Pulp, and Thuglit.  He has been an Anthony Award nominee, a Derringer Award finalist, and a Spinetingler Award winner. 
 
He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and a noisy, noisy cat.  When he’s not writing, you can find him on his porch, annoying the neighbours with his guitar.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    File Under: Great writing | Excellent World Building ...

    Dead Harvest is a noirish urban fantasy with a surprisingly different and likable main character - Sam Thornton. Sam is a Collector. He's part of the careful balance between Heaven and Hell. He gets his orders and off he goes to collect a damned soul and send it off to Hell. You might say he works for the bad guys, but it's not quite that simple. In Dead Harvest, Sam is assigned the job of collecting the soul of a young woman (Kate) who has brutally murdered her family. It should be an easy job. Find her, collect her soul, go on to next job. Unfortunately for Sam, things are not as they seem. He decides something is not right about this collection and decides to figure out what is going on. Sam is an amazingly likable character despite what he does. Through a series of well placed flashbacks we learn how Sam became a Collector. He did not have an easy life. 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions' could probably be Sam's motto. Which is not to say that he did everything on the up and up when he was alive. Nonetheless, I was on his side. I wanted him to be right and to figure out what was really on. I did not want him to have to collect Kate's soul. In addition to Sam there is a well fleshed out supporting cast. Kate is terrific even though she's not sure what she did or didn't do. She may actually be guilty. In addition we meet some angels, demons, seemingly crazy people, and Sam's remarkably chilling co-worker, The Bishop, who is out to collect Kate's soul because Sam has not. Dead Harvest does not feel like a debut. Chris F. Holm's writing is assured and the world building is outstanding. The story is fast-paced with several well-done action scenes. The mystery kept me guessing - did she or didn't she and if she didn't what is really going on? I completely enjoyed reading Dead Harvest with its unlikely anti-hero and world painted in shades of gray. The Collector series is on my must buy list. File Under: Great writing | Excellent World Building | Intriguing Mystery | Terrific Characters I give Dead Harvest 5 Qwills. (Originally posted at The Qwillery)

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    The broad genre of Urban Fantasy is not typically my thing but a

    The broad genre of Urban Fantasy is not typically my thing but a good fast paced hard boiled mystery is. I picked up Dead Harvest after reading author Holm's short "The Hitter" which lead me to his anthology "8 Pounds". It's been a long time since I have been grabbed by such a powerful a writing style. Edgy, intense, somehow you can see the depth of his characters with a minimum of build-up. Dead Harvest hit all of my buttons & wow, what an action ride. I went back to read it again as in retrospect the action scenes seemed so incredible yet the launch of each was entirely plausible.

    Holm is a strong story teller...I dare you to read one of his shorts '"A Better Life" and then try to look longingly at that beautiful old country house of your dreams.

    Can't wait for more of his work to come out

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Such a fun book. I won't go rehashing the premise as that's cove

    Such a fun book. I won't go rehashing the premise as that's covered above, but I will say this:
    1) It would make a great summer movie (one with explosions and monsters AND a plot).
    2) Fans of Buffy, Supernatural, and the like will probably enjoy this one. Much of the same mythology forms the supporting cast and despite the main character's "age" his voice remains young enough for a broad audience.
    3) Chris F. Holm is a helluva writer so if you can't wait until THE WRONG GOODBYE, look for his collection of short stories or the phenomenal "The Hitter" in a back issue of NEEDLE magazine.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    I preordered this book based on a Twitter recommendation that described it as a cross between Jim Butcher and Charlie Huston, both authors I like quite a bit. I was disappointed when I finally got to read the book.

    It's an interesting enough premise: a dead guy whose job it is to collect the souls of the wicked for Hell, but his current job is not what it appears to be. Neat. Even after it didn't initially grab me I kept reading for sixty pages or so before giving up on the book because I liked the premise.

    However, after having read sixty pages I found that I didn't care about any of the characters. None of them seemed like real people, none of them reacted to situations like real people would, all of their actions and dialog seemed forced, none of them had any relatable motives. The story was interesting but there were no good characters to hang it on; they all felt like cardboard cutouts.

    The second thing that irked me was the swearing. I'm not opposed to swearing in a novel. Heck, I love Charlie Huston and he drops f-bombs liberally throughout all of his books. That said a swear word, like any other word, has weight and deserves to be used deliberately rather than just thrown into a sentence to make it seem edgy. The latter, unfortunately, is what the author did here. Every time an f-bomb was dropped it felt forced and out of place. It didn't seem like characters swore the way real people would swear. And really, f-ing used as an adverb is still an adverb, and still probably unnecessary.

    In the end I gave up on this book and started reading a Charlie Huston book I hadn't yet read. I cared about the characters within five pages. That's what I wanted out of Dead Harvest but didn't get.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Fantastic!!

    A must-read for urban fantasy fans.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Good

    This book had a great plot, characters were interesting, writing style flowed nicely. Will be reading the next book in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Everything I want in a debut of a new series!

    Brought to you by OBS reviewer Angie

    This book is everything I would want in the first of a series. It had action, romance, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and most importantly an awesome plot! I loved this book from the moment I read the synopsis to the moment I finished the last paragraph.

    Sam is a soul collector whose job it is to remove the souls of the damned before their death. But unlike what we sometimes think about Angels being the soul collectors, Sam is a demon. To walk the earth, he must inhabit the body of a human. Although he can take over the body of a living person, he chooses to take over the recently deceased (VERY recently) so that the host isn’t aware of what is happening to him… what a nice demon Sam is! In fact so much of what happens in this story changed my concept of demons and demonic possession.

    Sam became a collector when he “made a deal with the devil” so to speak to save someone he loved. He just didn’t realize at the time that what he was doing, and he’s regretted his decision ever since.

    Normally Sam just gets his orders and does his job. It’s what has to be done, but when he gets orders to take the soul of Kate, a 17 year old who has just murdered her father, mother and brother, Sam realizes that something is very wrong and he has to protect Kate at any cost.

    What happens next is an action packed story that contains all the best elements of any good story. There are car chases, foot chases, breaking and entering, an unraveling mystery and a love story. Not just romantic love, but also friendship and loyalty. The ending did not disappoint. Holm did not rush the ending and it felt like just the right amount of story was written. I didn’t feel let down in the slightest and I literally could not put this book down until I’d finished it.

    And I am thrilled to find out that Book 2 is coming out in less than 2 weeks!! I can not wait to get my hands on that one!!

    This review and more at openbooksociety dot com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

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    Posted June 24, 2012

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    Posted August 10, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

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