Steve knew something was wrong as soon as he saw the dead girl in the Wintergarden food court.
Nothing new - he saw dead people all the time - but this one was about to save his life ...Steve is a necromancer in the family firm, tasked with easing spirits from this dimension to the next after death. And he's kind of OK with that, until someone high up the corporate hierarchy makes a bid to be Australia's new Regional Death.
This means killing all of the current Death's staff.
After his parents, relatives and pretty much every other necromancer he ever knew has been killed, Steve is left to make a reluctant stand. But to do this he must stay alive. Threatened at every turn, Steve and the perilously attractive (and dead) Lissa go on the run to save what's left of their world.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 05/08/2010
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9781841498591
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by maybedog
This was fun. There's lots of humor but there's a lot of action and drama too. <br/><br/>Things that are really great:<br/>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. <br/><br/>Non-stop action. <br/><br/>Humor that is fairly funny. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>This man cries. He's not a crybaby but he weeps when he's faced with things like loved ones dying. <br/><br/>There's a border collie who's just a ordinarily smart dog, nothing supernatural or over anthropomorphized. <br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>Steven goes through a lot of changes and growing up throughout. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>Things I didn't like as much:<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>Overall:<br/><br/>The likes way outweigh the dislikes for me. <br/><br/>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 <spoiler>including the death of his border collie</spoiler> 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.
Review by shanaqui
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.