Managing Death by Trent Jamieson

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Managing Death by Trent Jamieson

Category: Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: A follow-on book in the Death Works series, sees Steven promoted at work. He tries very hard to get to grips with serious issues in Australia but as he's not a natural leader, he's struggling - how will he cope when the going gets tough?
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 400 Date: January 2011
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1841498607

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I reviewed the first book in this series and, even although it's not a genre I would normally choose to read, I was pleasantly surprised. Would this second book (which are often difficult to pull off with the same degree of success) be as good or as entertaining? Time to find out ...

I was pleased to read the same breezy, tongue-in-cheek language from Jamieson applied here. It works very well and we are talking fantasy, after all. The reader is given a bit of background of the first book but having said that, both are stand-alone reads. And almost straight away, we're in a world of stirrers and pomps amongst other weird and wonderful things (or so Jamieson hopes, I suspect). And so that the reader can fully enjoy the book, there's various explanations eg: for the term stirrers, well, it's simple really - they would devour all living things.

The location is Australia and for a lot of the time we're in the smart, city offices of Steven's company Mortmax Industries. Due to previous good work carried out by Steven on the ahem, death front, he finds himself promoted. He's a likable and not particularly ambitious sort of a chap and he's not quite sure how all this promotion lark happened. Nor are some of his work colleagues. I don't think I'm spoiling the story too much when I say that Steven and his team are the good guys but they've got their hands full 24/7 in trying to keep away the bad guys doing well, bad things. Think of stirrers as stirring up a load of trouble, if you like.

We find out that Steven has various 'gifts' at his disposal but he finds it difficult sometimes to get the procedure right. All sorts of madness and mayhem result. Jamieson happily shares the tiniest details with his readers - he wants us to be involved. Well, I was but only on the surface really. I found this book less engaging than the first one. I got the sense that Jamieson was just trying too hard to be witty and charming and I could feel all that effort in his writing. I also found the plot a bit fuzzy with not a lot happening.

On a more positive note, Steven's personal and professional relationship with his girlfriend Lissa makes for good reading. She's fiery and together they make quite an entrance wherever they go. The main plot involves the build-up to a very important meeting. Everyone is getting stressed out just thinking about it and that includes Steven and he's arranging it. Spearheading operations. So, look out for the odd lovable blunder or two.

There are plenty of telling lines in the book such as It can be very lonely in Hell and there's also plenty of one-off oddball characters, as befits the genre. Take Aunt Neti, she's always baking scones which is great when mentioned once or twice but Jamieson applies over-kill here and I ended up being heartily sick of reading about these blasted scones. It all just lacked a certain sparkle for me, a sparkle which was apparent in the first book. In my opinion, the book is a tad too long (and also a little long-winded here and there). A shorter book would have made for a snazzier, snappier read. Not as good as the first book, I'm afraid.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Before you read this book you might like to read Death Most Definite also by Trent Jamieson

Buy Managing Death by Trent Jamieson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Managing Death by Trent Jamieson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Managing Death by Trent Jamieson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Managing Death by Trent Jamieson at Amazon.com.


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