Managing Death by Trent Jamieson
No rest from Death, no sleep everlasting. Death, boundless, hungry and eternal stirs, gnawing and biting, filling every moment and breath with the sound of beating hearts and an end to life. Steven de Selby, newly elevated Regional Manager of Death struggles with his new responsibilities, all of which is not helped by the God of the Stirrers growing in power and dragging its primordial essence to the world of the living. To make matters worse Steven must organise this year’s Death Moot, the gathering of the Worlds other Regional Managers. Having that many murderous psychopaths in one place only adds to the problem that another mad man is now trying to kill him and the ones he loves. Coincidences only happen to the living.
There is a discrete difference between Death Most Definite and Managing Death, and the best way to describe it would be to say there is more wholeness to this instalment than the previous book. Maybe as the reader, I was more familiar with the characters and their world, but truthfully it feels more than that. If I had to pick one reason, I think Jamieson had grown in confidence and belief in the story and its characters, which shines in the writing.
The perspective in Managing Death has moved from outer to inner and is a welcome change. The read and as such the characters are more contained and focused. In Death Most Definite the reader was shifted around Brisbane CBD, surrounding suburbs and countryside, which in hindsight felt a little diluted. In the sequel the scenarios are well defined, the characters and story is centred in several key locations without jumping around, which enables the reader to immerse themselves in the locus of the scene and drill down on the plot and writing, both of which come across wonderfully.
The pace of the story was constant and well timed, spiking in the right places and sloping in others, this reflects well in the plot development for Steven and the events surrounding him. Suffering from the choices he had to make to survive in Death Most Definite, the loss of his parents, getting Lissa back and the pressures of the new job, he initially buckles under the stress before having to pick himself up from the bottom of a bottle. Death, Gods and Regional Managers aside Jamieson is telling us a story of friendship, love and the effort of rebuilding a life after a major trauma, holding onto the events of your past, its dreams and family as best you can. These elements, while only a modest but central piece in the overall story, do stand out and allow you to empathise with Steven's character.
Managing Death gives us flashes concerning the approach of the God of the Stirrers and an introduction to greater concepts of Death, such as the Hungry Death (boundless, hungry and eternal) and the Death of the Sea. These new editions are solid pieces of fiction, which are the sprinkles on top of the new twist Jamieson takes with Death. I am already looking forward to seeing what new Deathy magic book three will bring.
Much like Death Most Definite, we are given an overall threat and a taste of an underlying conspiracy occurring, one which Steven doesn’t see coming as forces and persons outside his control drive and provoke his choices. The scheme, when finally revealed and while not an earth shattering surprise was one well thought out with only the barest of hints written throughout the book. I actually didn’t mind this, it was refreshing to not see the twist coming as sometimes an author can add just one too many clues with what's to come, detracting from the plot.
When Death Most Definite finished and the original Regional Manager, Mr D, took up residence in the One Tree an agreement was made that he teaches Steven the ropes and pitfalls of the job. While Mr D appearances are short lived, I really didn’t feel they added much to the storyline. If this was such a big element I felt they could have been bumped up a notch in mystery and relevance, as they came across very flat. I do hope that in The Business of Death, book three, he will have a greater role to play.
This Managing Death book review was written by Fergus McCartan
All reviews for: Death Works Trilogy
Death Most Definite
Death Works Trilogy #1
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 sav...
Death Works Trilogy #2
Steven has a new job, with an important-sounding job title: Australia’s Regional Death. On a good day he thinks it has quite a ring to it, but on a bad day (that&rsqu...
Have you read Managing Death?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Managing Death reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Machine Stops
Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are...
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Handsome Dorian Gray has found the secret of eternal youth. As those around him age, Gray remains young and beautiful. Knowing his actions have no consequences he lives a w...
The Gormenghast Trilogy
Titus, heir to Lord Sepulchrave, has just been born: he stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that stand for Gormenghast Castle. Inside, all events are p...
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson
Murder and monstrosity on the streets of Victorian London. Nineteenth century London can be a very dangerous place. Beneath the prim and proper morals of Victorian society ...
The Hound of the D'Urbervilles
Imagine the twisted evil twins of Holmes and Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Professor James Moriarty – wily, snake-like, fiercely intelligent, terrifyingly ...
A misguided scientist seeks to instill life in a creature he has assembled from the bodies of the dead....
This Dark Endeavour
In this prequel to Mary Shelley's gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor's tw...
When We Were Animals
A small, quiet Midwestern town, unremarkable save for one fact: when the local teenagers reach a certain age, they run wild. When Lumen Fowler looks back on her childhood, ...
Golgotha Falls: Genesis
Golgotha Falls: A city of carnal nightmare and monstrous appetite, nowhere in all the worlds of empire will you find its equal. Forged from dark science and steeped in anci...
Never The Bride
Brenda has had a long and eventful life, and she has come to Whitby to run a B&B and enjoy some peace and quiet. She and her best friend Effie like nothing better than ...
Pope Benignus is dying, and the man who takes his throne will hold the reins of an empire. Conspiracies swirl like shadows around Livia, the pope's daughter, who refuse...
Such Wicked Intent
When does obsession become madness? Tragedy has forced sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library. He vows he will never d...
Four and Twenty Blackbirds
What Eden Moore digs up in the roots of her diseased family tree takes her across the South, from the ruins of the Pine Breeze sanitarium in Tennessee to a corpse-filled sw...
Ever since moving to Fairwick to take up a teaching post at the local college, Callie has been having vivid, erotic dreams about a man made out of moonlight and shadows. Dr...
Hide Me Among the Graves
London, 1862. A city of over three million souls, of stinking fog and dark, winding streets. Through these streets walks the poet Christina Rossetti, haunted and tormented ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself King, and traitors at every turn. The Five Kingdoms and Sarth have assembled a fleet of ships unlike any the world has ever seen and they intend to purge the Pirate Isles once a...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...
The Dog Stars
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's...