Category Archives: Books

Managing Death by Trent Jamieson

Last night I finished the second book in the Death Works Trilogy by Trent Jamieson. This one was another fun read similar to the first book. In this book though, things are very different. Steven is now the RM of Australia with his cousin Tim as his Ankou. So now we get to see more about the day to day stuff of the buissness of death with still quite a bit of Steven running around and getting into trouble. And we finally get to meet some of the RMs from the other regions around the world, particularly Suzanne, the RM of the US.

I found this story to be more interesting than the last one, there is more neat Death powers and less running away from stirrers. The story is also more complex with two, (or maybe three?) bad guys this time around coming from the history of Mortmax.

Some things in the novel were rather predictable, a few tried and true plot points. But other things swung at me way from left field. So far from left field it makes me wonder how and why they happened. Almost doesn’t make sense. But then again, when you’re dealing with beings who have been alive for millenia who really knows what they think about?

One thing I really wanted explained were the caterers. Who the hell were they? They’d been at every death moot so are they human? If not, why would there be an inhuman catering group? What do they do for the rest of the year? Are there other groups around the world that require their services? It seems a small detail but I really want to know. It seems like the author has a habit of having things and people in his universe but never really explains how they work. Strange considering how well his concept of death is developed. I’ve always been one of those who really enjoys a book if the author really makes everything work. Magic and other phenomena work based on a set of logic and rules that fit their world. I don’t understand Jamieson’s world.

I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

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Book Review: Death Most Definite

Today I finished reading “Death Most Definite” by Trent Jamieson, the first novel in the Death Works trilogy.

It’s been a fun read, it was hard to get into at first, I know nothing about Australia so some of the vernacular made no sense to me, but I managed to settle in. The main character, Steven de Selby is a quirky kinda guy. I love his idea of the Pomps and everything about death. Treating death as a business, one that comes with a decent pay package, Where there are Regional Managers, RMs is fun to read about. It’s been very well developed. He also goes into how the Pomps feel differently about death because of how they grow up, they don’t fight it. It’s logical to me and I like that.

I do have a few issues with some aspects of the novel that seem rather less developed. The relationship between Lissa and Steven for example. Ok, I can understand the love at first sight thing. But with Steven it seems a little forced. Like boom, instant love. His reactions to is almost seem like an addiction. And the entire time I got no real sense that she loved him too but first chance they have BOOM, sex in a not very sanitary place. Desperate times call for desperation but still, I feel like her reciprocation came out of left field a little bit. Not that I don’t think they’re a cute couple, they are. I just think the sex could have been left out. And it being used as a gag several times later on.

Another big issue I have is that with everything in the novel going on, it’s almost like a zombie Apocalypse, there is little to no mention of what’s going on with the regular people. Do they notice what’s going on? With the events in the novel it would seem to be impossible for anyone not to notice. Every time something happens it seems like they’re in a deserted area. And when he goes into cafes (which he does quite often) the only people we are introduced to are the baristas. What about the other customers? People talking about the strange things going on? I really wanted to know.

Anyways, The ending was good and set it up for the next novel, “Managing Death.” It should be interesting to see what Steven does with how things are left at the end. This was the authors first novel and I think it shows a little. But I do have high hopes for the next two novels.

I give it a 3 out of 5.

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Why I Hate eReaders

Hate is a little misleading. I hate them in that I hate them for myself. I hate when people know I love books and assume I would love an eReader. But that’s exactly it, I love books.  
For me, a part of the whole experience is holding that book in my hands, smelling the scent of paper and ink that only novels have. (textbooks have an entirely different smell. More chemically, less pleasant.)
I can also list the many other advantages books have over eReaders: they never run out of batteries, if they break they’re still readable, and the ink is easy on the eyes.
Part of what I love about books is the whole experience that you just don’t get with an eReader. Starting with going to the bookstore and being surrounded by the many books, being able to see each one. Walking down the aisle looking at the different spines until one catches your eye. Where you can pick it up and feel the heft of it, feel all of the work the author put into it. It’s just not the same when you’re scrolling through a list of covers and names. Maybe you’ll go in for one book but spot a few others and pick them up too.
You don’t get the experience of cracking open that new book, putting the first dent in the spine. Sure, you could put a dent in your eReader but that would more likely just piss you off. The eReader never changes, it doesn’t get that well read look a book would, It could be anyone’s eReader, unless you decorate it with stickers or something.
I’ve fallen asleep with books in my hands and in my bed and never thought of it. Fall asleep with an eReader though, that might be a costly night of sleep.
For as long as I can remember, one thing I’ve always wanted when I become “adult” and own my own home is to have one room in my house to be a library. The idea of being surrounded by walls of books and knowing I’ve read every one of them, I get tingles. The same library with an eReader would be a tablet sitting on a table. A space saver certainly, but one I’m more than willing to give up.
The only thing I need to enjoy a good book is a warm blanket or sunbeam and a cup of tea; I don’t need or want to spend hundreds of dollars on a gadget that takes away most of the experience.
With all that said, I do agree with the idea of eReaders in part. Anything that helps get more people to read is at least partly okay in my book. And thinking about all the advantages they have for schoolwork is astounding. No more heavy textbooks students need to lug around, prices could be dropped, don’t need a whole new edition, updates can be done through wifi. It eliminates a huge amount of waste from the old editions of textbooks that get trashed every year. No need to clean out all the graffiti written by bored students (which, from experience, is a pain in the ass).
Using an eReader or not is really about personal preference, at least for now. I’d imagine, as sad as it is, that one day in the future there won’t be any more paper books, except perhaps in museums or as novelties. That is the way our society seems to be moving. I’ve always been an advocate of accepting change because it’s going to happen whether you want it or not, but this is one change I hope people everywhere fight against.
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The Cal and Niko Series #6

Cover to Cal and Niko Novel #6So I just finished the sixth book in the Cal and Niko series. I thought it was the last book the series but while googling for a picture of the cover I discovered another book due out in March, “Doubletake.”

This book was very different from the others, Cal wakes up on a beach with no memory of who he is. Right off the bat he acts differently from the Cal in other novels. He is still the same snarky killer but with a conscience apparently. Which me makes note of, a lot. I’d estimate about a third of the book is Cal’s inner voice telling himself that what he’s doing is right, or feeling about people he did kill. It gets rather annoying after awhile.

Niko also acts differently in this book, I won’t get much into it so I won’t spoil anything but the way he was acting seemed forced. Sometimes it make sense, but others I’m  really confused.

The rebound from everything that happened in this book should be interesting to read about in the next. And to see what sort of lasting effects everything will have on Cal.

I’d give this novel a 3 out of 5

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