Trent Jamieson

A Death Works novel

Orbit (2010)

ISBN: 978-0-7336-2484-1

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

After the frenetic events of Death Most Definite, Steven de Selby is struggling to rebuild not only his shattered life, but the Mortmax Australia region, after the narrowly averted Regional Apocalypse. Steven’s business is death, and he’s been thrown in the deep end as the boss of his area. Unfortunately for Steven, he doesn’t just have a company to deal with – the other Regional Managers are also causing problems, and Steven isn’t coping very well with any of it, even his fledgling relationship with Lissa. Can he survive to rebuild
his life?

I loved Death Most Definite earlier this year and was very happy to receive a copy of Managing Death to review. At the same time, I was pretty nervous – I wanted this book to eclipse the first in style and substance, but wasn’t sure if Jamieson could manage to be so entertaining a second time around! Luckily, my fears were unfounded. Jamieson has succeeded in maintaining both excitement and characterisation in this compelling book two, paving the way for another action-packed book to follow yet providing a self-contained story arc for this book on its own.

Steven’s struggle to come to terms with all his losses, his new role, Lissa and their relationship, and the external threats they continue to face is so realistic that my heart hurt for him. Despite the supernatural themes, Steven’s difficulties are firmly rooted in the real world and while some are completely outside the everyday, his reactions are so gut-wrenchingly real that it’s painful to read at times!

The beginning of the book was a little slow to start, but if I had come into the series without having read book one, this opening would have been a very helpful introduction. And it very quickly heats up. By the end, I literally could not put the book down and I was holding my breath in anticipation of the events unfolding. I find it so rare to have an actual physical reaction to the pace of a book, but Jamieson’s endings are very powerfully done.

And now I have to wait for book three, to find out where Jamieson takes his characters and his alternate Brisbane, which is, once again, as much a character of the story as the humans (and other “things”), so well is it drawn. Ah well, at least the wait gives me a chance to catch my breath!