Jill McDole reviews Managing Death, book two of the Steven De Selby series.
Author: Trent Jamieson
Publisher: Orbit Books
Availability: Out Now
Death is a drunk and a screw-up named Steven; at least Australia’s Regional Death is. In book two of the Steven De Selby series, Steven continues to stumble his way through life…well, death. Fresh from his incidental aversion of a regional apocalypse, he finds himself facing even larger potential disasters. During his transition into his new job, many lives were lost. His live-in girlfriend Lissa, whom he brought back from the dead, is one of the remaining ‘pomps’ in the region. Death continues, but now there are fewer people to help the souls ascend. His region needs new recruits. The U.S. Regional Death offers him some ‘pomps’ for his time, but her motives remain mysterious.
Adding to Steven’s problems, the underworlds legion of stirrers is awaiting the arrival of their dark god. He is preparing to host his first regional Death Moot, a conference of the thirteen Regional Deaths, dodging attempts to remove him from his seat and his existence. Not surprisingly, Steven has developed quite a drinking problem!
Although the novelty of the first book is somewhat diminished in the second one, the solid writing and the wicked humour continue. Anyone who has felt a bit overwhelmed at a new job can identify with the character, even though his career is a bit unusual. He has to find out a lot about his job on his own; his mentor is difficult to reach and even more difficult to wring information from. Hopefully future novels will allow further growth in the character, yet keep its sense of humour.