1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bit of a slog, but sets up a solid sequel,
This review is from: Death Most Definite (Steven De Selby 1) (Paperback)
Bought this in a single-volume compilation of the whole trilogy, which is just as well, because if I'd tried Death Most Definite as a stand-alone then I wouldn't have bothered coming back for further helpings. (See The Business of Death: The Death Works Trilogy)
That's not because DMD is bad; far from it.
It's interesting to read a supernatural adventure based in urban Australia, for one thing. The background and set-up are intriguing, too: where all souls pass through a Pomp on their way to the underworld, and the whole process is managed by a regional bureau headed up by Mr D himself. Pomps also have to send unwelcome zombies back to beyond, and get some nifty gimmicks like tattoos which come to life.
However, the central character of DMD is far from compelling. He's a slacker who spends most of this book just running from one bad situation to the next; aimless, a bit whiney, and hardly blessed with a good line in snappy dialogue. Steven de Selby falls in love with a dead girl and does his best to battle an opponent who has taken down most of Australia's Pomps in an unfair fight... but he emotes more when his dog dies than when his parents get the chop. And for most of the book he just blunders around without half a clue. The zombies ain't too scary, either; they're tiresome rather than threatening.
So it took me quite a while to slog through this. The action picks up around two-thirds of the way through, and by the end it was obvious that the first book really just sets the scene for the sequel. DMD leaves the main characters in a very interesting situation, but it felt like a lot of work (on my part) to get there.