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Death Most Definite (Death Works Trilogy #1)
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Death Most Definite (Death Works Trilogy #1)

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  975 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Steven de Selby has a hangover. Bright lights, loud noise, and lots of exercise are the last thing he wants. But that's exactly what he gets when someone starts shooting at him.

Steven is no stranger to death-Mr. D's his boss after all-but when a dead girl saves him from sharing her fate, he finds himself on the wrong end of the barrel. His job is to guide the restless dead
Kindle Edition, First Edition, 338 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,988)
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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Sep 18, 2012 Kelly H. (Maybedog) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes male protagonists in UF and doesn't mind some love story mixed in. 
This was fun. There's lots of humor but there's a lot of action and drama too.

Things that are really great:
Different world from the usual fantasy fare. The only "standard" things in this aren't that common: a being called Death and psychopomps, except these are human. There have been great TV shows with reapers such as Dead Like Me and Reaper but this is still different. It really felt fresh to me.

Non-stop action.

Humor that is fairly funny.

Main characters who actually have families and friends.
Odin's ravens and the world tree provided a completely unexpected link between the book I read just before, The Age of Odin, and 'Death Most Definite' by Australian Trent Jamieson. The story happens in the present in Australia but it is once again a present seen through a distorting lens. Steven de Selby follows, without terribly much conviction it can be said, the family profession. He is a 'pomp' a human conduit that helps the souls of the dead to transit to the nether world. He has a serious ...more
Unlike a lot of people, I don't have a particular hate-on for present tense narration. I do it myself, often, when I write -- but sometimes it just doesn't work, and it didn't work here. For the first chapter I was just wondering what felt off, but once I noticed it, I couldn't stop noticing it. Because it's in first person, it pretty much has to be the person's own thoughts: but it's impossible to believe that when the narrator keeps explaining things to the reader. It's a difficult line to wal ...more
Karina Sumner-Smith
In my search to find urban fantasy novels that don't make me roll my eyes, I thought I'd give Death Most Definite a try. While I'm not going to declare it the find of the year, I'll admit that it kept me entertained on my morning subway ride.

Steven de Selby is a bit of an underachiever: when he's not working as a psychopomp for Mortmax Inc. (a good 9 to 5 job sending souls of the departed on to ... wherever it is they need to go), he's sulking over his ex and drowning his sorrows in a pint (or s
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of

DEATH MOST DEFINITE is the first in a new urban fantasy series about the corporate side of death, that blends an amalgam of afterlife mythologies, and a zombie uprising, all told from the POV of the underachieving guy who realizes he has to save the world and fight Death itself for the girl he can never get.

Pomps pomp the dead, we draw them through us to the Underworld and the One Tree. And we stall the Stirrers, those things that so desperate
Plot: 4.5 Stars
The structure of the pyschopomps (or reapers) and the way they conducted business was very efficient, unique, and amusing. I thoroughly enjoyed the little details in regards to the psychopomping, and how the souls of the dead moved on. There was also a lot of detail involved in the underworld and the One Tree, without it feeling overwhelming to the reader. This was probably my favorite book containing zombies ever, because zombies tend to be hit or miss for me. And I'll admit, it
I was disappointed by this book. The blurb made the story looked like it would be something I would like and I was actually interested in the background and the universe that it described. The ideas were good. The execution... not so much.
The hero is a reaper who falls in love with a dead girl in the first few pages of the first chapter. Even before we have a chance to learn about him, his work or his world. I couldn't let myself believe that and since that was one of the core elements of the b
Alright, I've finished the book, and now I’m sure: To my mind, Death most definite is just OK.

Despite an intriguing opening sentence: "I know something's wrong the moment I see the dead girl standing in the Wintergarden food court.",
the book is not particularly original. The main character is familiar (to quote myself) “We’ve yet another male-less-than-stellar-magic users; thrown in to the thick,” but this time the protag’s got more of an occult power. He’s a psycho pomp (Read: grim reaper)
Jennifer Lavoie
I loved this book. I'm so glad I picked it up on a whim, and I'm mad at myself for not reading it the minute I got it. Instead I waited a few months. This book was so different from other urban fantasy books I've read, because it's part horror, part urban fantasy, part... something new.

Steven was such a different character, too. I liked how he didn't care about some things, liked his job because it was easy for him, and is incredibly vain about his hair. And yet when you look into his personal
Maria Schneider
Meh. Started out really strong and got continuously darker and darker. There was a good mystery going that degraded to a mess of going back and forth to "hell" with people who died, but sort of didn't (or at least could still be talked to and learned from) and then died again (or were at least still in the process of dying from a soul standpoint) and morphed here and got pretty tangled and more ridiculous as it went. It's not a horrible book if you like noir, but I think the latter 1/ ...more
Fangs for the Fantasy
Steven is a Pomp. He acts as a conduit for the souls of the recently dead to pass on to the underworld. Working for Mortmax industries with his fellow Pomps, they work in the Brisbane subsidiary (with other branches across the world) to ensure the ghosts pass on and the evil Stirrers don’t come back the other way

Except things are going badly wrong. Pomps are dying, ghosts are going unpomped and the whole organisation has fallen apart. Worse, the Stirrers are coming through in greater and greater
Melbourne on my mind
Well. Death really IS most definite in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. The action starts from the first page, and by the end, I pretty much just wanted to give Steve a cup of warm Milo and tell him that he deserves a good lie down.

Steve is in the family business - pomping the dead. Basically, he's a reaper, transporting the souls of the dead from this dimension to the next. When other Pomps (including basically everyone he knows) start turning up dead, he's left running for his life.
I was keen to read this book because the author is an Aussie boy and even better from Brisbane in Queensland. Me being a Queenslander myself. This was his first book published too.
I found it a little hard to get into at first. I know it sounds sexist, but most of the books I read are written by females, so of course us females write from a different frame of mind. I was surprised to find myself sucked into it by about the 3rd chapter. Trent gets quite discriptive with his scenery and the many ch
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

It’s been a bad day for Steven de Selby. He has a hangover from a night of drinking with his cousin, and best friend, Tim, a dead girl is following him around (who he might actually be falling in love with), someone is killing his co-workers, and there’s already been an attempt on his life. Steven is a Pomp, or a Psychopomp, working for the family business (Mortmax), drawing the souls of the newly dead through to the Under
Graham Clements
Set in Brisbane (where I lived for five years so I was familiar with much of the settings), it's a horror novel with some wit. The reluctant hero Steve is a "pomp". The souls of the recently departed must pass through a pomp to travel to the afterlife. The trouble is, someone is killing all of Australia's pomps. What is worse, stirrers (angry murderess souls) are jumping into the bodies of anyone who dies and causing havoc. With the aid of the soul of a beautiful recently killed pomp, Steve has ...more
Well a slightly different Urban fantasy read here, Set downunder which has to be one of the few places I don't read about quite as much, and to be honest I don't think I know anymore about Australia after reading it than I knew before, so im not entirely taken by the world building on that side, however there is also the underworld involved here and by comparison theres quite a pretty picture painted about what thats like which is good. The plot element sees Steven De Selby rise from Zero to her ...more
Angela Oliver
How does someone as incompetent as our hero manage to survive the biggest scourge his people have ever faced? Well, thankfully this story answers this question.

Overall, this reminded me somewhat of the Dresden Files, if it were narrated by Richard Mayhew*. He is swept along in events entirely out of his control, puts faith in the wrong places and faces some heart-breaking losses but with a healthy dose of wry, self-deprecating humour. Highly entertaining.

* ie: a man hopelessly out of his depth.
Bill Rogers
I enjoyed this book tremendously.

Steven de Selby is a Psychopomp, a living gateway to the Afterlife for the souls of the recently deceased. Like all professionals in his field he works for Mortmax Industries, a company with (shall we say) worldwide reach and universal appeal.

He's not especially dedicated to his job, but it's a good living, except when you need to stall a Stirrer-- one of the Other Things which try to come back from the Underworld.

Even de Selby has noticed a few bad signs, thou
Gareth Otton
Death Most Definite is a fun and interesting take on the countless legends of death and other psychopomps. In this story death is not just a personification of a natural act nor is he a deity of some kind, instead Death is actually a vast world wide industry made up of thousands of people who's job it is to guide the souls of the dead into death and keep a distant enemy known as stirrers from coming back to earth.

The protagonist in this exciting little tale is the lowliest employee of this vast
Feels like the pilot episode of a dull TV show: tons of character set-up, right to the end, but the execution is so weak I never once cared about the characters. The dialogue is cliché. The main character is a milquetoast (intentionally, for reasons crucial to the plot, but why would you want that plot). And the overall situation is something we've seen done better dozens of times. It's not actually bad, but it's not what I'd call OK either.
Corporate style grim reapers and corporate efficiencies, zombies, ghosts, love, loss, betrayal, geek humor, first person present POV.

It took me a few tries before I could get into this, and even when I did, the first part was kind of a slog. The second part, however, was awesomesauce -- fast-paced and imaginative. Despite not loving the first half, the strong ending makes me tentatively optimistic about the next book in the series.
Definitely a quick, fun read in the tradition of Dead Like Me with clear inspiration from fantasy deaths (i.e. Discworld)

I haven't read much urban fantasy set outside the North American, UK, or occasionally Asian settings, so the Aussie slang (with one exception, listed below) and Brisbane setting was refreshing.

Steven was approachable and likeable, and I love the family aspect of his life and work. I did find the love story was a little too much "at first sight" for me.

Actually the thing that
The writing is dull and all the characters are unmemorable. I didn't like the voice of the main character and didn't care about him at all. It did have a story to tell but unfortunately the execution is weak.
Won't even finish it. doesn't make much sense, and the main character seems to be a jerk, who I just can't care if the fellow who shot at him had had a better aim. Would have saved me some reading time.
I thought this was a lightweight book, and the "hero" had a cavalier attitude toward tragic deaths. And I didn't like the way he treated his dog.
Ian Irvine
Witty, clever, original, moving, and a great adventure, too. I loved it.
Casey Carlisle
I happened across this book at the airport and bought it to while away the hours spent soaring across the Australian sky with no prior knowledge what this book was about and was happily surprised. ‘Death Most Definite’ is a gem! And the start of a the Death Works Trilogy!

An elegant twist on a Grimm Reaper, Trent Jamieson builds a supernatural world on top of Brisbane, Queensland with great artistry. It was also great to read an urban fantasy where the protagonist, (and most of the cast for that
Yolanda Sfetsos
I have to admit that I've been interested in reading this book since the first time I saw the cover and read the blurb. And now that I've read it, I'm very happy to say that I've been sucked into this series.

Steven de Selby is a Pomp who lives in Brisbane. It's in his blood, and while he doesn't actually love the job, it's a way to pay the bills and not have to do/think too much about the job. You see, Pomps help the spirits of the dead to pass over after death. All it takes is a touch, and the
Steven deSelby is a Pomp, he helps those that have died move on to the afterlife(like reapers, anthropomorphic personifications of death, or Japanese shinigami, except these are distinctly human and their only magic power is the ability to pass souls on to the afterlife). It's a good job, despite the odd annoying co-worker - that is until a dead girl warns him he's about to be shot at, turning his life upside down by keeping him alive when all the other pomps in Brisbane are falling like flies. ...more
Steven de Selby is a Pomp, also known more commonly as a Grim Reaper. He is just one of many Pomps working for the Regional Manager (RM) Mr. D, otherwise known as Death itself, in the Brisbane Regional Headquarters (Yes, this book is set is Australia!). There are other RMs too, of other states in the country. Each of them is in charge of their region's Pomps to help direct lost souls to where they should belong -- the Underworld. At the same time, they have to keep Stirrers, which are angry and ...more
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Trent Jamieson is a science fiction and fantasy writer.

Trent works as a teacher, a bookseller, and a writer, and has taught at Clarion South.
More about Trent Jamieson...
Managing Death (Death Works Trilogy #2) The Business of Death (Death Works Trilogy, #1-3) Roil  (The Nightbound Land, #1) Night's Engines (The Nightbound Land, #2) The Memory of Death (Death Works Trilogy, #4)

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