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The Business of Death (Death Works Trilogy #1-3)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  472 Ratings  ·  49 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
Paperback, 837 pages
Published September 19th 2011 by Orbit Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
4 Stars

The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson is a very uneven conclusion to a really fun trilogy. This book starts off with a big mistake in that you can only read it in the omnibus format. Hmm, buy all three books again. What? So after I got over that fact and started reading this one, I was taken aback by the drawn out rehashing of the first two books. It was so slow and redundant and long...why?

OK, after that, it starts the conclusion with some interesting twists. Steven as Death with Mog a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren K
This review was first posted at The Australian Bookshelf

The conclusion to the trilogy continues with the adventures of Steven de Selby, the regional director (a.k.a Death) of all pomps in Australia who help those who die move into the afterlife. Once again Lissa and Steven are at each other’s throats in a love/ hate relationship. Lissa is dedicated to the company and Steven always needs a little push and motivation to fulfil the role he was assigned to manage.

I was surprised by the ending, a lit
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I hate you and love you at the same time. I had the same reaction with your books that I would have had if Patrck Rothfuss decided to end his series like yours, and with books that are as long as all three of yours put together. And can I just say, the model on the cover? H. O. T. Looking back, I have decided that it is nice to think that someone can always step up and become a great leader, even if they were a lazy, mopey, alcoholic before. I don't know, I can't really find the words to do this ...more
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What the hell?!

So I purchased the first two books separately and now I'm expected to pay $16 for an omnibus if I want to read the third and final book?

Nice try, but I don't think so. This is one series that I loved but won't finish unless I can get the third book by itself, though it doesn't seem like that's going to be happening. If I had known they'd be doing this, I would've just waited for The Business of Death instead of buying the first two books.

Thanks Orbit!


Un. Fucking. Real. Rev
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Trent manages to balance humour with darkness in his Death Works books. Great pacing, an awesome read.
Shelley Nolan
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this series. I liked Steven and Lissa and the host of other characters. Each book kept me wondering how Steven was going to get out of the mess he landed in and it kept me hooked page by page. Now that its finished, I want more. Not ready to say goodbye to the intriguing story world Jamieson created and the refreshing take on Death.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
The book was not boring, but I didn't like it so I left it halfway, maybe I'm too old for Young Adult :/
Jo Trelfa
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome trilogy
Fangs for the Fantasy
Steve is the last RM – he is the Orcus. He is Hungry Death. He is not just the head of Death, but the very embodiment of it.

And the end of the world is looming closer – a monstrous creature of the void is looming not just in the underworld but in the real world as well. The apocalypse is nigh

Unless Steven can stop it. Which means getting himself together and his life in order and finally working with Lissa and Tim and acting like the head of the Orcus.

Oh, and trying to make peace with the Death
S.B. Wright
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have a special affection for The Death Works series.  It was Trent’s books that got me into this book reviewing gig.  A fact for which my gratitude swings dependant on the books I get sent.

But seriously it’s been a pleasure reading the series and getting to the end.

Clearing things up

To clear up any confusion, the Death Works series was originally released as a trilogy, I reviewed the first two books earlier thisyear (Death most Definite and Managing Death). 

Business of Death was to be the


The ultimate horror, a thing that seeks not only your death but to consume your soul. Reaming your most essential essence that makes you who your are. It draws ever closer. Everything that Steven de Selby has faced in just a few months won't make a difference.

As our story winds to a close, Steven has nigh ultimate power. Even so, the approaching deity has even more. Steven was given a tremendous ace in the hole in the last novel and yet, the problems that he must face are almost more than he can

Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I really enjoyed the first of the Deathworks trilogy, Death Most Definite. I was more lukewarm towards the second, Managing Death, but I got a bit more excited about this final instalment. Mostly, it must be said, because of the ending, which I have no intention of spoiling here. It should be taken for granted that there are spoilers for the first two books in this little review.

The Business of Death opens with Steve having the entire Hungry Death inside of him, and as the only Regional Manager
Yolanda Sfetsos
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This edition actually contains the three books in the Death Works trilogy. I've already read DEATH MOST DEFINITE and MANAGING DEATH. So I was looking forward to reading the third book, THE BUSINESS OF DEATH.

Steven de Selby's life is very complicated. He's Death, which means dealing with a very dark power from within, the Hungry Death. There's also the Stirrer god very close to breaching our world. And the Death of the Water is also very angry with Steven and wants revenge.

That's a lot for one
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, war
This is the third and last of Trent Jamieson's Death Works series. (The kindle edition regroups all three books) Steven de Selby, having become the Death of the world, faces life's ancient enemy. His supporting cast of employees of Mortmax (death's industrial organisation that assures the souls of people who die find their way into the afterworld), mates and lover Lisa is all there again and ready (more than he) to fight by his side for the survival of humanity. There is a difference to the tone ...more
Siew Ee
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This third book wraps up the Death Works series by Trent Jamieson. A roller coaster ride right from the start, with nary a pause in action in-between books. Steven De Selby, promoted against his will as Death manifest, fights against time to defeat the Stirrer God.

Steven is a likeable protagonist, and a strong enough character to carry the series. In the first book, he did come across as a little wishy-washy but he grew in character and had an unassuming honesty that’s easy to relate to and eas
James Hein
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished Book 1 (This version contains all three books) and so far so good. Interesting story variation and since I lived in Brisbane for 5 years the places strike a chord as they are used in the story. It will be interesting to see where Book 2 takes the reader.

Just Finished Book 2. The story line is continuing on well enough and it will be interesting to see how the series will be conclused. At the very least I expect a huge battle of some kind.

Finally finished the series. The last book
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because of how much I loved Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, and while this was no Sandman, it was a really good read. The characters didn't really grow all that much, other than the protagonist, and the plot twists could be predictable, but there was so much hear that just made for a good story. The plot didn't drag at all and there was always the tensions of "the bad thing" happening. The book bred a subtle tension in me that I wouldn't realize until I put it down and would relax.
Mr. Noah Sturdevant
It isn't fair of me to give this series such a low score, based solely on the ending, but I have to anyway. I admit it isn't fair, but the end really upset me that I had put so much time into this series and bought into the whole experience only to feel really bummed out and slightly angry at the last page. I know many fantastic books, both classic and modern, chose to toss a sad ending in for some reason, but when I have been along for the ride I guess I just expect things to work out OK. Agai ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent enough book, loved the first one, the 2nd a little less and the third I liked again up until the end.

The ending stank. Hated it. hatehatehatehate.

Those of you who read this book might ask "How could it have ended differently?" I don't know. I don't care. I just hate the ending with a fiery, burning passion that could ignite the core of a glacier.
My hatred for this ending could start the fusion burn of a star.

When taken together, I suppose I enjoyed the trilogy, but the ending on the thi
I'm so disappointed in the ending.

Even though all three books are in this one volume I have rated the other two separately. I actually read the first book from the library.

I liked the first book (4 stars). The second book was weaker (3 stars), but the third book was much better (4 stars) ... until the ending (1 star).

The ending ruined the entire series for me and I wish I hadn't read it at all.
Pete Aldin
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As someone not attracted to urban fantasy, I've found the three of Jamieson's Death novels bloody fantastic. They're funny, they're gross, they're mildly frightening (in the sense of making me worried for the wellbeing of characters)...did I say they're funny.

And to read a great horror/fantasy novel set in Australia that works was a bonus for me.

Brisbane as a gate to the underworld? Sure, I believe that. :)
I've just finished the first book - Death Most Definite - and it was a light, fast read. Very imaginative Underworld, IMHO though I haven't read too many books about it, so take that with a grain of salt.

As an atheist, I did like that there was a non-religious feel to the Underworld in this story.

On to the second book, Managing Death!

Update (sorry it's been so long) - I'm finished with this book now and the whole thing was a light, fast read, and very action-packed. I liked it.
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains all three volumes of the deathworks trilogy, but this is the only book that contains the final volume. Now I have had a chance to read the final book I have to say that this is a bittersweet read. By the end of it a God has come to earth and Steve knows everything about Death.

I've enjoyed this series, but it's hard to see how there can be any more sequels past the final volume and it's probably the best urban fantasy I've seen come out of Australia.
Well, screw that. Way too predictable, felt super rushed all through the second half, and just generally left me dissastisfied with pretty much everything. I would give this one star, except I mostly liked the series before this and can't quite bring myself to do it. A part of me is glad that it's over, and part of me wishes it had never started so I wouldn't have been so disappointed.
Better than average writing with an imaginative twist to the role of Death (as a corporate being) has in the world. If you are familiar with Dead Like Me on TV this story will seem familiar although the author credits Pratchett, Gaiman and Fritz Leiber as his inspirations.

This is Aussie fiction so the setting is naturally in Australia. They have some of the best fantasy writers.
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Katharine is a judge for the Sara Douglass 'Book Series' Award. This entry is the personal opinion of Katharine herself, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.

I won't be recording my thoughts (if I choose to) here until after the AA are over.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first two books in this series and really enjoyed reading this one, but Mr J misses out on a five star rating because I absolutely loathed the ending. I don't demand kittens and rainbows, I don't mind books that come to a somewhat dark conclusion, but if the colour of hope is white, then this finale was pitch black.
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fan
The Business of Death was a great final chapter on this trilogy. Trent Jamieson keeps the witty humor that helped the reader to digest the rather dark story lines. While the ending was not filled with fluffy bunnies and sunshine; it was very appropriate and ended the trilogy in an honest way.
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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

Other books in the series

Death Works Trilogy (3 books)
  • Death Most Definite (Death Works Trilogy #1)
  • Managing Death (Death Works Trilogy #2)
  • The Business of Death (Death Works Trilogy, #3)

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