Death Most Definite (Steven De Selby 1)

Death Most Definite - 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 wayExcept 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 numbers, hunting down more Pomps and increasing the amount of bleakness and death in the world.Leaving Steven alone except for Lissa – a ghost of a Pomp who won’t pass on, is determined to see Stephen survive and for whom he has developed a disturbing attraction. He’s the only one left to track down what is happening, to stop the Stirrers, to Pomp ghosts into the afterlife and, above all, stop a Regional Apocalypse that could consume all of Australia.I’ve seen a couple of versions of humans acting as Grim Reapers as it were but nothing like this. It’s an original story with a novel world and concept. For uniqueness alone I’d give it a lot of points simply because it is so very new.Except for the epic ending, the characters are also rather lacking in woo-woo super powers which also adds an interesting twist. This isn’t a “my new shiny ability will save the day” situation. Pomps have, abilities, certainly, but when being chased by people with guns there’s not a whole lot they can do except run or die.The nature of the stirrers was also an interesting enemy. Creatures dangerous not because they’re zombies (though it’s a new twist on the idea of zombies) but because they suck in life and hope out of the world, leading people to despair, people to just lay down and die, birds fall from the sky, plants wilt, even the microbes in the soil to die from their presenceIt’s also set in Brisbane, Australia, which is pretty unusual for most Urban Fantasy I’ve read. Add in, there was a clear sense that the author clearly knew the city well. I get a very strong sense of place and location from the book, a reality to it that comes from knowledge and experience.It also manages emotional impact. Even while being funny and downright slapstick and silly at times (perhaps a little too much now and then, but I laughed so I won’t criticise) but we still have emotional impact of how much he’s lost – and the Stirrers in the bodies of his loved ones.Read More