Book Review: DEATH & CO

PrintE-mail Written by Scott Varnham

Review: Death & Co / Author: D.J. McCune / Release Date: May 2013

Like all great concepts, the idea behind Death & Co can be expressed in the form of something akin to a Hollywood pitch: “Adam doesn’t want to go into the family business – the business of guiding spirits to the afterlife!”

We should explain: Adam Mortson is a teen trying to lead a normal life while being equipped with power beyond imagination and the certain knowledge of what happens after death. Naturally, this doesn’t work out for him, or there’d be no book. (And it doesn't sound like a great deal for the dearly departed either – would you really want your spirit guided into the afterlife by the work experience lad?) Let’s give you an example of the scrapes that he gets into thanks to his double life. The fact that his family are Lumen, constantly on call travelling to the Hinterland and tending to the souls of the dead, means that he’s failing in school and has difficulty keeping dates with his squeeze Melissa. Meanwhile, his attempts to romance her get him into hot water with the school bully, who then makes his life difficult.

Of course, he basically realises that it ain’t gonna happen and he might as well try to make a difference where he can, and we’re left with an interesting sequel hook (one that probably won’t be very satisfying for an older audience, however – it’s not difficult to see coming).

McCune has created a book that will be greatly appreciated by its target audience and it’ll be interesting to see where this idea goes across the next two books. For instance, were there ever Lumen prophets who used their knowledge to be worshipped? Did the French word for death (mort) come from the Mortsons or was it the other way around? And finally, will Adam ever get laid?

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