Title: Death & Co
Author: D.J. McCune
Series: Death & Co (Book One)
Who’s it for? Teens
What’s it about? The Mortson family are Lumen – an elite, very secret group of people, whose job it is to guide dead souls on their path to the afterlife. Unfortunately for the youngest son, Adam, being a Lumen is completely non-negotiable. But Adam has dreams outside of the family business, dreams of normalcy and lives that don’t revolve around death. To add to his troubles, Adam has a rare gift – but this raises even greater questions. Lumen are sworn not to interfere with the Fates, to merely be guides, not saviours of the dead. Interference with the Fates carries the harshest penalty. But could he really stand and watch people die, knowing he could do something?
What’s good about it? The premise is so very intriguing. The afterlife can often be a bit of a hot topic amongst people, but this was a nice spin on it. I liked the idea of the Lumen, there to help guide people to their afterlife, but I also enjoyed the fact that not even the Lumen knew what would happen once those people made it there. There was just enough tantalising information given about the Lumen to keep you intrigue, but there are still more questions to be answered.
It’s pretty hard not to like Adam, and especially not to feel sorry for the sheer volume of vomit he manages to expel during the course of the story. He must need daily iron tablets though, the amount of blood he loses from nose bleeds. His struggles are nicely played out.
Oh and I loved his friends. Alright, at first I was concerned that each one had been stamped with a characteristic and nothing else, but there was something very entertaining about their interactions with Adam.
The Mortson family were interesting. The contrast between Auntie Jo and Elise was nicely done, but again, there’s plenty of questions there that I’m hoping will be answered as the series progresses. I’m hoping more will be made of Chloe and Aron in future books as they mostly skim the sidelines in this one.
What’s bad about it? I can’t say I really enjoyed the subplot with the headteacher, it all seemed a shade too cruel for my liking, whether he was a terrible man or not.
The verdict? This was a promising start to a new series, with a truly intriguing premise and some very entertaining characters. It raised some pointed questions about life and death and the choices we make, but there was also the promise of something greater about the oppression of women (the Lumen are only ever men, the women stay home, cook and have babies) which I am really hoping comes up again further on in the series.
It’s a good read, one that finishes a little too quickly for my liking! I wanted to know more about the Lumen, about the Fates – especially following that rather tantalising epilogue.