Title: Dead Harvest
Author: Chris F. Holm
Length: 300 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From: Personal Collection
Plot Basics: The job of collecting souls for the damned isn’t exactly what Sam wanted in life. But bad choices and unknown forces put him in the role. Now, he does his best to do the work, and minimize the consequences. This collection is different, and Sam refuses to follow what everyone says he should do.
Banter Points: A solid start to what promises to be a great series. Sam may be a collector of souls, but he is a thought provoking character. He has a 1950s or 1960s view of the world. It doesn’t clash with the modern world of 2012 or 2014, but it does make his speech pattern interesting. I liked the noir feeling that it gave the novel.
I also liked Sam’s rather matter of fact manner of dealing with his job. He doesn’t get caught up in the drama of what he is doing. Instead, he continually moves forward, seeking the right answers. It was very linear in a way that made me wonder what it would be like to know Sam in real life. It was a contrast to the actual work he is doing. It would be easy to get caught up in the drama of soul-collecting and the stories that those who are actually damned may tell until the inevitable happens. Instead, he remains focused on the job, but for the right reasons.
Of course, in the end, Sam has a good reason for not collecting this soul. The ending is a great set-up to what I think is coming in the next installation.
Bummer Points: Back story. Every character has one, of course. It’s unavoidable otherwise the choices that they face that make them so interesting wouldn’t exist either. Sam’s is intermingled as back-flashes throughout the story. It isn’t terrible, and it is relevant to the story, but I do wonder if Holm contemplated leaving it out.
Stacie’s Recommendation: Great start to a series. This one is a contender for the “Best Of” lists come December.