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Dying Is My Business

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Given his line of work in the employ of a psychotic Brooklyn crime boss, Trent finds himself on the wrong end of too many bullets. Yet each time he’s killed, he wakes a few minutes later completely healed of his wounds but with no memory of his past identity. What’s worse, each time he cheats death someone else dies in his place. Sent to steal an antique box from some squat Given his line of work in the employ of a psychotic Brooklyn crime boss, Trent finds himself on the wrong end of too many bullets. Yet each time he’s killed, he wakes a few minutes later completely healed of his wounds but with no memory of his past identity. What’s worse, each time he cheats death someone else dies in his place. Sent to steal an antique box from some squatters in an abandoned warehouse near the West Side Highway, Trent soon finds himself stumbling into an age-old struggle between the forces of good and evil, revealing a secret world where dangerous magic turns people into inhuman monstrosities, where impossible creatures hide in plain sight, and where the line between the living and the dead is never quite clear. And when the mysterious box is opened, he discovers he has only twenty-four hours to save New York City from certain destruction.


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Given his line of work in the employ of a psychotic Brooklyn crime boss, Trent finds himself on the wrong end of too many bullets. Yet each time he’s killed, he wakes a few minutes later completely healed of his wounds but with no memory of his past identity. What’s worse, each time he cheats death someone else dies in his place. Sent to steal an antique box from some squat Given his line of work in the employ of a psychotic Brooklyn crime boss, Trent finds himself on the wrong end of too many bullets. Yet each time he’s killed, he wakes a few minutes later completely healed of his wounds but with no memory of his past identity. What’s worse, each time he cheats death someone else dies in his place. Sent to steal an antique box from some squatters in an abandoned warehouse near the West Side Highway, Trent soon finds himself stumbling into an age-old struggle between the forces of good and evil, revealing a secret world where dangerous magic turns people into inhuman monstrosities, where impossible creatures hide in plain sight, and where the line between the living and the dead is never quite clear. And when the mysterious box is opened, he discovers he has only twenty-four hours to save New York City from certain destruction.

30 review for Dying Is My Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    3.5 stars. Another day, another death. I was a freak, but at least I was a meticulous freak. Get. Your. Freak. On. This is the book for any person who (as a kid) took their Star Wars, G.I. Joe, and Thundercat toys out into the backyard and found a way to invent a new world where they would battle each other. Unless you were me, and had to make due with a Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Ponies, and a generic She-Ra doll (hey, I was a sheltered kid. I only got to play army men and Star W 3.5 stars. Another day, another death. I was a freak, but at least I was a meticulous freak. Get. Your. Freak. On. This is the book for any person who (as a kid) took their Star Wars, G.I. Joe, and Thundercat toys out into the backyard and found a way to invent a new world where they would battle each other. Unless you were me, and had to make due with a Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Ponies, and a generic She-Ra doll (hey, I was a sheltered kid. I only got to play army men and Star Wars at my friends' houses). Who was I? Why couldn't I remember anything before a year ago? Why didn't I stay dead? Katanas, guns, wands, and staves. Gargoyles, dragons, lie-detecting ticks, and evil overlords. Strap on your seat belts, kids. This ride's about to get bumpy, especially when the man driving the bus has no clue who he is. (btw - I think I was more scared of a lie-detecting tick than anything. Too many years spent at summer camp gave me a phobia of those horrific little shits.) I hate to classify Urban Fantasy into either of the dreaded "romantic" vs. "action" categories because almost all (non-PNR) UF will have a fair amount of action and pseudo-fantasy happening. Some of my favorite UF series provide an equal dose of ass kicking and sexual tension. However, this book landed closer to the "action" side of the spectrum. Fans of grittier, darker Urban Fantasy are going to be more likely to gravitate toward Dying. The last few male-driven UF series I've read have been somewhat snarkier. The tone of this book was firmly rooted in the mystery surrounding our main character and the obstacles he had to overcome on his path to finding out who he is. While humor isn't a strong element in Dying, there were random moments which amused me. When I stumbled across these moments, I smiled the smile of a person who got to be part of an inside joke. Either you'll find yourself amused, or you'll sail right on by, never the wiser. It's hard to write about the characters because they were hard to get to know at first, due to the fact that the main voice had absolutely no clue what was going on, but that sort of lent itself to the fun. I wanted to know why this person had landed himself in the middle of New York's seediest and scariest happenings, so I was willing to tag along and find out where we wound up. My one complaint would be that I wish there'd been more of a focus on a select group of paranormals, instead of this story being yet another version of paranormal stew. My shelf categories blew up again with the addition of this book. When there are too many things in a story which need to be explained, you tend to start tuning some of it out. A little more focus on a specific theme would take this series from good to great. Even so, I'm in! This book provided from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted from the final copy. Review also posted on my Booklikes page.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker

    http://badassbookreviews.com/dying-is... or below Michelle’s Review – 5 Skulls – A Due to real life problems, I stopped requesting Advanced Reader Copies (ARC) from publishers and authors. It’s not that I didn’t feel I could read their book and give my honest opinion, it was because time was/is precious. When you read an ARC, there is usually no (or very few) previous reviews. You are the “guinea pig” for all future readers. For a long time, I didn’t want to risk my precious time to be other reader http://badassbookreviews.com/dying-is... or below Michelle’s Review – 5 Skulls – A Due to real life problems, I stopped requesting Advanced Reader Copies (ARC) from publishers and authors. It’s not that I didn’t feel I could read their book and give my honest opinion, it was because time was/is precious. When you read an ARC, there is usually no (or very few) previous reviews. You are the “guinea pig” for all future readers. For a long time, I didn’t want to risk my precious time to be other reader’s guinea pig. It is books like Dying is my Business that makes me risk my valuable time on unknown books. Books like this keep me requesting books that no one else read. I am not a huge fan of male protagonist urban fantasy/fantasy novels. Usually, the novel tries to be too macho or just the opposite. If the protagonist is supposed to be this magical superhero type, he better not be someone with emotions. God no, that would be so uncool. Thankfully, Kaufmann manages to portray Trent, the male protagonist, as a kickass-don’t-mess-with-me, magical badass AND a lonely, insecure man. Here is the kicker. The author is very subtle in showing the two sides of the same character. There is a scene where Trent is searching for Missing posters and hoping he’ll find one with someone trying to locate him. As an amnesiac, he can’t remember past a year and he doesn’t know if he had friends or family. You really feel Trent’s loneliness even with no words spoken regarding how he felt. Don’t go thinking this is a character driven drama. It’s not. It is a thriller from page one. It is full of unique creatures, a strong suspenseful plot, and an action packed ending. I cannot wait to read book 2.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul Nelson

    Dying is my business by Nicholas Kaufmann is a roller coaster of a read that climaxes in a break neck speed plummet into the depths before finally coming to rest with a relatively happy ending. Seriously though, this is fast paced with no breaks in the tempo and for a YA Urban fantasy book which I wouldn't normally touch, I have to say I really enjoyed it. Trent works in the underbelly of New York City doing the dirty jobs for a pseudo mobster called Underwood but all he wants is answers to his m Dying is my business by Nicholas Kaufmann is a roller coaster of a read that climaxes in a break neck speed plummet into the depths before finally coming to rest with a relatively happy ending. Seriously though, this is fast paced with no breaks in the tempo and for a YA Urban fantasy book which I wouldn't normally touch, I have to say I really enjoyed it. Trent works in the underbelly of New York City doing the dirty jobs for a pseudo mobster called Underwood but all he wants is answers to his many questions, like why can't he die, why can't he sleep and why can't he remember anything from beyond the past year. His latest job is top priority, sent to a warehouse to recover a simple wooden box with a metal crest but this job will open his eyes to a side of New York that he never knew existed. You see Trent has a list, a list of nine names, all were in the vicinity each time he has been killed and all lost their lives when he rose from the dead, their life force used to replenish his own and that list is about to get bigger. The underground of New York is an energetic place there's werewolves, vampires, mages, a dragon deep underground, a hell of a lot of flying gargoyles and a purposeful bunch of dead revenants. I think this is where the world building tripped up a little as you get the impression the general population know nothing of these monsters yet some major events take place that would certainly contradict this philosophy. A enjoyable fast paced read that is much akin to an action film script and would probably make an incredible high octane film. My thanks to Netgalley and publisher St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review Dying is my business.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David

    2 ½ to 3 stars Conflicted So I've stated before how much I really dig Urban Fantasy, and after reading Nicholas Kaufman’s novella Chasing the Dragon,(standalone, unrelated novella) I was really excited to get my hands on the authors foray into Urban Fantasy, Dying is My Business. But as you can tell by the past tense verbiage the novel did not live up to my expectations. This novel has the premise that our protagonist Trent, cannot stay dead. For some unknown reason he woke up a year ago with no 2 ½ to 3 stars Conflicted So I've stated before how much I really dig Urban Fantasy, and after reading Nicholas Kaufman’s novella Chasing the Dragon,(standalone, unrelated novella) I was really excited to get my hands on the authors foray into Urban Fantasy, Dying is My Business. But as you can tell by the past tense verbiage the novel did not live up to my expectations. This novel has the premise that our protagonist Trent, cannot stay dead. For some unknown reason he woke up a year ago with no memory and the ability to rise from the grave anytime he’s killed. He’s not a zombie or some kind of lich, doesn't have horcruxes like my boy Tommy Riddle. Trent just gets to get up and walk away after being plugged full of holes. He works for a mob boss, crime lord type who strings him along with the promise to provide information about his past as long as he does some impossible jobs for him. The premise is very promising, offering a tale that seems a little different. Then on the back of the book you’re given all this wonderful information about there being demons, undead, dragons, and anything else you can find from mythology. Couple that with the fact that Mr. Kaufman has more fame as a horror writer than UF and you will find it safe to assume this should be a thrill ride of epic proportions. I was wrong in that assumption. Wait dear reader before you click to find another novel, let me explain. The book is not bad, the story is still good, and it’s just not as EPIC as it was made out to be. For me it was more like those movies that come out with the really awesome trailer that ends up showing you all of the awesome parts of the movie. (Sucker Punch, Miami Vice, Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow, Prometheus, I’m looking at you!) There are some good tasty bits mixed into this novel. It had an alternate magical history of the world. There was a dragon living under New York, and a different take on gargoyles and some other mythological creatures that were really cool. The way magic worked, who could use it and to what ends was intriguing as well. The story and premise were fine, the plot though, the plot fell short of my expectations. The story has our protagonist Trent as a man with no memory of his past, but resurrects from the dead anytime he’s killed. No fanfare, no bright lights, just “Ouch, where am I?” kind of stuff. He works as a mob enforcer/muscle guy for a crime lord, and finds out that there is more than meets the eye going on in his world. (I've always wanted to say more than meets the eye, Transformer fetish or sumn I guess). I really liked the beginning and most of the end of this story, but the middle sucked for me. The action gets dull; the story slows and then ramps up adding more villains, side-kicks, and magic. It just takes too long to get going. The problems: First, our protagonist Trent is horrible as a mob enforcer. I mean I've met tougher sixth graders. The only thing he has going for him is the fact that he’ll resurrect. He loves his gun and I really do not recall him ever using it to any effectiveness. Now, this could have worked, making him a reluctant bad guy, but for me it made him ordinary and weak in a bad way. When the author ups the tension and the level of big bads he must confront, Trent really gets lucky more than anything. Not a deal breaker because overpowered is just as bad as weak, and he becomes more dangerous as the story develops. But the author does a good job of balancing Trent’s one “magical” skill by making it harder to use often. The one unique aspect is his resurrection is it comes with a price that I will not spoil, but gives reasons for why Trent wouldn't just charge into any situation willy nilly. The middle was blah. Blah in the way the old Forgotten Realms novels without a great main character or big name were. You know, the ones without Drizzt or Elminster. The stories where there’s an adventure, something’s missing and the fledgling mage/cleric/knight, must confront the evil. Standard fantasy fare set in an urban setting, but without tension, suspense, or a character you really root for (at this point in the story). Then, to top it all off Trent seems to forget he’s unkillable for minute. It’s important to note Trent isn't very keen on rising from the grave because of the cost of doing so which as I mentioned above I won’t reveal but will say it would make most people not overly keen on wanting to use the skill. My real problem comes from the fact he doesn't even contemplate it, it’s the feature that the novel is based on and it’s not used in the most obvious of scenarios. When fecal matter collides with the proverbial air circulation device Trent doesn't rely, or even stop to think about his one true skill, and that didn't ring as a plausible scenario to me. The bad guy initially was meh, he and his minions really didn't escalate the action. The pace, even during the chase sequences, seemed slow to me. Additional characters were added who were immediately pivotal to the plot, which was nice, especially considering the fact that since our protagonist cannot be permanently put to pasture the readers needed a reason to feel sense of danger. But they’re not very deep characters and one is rather unlikable, so the pace of the plot at this point is still tortoise. Overall, the story was alright. It was very predictable in the beginning and middle. The characters lacked some serious badassery in the middle. It really took a while to get going, but had some fun parts. I liked it overall, but I put it down to read other things, and had to come back and trudge through the swampy middle. I must say though, if there is another novel in this series I would read it just to see if the character and story reach their full potential. There is some good groundwork here, just nothing amazing. I was left convicted.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    Dying Is My Business is a fast-paced, chock-full of action urban fantasy with male protagonist. Yes, it has its flaws but I'm seriously having too much fun reading about this, that it falls into my 4* entertaining kind of story. ** The Story ** Trent couldn't remember anything from more than a year ago. The only thing he knew about himself was that he couldn't die. Oh, wait, he COULD die, but he always returned back to the world of the living after sucking the life of someone else in the near vici Dying Is My Business is a fast-paced, chock-full of action urban fantasy with male protagonist. Yes, it has its flaws but I'm seriously having too much fun reading about this, that it falls into my 4* entertaining kind of story. ** The Story ** Trent couldn't remember anything from more than a year ago. The only thing he knew about himself was that he couldn't die. Oh, wait, he COULD die, but he always returned back to the world of the living after sucking the life of someone else in the near vicinity. He then worked for a mob boss, Underwood, who promised Trent that he would get the answers of his identity if Trent worked for him. When on a latest job, Underwood told Trent to get him a mysterious box, that was when everything went to hell. Because Trent found out that he wasn't the only 'freak' in New York City. I found this premise really appealing. So far, I only read one other series that started with a hero having retrograde amnesia (Steve McHugh Crimes Against Magic). The whole mystery about who Trent really was, including what he could do, was only part of the two huge mysteries that kept the story moving forward. Plus the action. MAN, the action!! We had car chasing, gun trotting, sword fighting, even falling from the sky kind of scenes, and it was FUN!! Since Trent had amnesia, and this was written in first person, I felt like finding things along with him ... about the secret society, about magical creatures, and why the mysterious box became important. My biggest complaint for the story was that in the end, Trent's identity was still a secret. Maybe it would be revealed a bit more in book #2 but I wish there were more clues. ** The World-Building ** This story was taking place in New York City. So it was not complicated to understand. But of course then Trent found out that there were gargoyles, vampires, mages, shifter, zombies, revenants, and at one point, a DRAGON, all living in the Big Apple. Again, fun. ** The Characters ** I liked Trent -- of course, sometimes I felt that he was too naive for trusting a mob boss like Underwood, but I did think it was because he was so desperate with the promise that Underwood would tell Trent about his identity. I liked that Trent finally realized that he was yearning for friends and families, to become part of something, and being with Bethany, Phillip, Gabrielle, and Isaac, were better than being Underwood's pet. There were some humorous tone that amused me too -- not the heavy, snarky kind, but it was enough to lighten up the moment when things became grittier. I still felt that there were more to these characters, though -- and with Trent, I would love to learn more about them. ** Overall Thoughts ** Yep, the idea is generic (good versus evil and we must save the world in the eleventh hour), and the biggest mystery has not yet been solved (who is Trent?), but again, I am having too much fun with this to get disappointed. Thus, my 4* rating, and I'm definitely in for book #2. Personal Urban Fantasy With Male Protagonist Challenge May 2014: story #1

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zeenat

    Summary: Trent died plenty of times. Yet he always wakes up, someone else dying instead. He might be able to stop it if he had any memory of who he was. Trent's boss, the crime boss Underwood, sends him on a mission to retrieve a box and kill the people guarding it. But Trent has not killed anyone outright, and after goblins attack, he realizes the world is not what it seems. Someone has to know who Trent is. Review: It is rare that a first book in a series blows me away, especially when it's wr Summary: Trent died plenty of times. Yet he always wakes up, someone else dying instead. He might be able to stop it if he had any memory of who he was. Trent's boss, the crime boss Underwood, sends him on a mission to retrieve a box and kill the people guarding it. But Trent has not killed anyone outright, and after goblins attack, he realizes the world is not what it seems. Someone has to know who Trent is. Review: It is rare that a first book in a series blows me away, especially when it's written by a new author. But "Dying is my Business" is an excellent addition to the Urban Fantasy drama. One of the mistakes authors make is that they complicate their world building. However, Kaufmann kept the formula very simple with small twists. Trent is a man who can come back to life. A simple human with a weird twist. No weird name for the supernaturals, and no big flash for the cast. This gave room for character and plot growth. The world he built in NYC was beautifully displayed to the readers. Also, the well written plot engaged me. It followed a consistent arc, and there was no place in the book moved too slow or too fast. With action starting from the very first page, the plot ebbed and flowed naturally. There was a little romance, but nothing overwhelming. The twist at the end surprised me, and it left me craving the next book. A cross between Harry Dresden and Seely Booth, Trent is the perfect Urban Fantasy protagonist. He is masculine without being a pig. He recognizes his faults and is brave enough to try to avoid hurting people with it. Kaufmann also wrote the supporting characters well. My favorite was Thornton; knowing he was nearly dead and trying to live while rotting from the inside out, his character exemplified complexity. I also thought the Dark Knight was a well developed bad guy. I highly recommend you to read about Trent and his multiple lives. I am so excited for the next installment. Sex: kissing Violence: fighting and guns Release date: October 8th, 2013 Quote: "I can hear the heartbeat of this city in my head like a constant drum, the din of breath and metal, the cracking of its skin underfoot. It never stops, never gives me a moment's peace, but soon it will. Soon there will be silence." "Seriously?" I interrupted. "You want to destroy New York City because it's too loud? Why can't you just move to Westchester like everyone else?" **ARC PROVIDED BY NETGALLEY**

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Prior to writing this review, I looking through my notes and status updates while reading. Pretty early on I made the note: "Needs to get moving." Boy, did Nicholas Kaufmann do just that! Dying is My Business starts out almost as a basic thriller with Trent being the muscle for his boss, Underwood. He's bringing in someone who has information that Underwood needs. Pretty quickly we learn that Trent isn't like other thugs. For one thing, he can't be killed. If he is shot, stabbed or drowned, his b Prior to writing this review, I looking through my notes and status updates while reading. Pretty early on I made the note: "Needs to get moving." Boy, did Nicholas Kaufmann do just that! Dying is My Business starts out almost as a basic thriller with Trent being the muscle for his boss, Underwood. He's bringing in someone who has information that Underwood needs. Pretty quickly we learn that Trent isn't like other thugs. For one thing, he can't be killed. If he is shot, stabbed or drowned, his body will come back by sucking out the life force of the person nearest him. Trent also seems to have a conscience. He works for Underwood simply because he doesn't really know anyone else and he believes Underwood can help him find out about himself. Trent has no memory beyond a year ago and is desperate for answers. When Trent is sent on the assignment to steal the antique box, everything changes. He meets a group of people that slowly become his friends. And, his eyes are opened to the supernatural elements in the world around him - witches, vampires, shapeshifters/wolves, gargoyles and more. I really, really liked this story. The author did a good job of humanizing Trent and making us pull for him. I loved that we didn't get all the answers but we learned a lot about this world and the creatures who inhabit it. For the most part, the good guys aren't all good and the bad guys aren't all bad. These shades of gray make the characters more interesting and believable. The budding friendship between Trent and the other members of the group was an important part of his growth and affected his decisions. The author did a nice job depicting the struggle between making the best decision for yourself and the best decision for someone else. And, I appreciated that there were feelings between Trent and Bethany but neither of them pushed it (which is how it should really happen when people are caught up in a life or death situation.) 4.5/5 stars and a must read! Thank you to the publisher for providing an E-ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    I, Spy, Books

    ...Did that really just end? JUST LIKE THAT!??!!? (See Synopsis for Book details) Gargoyles, Vampires, Necromancers, Mages, Dragons, and Lycanthropes- OH MY! Throw in Fantastic Main Characters with witty banter and I am SOLD! Not to mention the ending had me begging for more! You have 4.5 Stars from me Mr. Kaufmann!!! ...Did that really just end? JUST LIKE THAT!??!!? (See Synopsis for Book details) Gargoyles, Vampires, Necromancers, Mages, Dragons, and Lycanthropes- OH MY! Throw in Fantastic Main Characters with witty banter and I am SOLD! Not to mention the ending had me begging for more! You have 4.5 Stars from me Mr. Kaufmann!!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shera (Book Whispers)

    ****Review copy received through Netgalley for an honest review.**** Wow, it feels so strange to say this about a male lead. But he's Too Stupid To Live! Kaufmann was clearly trying to make his main lead, Trent, a take action asks questions later kind of man. But fail. Every time Trent made a move it felt like I was continually yelling at him for making yet another stupid move. Magic and fantasy type things are real, let's keep shooting at things with a gun that doesn't phase them. Suddenly you ****Review copy received through Netgalley for an honest review.**** Wow, it feels so strange to say this about a male lead. But he's Too Stupid To Live! Kaufmann was clearly trying to make his main lead, Trent, a take action asks questions later kind of man. But fail. Every time Trent made a move it felt like I was continually yelling at him for making yet another stupid move. Magic and fantasy type things are real, let's keep shooting at things with a gun that doesn't phase them. Suddenly you have mad swordsmanship skills that you can actually hurt things and defend yourself with! Now forget taking a sword along, you’re useless gun is all you need. You're faced with a dragon, let's piss it off. That didn't kill it, let's keep trying with the same method. Finally you've got some people who can give you answers, let's get pissed off and yell at them pointlessly. Time up. No more questions. Every action Trent took . . . just ticked me off. Trent is a man who woke up one year ago with no memories and as the cruel world would have it fell into the arms of some shady people. Who shot him. For no apparent reason. When he comes back to life—by draining one of their people mind you—the head boss gives him a place to live and money for the simple task of doing some really shady work. Trent accidentally kills a child and said boss just says better him then you. No matter what kind of memory loss you've got to know that something is WRONG. Also, just one week with these kinds of people should tell you all you need to know. The information that they've promised to find for Trent about who he really is, is never coming. Ever. Idiot. His “redemption”, or at least what I think the author was trying to go for, didn't even feel real. The emotional connections were lacking too much. This book takes place in 3 days I think. Yet we're expected to believe that Trent magically goes through this transformation. Sure it's for a girl, love makes everything work faster. Going from cynic to silly-crush-man in the blink of an eye. The mentioned lack of emotions doesn't help solidified that story arc. None of the characters were very memorable, or ones I'd like to get to know. The love interest is very cool and I love her sensibleness and forgiveness. However, her love for Trent makes her a little sketchy in my mind. Their personalities would lead them to kill each other. Fast. Philip the Vampire was pretty cool and I'd love more background on him. One thing I will say is that my favorite character died, readers go in knowing this with the setup. Yet Kaufmann does a wonderful job at building the hope and belief that he'll live on. Which leads me to believe that Kaufmann can do more on that field. The plot is pretty fun and this book brings a lot of action to the table. If you're bad at predicting plots this book will blow you away. If you can usually guess in advance, eh, no biggy. There is one little turn that I didn't see until about 80% through that I couldn't help but go, “Freaking awesome!” at. Kaufman can really make a great world. His version of fantasy filled New York is pretty cool, and I love how he played out that people don't want to see the unbelievable so they just feel in the blanks themselves. The mystery behind who and what Trent really is probably the most appealing aspect of this book. (Though I'm 99.9% positive I know what he is. Kudos to Kaufmann if he surprises me.) To be honest I went in loving this book. Trent poisoned it for me. There was nothing that I remotely liked about him, except maybe his wit which kicked in a little too late for me. It's nice to see another male lead in the genre, truly. That is enough for me to continue with the next book. There's promise here. Kaufmann has talent, and I'm hoping the next book will really show it. If Trent's personality gets a tune up all the better. Oh, and if the romance and characters all get some TLC. (For some reasons male others rarely can write romances I care for. Sexist, I know.) Sexual Content: Clean. There’s some kissing. Trent does indeed want to get a little something, something. Sexual humor. 2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out. Originally posted at Book Whispers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wyatt Packard

    Trent is on a mission. The mission to find his identity, the past he can't remember, including is real name. Trent has an agreement with a psychotic crime boss. If Trent does the jobs he's told to do, he will be told just who is is. Because Trent is the go to guy. Trent has a power, he can't die. He's been shot many times, every death and then revival just leaves a bystanders corpse behind. When he is given the task of retrieving an antique box, Trent assumes it will be an average collecting job Trent is on a mission. The mission to find his identity, the past he can't remember, including is real name. Trent has an agreement with a psychotic crime boss. If Trent does the jobs he's told to do, he will be told just who is is. Because Trent is the go to guy. Trent has a power, he can't die. He's been shot many times, every death and then revival just leaves a bystanders corpse behind. When he is given the task of retrieving an antique box, Trent assumes it will be an average collecting job. He doesn't realize that he will become a part of a fight between evils that hope to awaken an ancient being, and those that wish to stop the destruction. Which side Trent chooses could decide the fate of New York, and the world. I quite liked the world building, vampires, werewolves, (they prefer lycanthropes) real life gargoyles, and mages all walk the streets of New York City. I was a little worried it would be much like Jim Butcher, but Kaufmann keeps it original with a Whedonesque feel. I am often afraid of urban fantasy, especially with a male main character, fearing a Harry Dresden look alike as well as the trope of them getting beat to death in every book. (Exactly why I didn't make it past book three in the Dresden Files!) Trent defies my fear and is well developed with strong motivations and personality. The side characters were by far my favorites and had the best one liners in the book. And what would urban fantasy be without some sarcasm? I did think this had a YA feel, which is in no way meant as a criticism, it's fast pace and character's motivations would work well in that market and I would be very interested in seeing what Kaufmann could introduce. I did feel there were some weak points, mainly the problems the characters face. I thought the evil fractions were portrayed a bit cliched and I had a hard time feeling any urgency in either sides goals. I am also a more character driven reader and wished I was given more insight into both Trent and the rest of the gang. A strong entry into the urban fantasy genre that manages to be both unique and successful. I look forward to reading the next in the series (I hope!) and would definitely recommend. Thank you very much St. Martin's Griffin for providing me with an advanced copy for review!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Lupa

    I did not like it, sam I am. I have no particular desire to trash a book, but at least let me explain a bit. There were 3 times that I wanted to just put this book aside (something that I almost never do), at about 40%, 60%, then finally at 90%. The characters were static, and mostly one dimensional. Worse, they behave contrary to the way they are described. This isn't bad enough to drive me away from the book, simply to not give me something to hold on to, some reason to continue. (2star) The set I did not like it, sam I am. I have no particular desire to trash a book, but at least let me explain a bit. There were 3 times that I wanted to just put this book aside (something that I almost never do), at about 40%, 60%, then finally at 90%. The characters were static, and mostly one dimensional. Worse, they behave contrary to the way they are described. This isn't bad enough to drive me away from the book, simply to not give me something to hold on to, some reason to continue. (2star) The setting was a fairly standard "magical new york", which is fine, but really the normal/paranormal interaction was unbelievable. The author does a very good job painting the scene in the visit to the oracle, but aside from that, 2star. The dialog was fairly juvenile, but I'm guessing that's the target audience, so we'll just say "I've seen better" and give it the old goodreads 3star. The pace of the book pretty much rolls from action scene to action scene. This is especially painful in the beginning, where the author doesn't feel like he handles transitions well. After about two thirds of the way through the book, however, he gets the hang of it and does a good job controlling the flow of the action and time. 3star. So far, we have an OK book that is just not targeted towards my own consumption which is fine, however there is nothing up there to hook me, and drag me along through the problem. And the problem is the plot. Without going into detail, these people make ridiculous decisions, time and again, which allows this plot to continue tragically forward. You can't tell me about the ~"wisdom in the eyes of a character who has seen much pain"~ and then have that character be an absolute windowlicker. You can't talk about how powerful a character is, only to see him rendered impotent time and time again. For no reason, other than to perpetuate a plot that should never happen. When people normally write this, its to illustrate irony and human failure, leading up the the inevitable Shakespearean tragedy, where we learn all about how the characters fatal flaws reveal our own folly to ourselves. But this isn't that kind of book. It's an action/adventure. And instead of being a plot of ironic folly, it's simply bad. Negative Stars, would not read again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    harlequin {Stephanie}

    What does this have to offer? action packed fights and even a car chase. Infact aside from the immortal running around dying it looks oddly similar to that remake of Frankenstein that the underworld jokers made. well, if you think about it... they have an immortal too. I did not like that piece of shit nor could I find myself getting excited about this one. It was missing the visceral emotion that I have witnessed from this author and now come to expect. Setting that itch aside, maybe it only bo What does this have to offer? action packed fights and even a car chase. Infact aside from the immortal running around dying it looks oddly similar to that remake of Frankenstein that the underworld jokers made. well, if you think about it... they have an immortal too. I did not like that piece of shit nor could I find myself getting excited about this one. It was missing the visceral emotion that I have witnessed from this author and now come to expect. Setting that itch aside, maybe it only bothered me... we get first book syndrom something fierce and character reactions are way off base. I will be reading book two, eventually.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amanda [Novel Addiction]

    Dark, gritty, and awesome. This would be a seriously amazing movie. Can't wait to discuss this at book club tomorrow! Dark, gritty, and awesome. This would be a seriously amazing movie. Can't wait to discuss this at book club tomorrow!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Isis

    I would like to thank NetGalley for offering me access to works published by St. Martin's Griffin, and St. Martin's Griffin for granting me the chance to read this ARC, and introducing me to this author, all in exchange for an honest review. Though I received the e-book for free that in no way influences this review (which anyone who reads my reviews knows). In my world we would be able to rate books with 1/2 stars, but we can't so my official rating is 4 stars, but my REAL rating is 4.5 stars. G I would like to thank NetGalley for offering me access to works published by St. Martin's Griffin, and St. Martin's Griffin for granting me the chance to read this ARC, and introducing me to this author, all in exchange for an honest review. Though I received the e-book for free that in no way influences this review (which anyone who reads my reviews knows). In my world we would be able to rate books with 1/2 stars, but we can't so my official rating is 4 stars, but my REAL rating is 4.5 stars. Given his line of work in the employ of a psychotic Brooklyn crime boss, Trent finds himself on the wrong end of too many bullets. Yet each time he’s killed, he wakes a few minutes later completely healed of his wounds but with no memory of his past identity. What’s worse, each time he cheats death someone else dies in his place. Sent to steal an antique box from some squatters in an abandoned warehouse near the West Side Highway, Trent soon finds himself stumbling into an age-old struggle between the forces of good and evil, revealing a secret world where dangerous magic turns people into inhuman monstrosities, where impossible creatures hide in plain sight, and where the line between the living and the dead is never quite clear. And when the mysterious box is opened, he discovers he has only twenty-four hours to save New York City from certain destruction. I began this book with no memory of the teaser, so I only had the title to work from for trying to know what to expect, and frankly the title is too ambiguous to give me insight into the book. Having read the book I can honestly say that I am happy I had no expectations of the direction this story would go in, as it took me for such a ride that I even did some housework to postpone reading the final chapter. That is how badly I want this story to still be going on right now. Nicholas Kaufmann really knows how to build a story. The world-building is minimal, taking our world and just making a few adjustments here and there. Those few tweaks continue to grow as time goes on, feeling completely organic and natural. As do the characters. Their abilities are certainly not natural in the world as we know it, yet they very quickly begin to feel as if they have always been there and we just didn't know where to look until Kaufmann showed us. He has such tremendous control of his prose that I was able to clearly see every single scene he crafted. For example, his take on the criminal element that populate the story make it feel as if I am watching old film noir layered over Quentin Tarantino movies. Trent is a fantastic main character in many ways, but especially because even he doesn't know if he is playing the protagonist's role, or that of the antagonist. His actions seem to argue for him being the bad guy, at least initially. Often I have found that characters with amnesia are a shortcut, allowing the author to be lazy, but certainly not in this case. Trent is only able to remember things that happened within the past year, but not anything else, not even his name. That gaping void inside his mind is what drives him so ruthlessly and constantly goads him to such extremes. His conflicted emotions throughout the story feel so real and raw that it almost hurts to read. His conscience is slowly eating him alive over something he has no understanding of and absolutely zero control over, and throughout the book all of these pent up emotions of his are finding cracks and beginning to leak out. Kaufmann shows incredible finesse with such intense scenes, and I love that he doesn't go for the easy out either, but rather he makes his characters suffer the whole range of emotions - and they bring you along for the ride with them. Underwood is a perfect crime lord, giving Trent his name and providing him a small cement block room in a hidden bomb shelter. He plays Trent's desperation like a virtuoso, promising to solve the mystery of Trent's past using all of his connections for the small price of a few easy favors. The vibe Underwood gives off is pure ruthless killer, lacking any morals whatsoever. It is so easy to envision him, along with his goon squad of muscle, yet they never become caricatures of themselves. Then there is Bethany, a strong woman, driven to attain perfection in all that she does. She is willing to lie to one of her closest friends and risk destroying their dreams, all in the name of duty. She has a code which she follows rigidly. As strong as she is, she too is flawed and human, yet she holds Trent in the palm of her hand. It's not as though she can control him, but still she has a power over him, which he recognizes and does his best to resist. Like Bethany it would seem that all of the characters leave some sort of mark upon the reader, even if they only appeared in three or four pages out of the entire book. From the very beginning this story is full of action, gaining momentum, speed, and power as the story unfolds. The arc of this story is graceful even as it plunges headlong into sheer horror. Time and again I think I have a mystery solved, only to find that the answer has eluded me, and the characters, like smoke going up a chimney. In fact there is only one mystery which I solved with Trent, before he ever explained it. Yet I remain mystified as to why no one else on the team figured it out as they were the very ones to supply him with the answer. The end of the book holds a huge reveal, and I will admit I had some suspicions about part of it, but I certainly didn't put all the pieces together. I can confidently say that I will anxiously be watching for a sequel and hoping it comes it very, very soon. Though I shall certainly be checking out some of Kaufmann's other works while waiting for my sequel!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    In a word: Humorous and snarky dialog, a magical urban fantasy setting, kick-ass characters, with just enough gore and just a dash of romance. There are a lot of dead things in New York City, things you usually don’t see. Dead rats in the sewers. Dead roaches under floorboards. Dead squirrels in the park bushes. The dead are everywhere, and in New York you probably aren’t more than a few feet from a dead thing at any given moment. I just never expected that rule to hold true on a crowded sidewalk In a word: Humorous and snarky dialog, a magical urban fantasy setting, kick-ass characters, with just enough gore and just a dash of romance. There are a lot of dead things in New York City, things you usually don’t see. Dead rats in the sewers. Dead roaches under floorboards. Dead squirrels in the park bushes. The dead are everywhere, and in New York you probably aren’t more than a few feet from a dead thing at any given moment. I just never expected that rule to hold true on a crowded sidewalk. Still, when you’re dealing with an entity with the power to raise and control the dead, you have to stay flexible. I thoroughly enjoyed Dying is My Business, a worthy entry into the hallowed halls of urban fantasy. Kaufmann has written oodles of books and has even been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. This is the first book I’ve read of his, but I assure you I will be reading more of his work. This book was non-stop action from the beginning, full of magic, spells, showdowns between good and evil, and plenty of spilt blood. The characters were of the sarcastic variety, which is my very favorite kind of character (sarcasm being one of my specialties…), and although you can see a romance developing between two of the main characters, it doesn’t overpower the story. Best of all, this is the first in a series, which means we've got more of Kaufmann's crazy world to look forward to. Trent has a big problem. Every time he dies, he miraculously comes back to life with no signs of injury. This might seem like a good thing, but each time Trent comes back from the dead, the person nearest to him dies in his place. He also can't remember his real name, where he came from, or whether or not he's got a family. Trent has died and come back nine times when the story begins, and the deaths of all nine of those innocent people are weighing heavily on him. He’s also unfortunately fallen in with a crime boss named Underwood, a man who lives in a fallout shelter underneath an abandoned Shell gas station in Brooklyn (and I loved the fact that the “S” has fallen off the sign!). Underwood takes advantage of Trent’s unique talents by sending him on dangerous missions to steal items that he can sell on the black market. Trent’s latest job is to locate and bring back an old box that is hidden somewhere in a carefully guarded warehouse. Underwood makes a deal with Trent: if he can successfully retrieve the box, Underwood will tell Trent everything he wants to know about his past. (How Underwood could possibly know these things is anybody’s guess.) But as you might expect, Trent’s mission does not go as planned, and he finds himself knee-deep in an unbelievable world filled with magic, werewolves, vampires and more. Trent must figure out which side he’s on before something evil takes over—and ultimately destroys—New York City. Dying Is My Business is told from Trent’s point of view, and I have to say I loved being in his head. Trent is such a great character for many reasons: he has no idea who he is, so he’s got lots of motivation to find out; he is grounded in the real world, so when the paranormal starts to interfere with his life, he wants nothing to do with it; and he’s conflicted between getting the answers he craves, and doing the right thing. Getting those answers will hurt the people who are being kind to him, but doing the right thing could mean never learning the truth about who he really is. Trent’s life is a mystery and he doesn’t have a family, but when he meets Bethany, Thornton, Isaac and Philip while looking for the box, he finally has a chance to make some real friends. I loved these characters, in particular Thornton, who just happens to be a werewolf and ends up in a very unfortunate situation near the beginning of the story. I also loved Philip, an enigmatic and bad-ass vampire who tries to be tough and scary, but ends up as one of those characters that you can't help but love. The snarky dialog between Bethany and Trent was really well done. Bethany has her own secrets that she doesn’t share with Trent, and in fact, the reader doesn’t find out about them either. You can tell the two of them like each other, but they just don’t know how to show it (or maybe they just don’t want to), and so their banter is pretty funny. The world-building was unique, and I loved Kaufmann’s idea of magic that can corrupt if it gets inside you. I did feel at times that the world-building was a little too much, but it didn't affect my overall enjoyment. The New York setting was perfect for this story, and I loved all the details that make you feel like you're right there in the city, like the hidden Citadel inside Central Park, and an amazing secret hiding just below the city subway tunnels. The best part of getting to the end of Dying is My Business is realizing that the series isn’t over. Who is Trent? Why won’t Philip take off his sunglasses? And what’s up with Bethany’s pointy ears? Kaufmann leaves just enough unanswered questions to peak the reader’s interest and make us anxious for the next book. Which I will be reading just as soon as I can. Many thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    Originally reviewed for and posted at Vampire Book Club Review source: copy provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars Trent is a man who cannot die. Well he can, he just doesn’t stay dead. Instead something inside him steals the life force from the nearest person, killing them and reviving him. He also has no memory of his life before the last 12 months, Trent isn’t even his real name. It was given to him by his employer, Underwood, a d Originally reviewed for and posted at Vampire Book Club Review source: copy provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars Trent is a man who cannot die. Well he can, he just doesn’t stay dead. Instead something inside him steals the life force from the nearest person, killing them and reviving him. He also has no memory of his life before the last 12 months, Trent isn’t even his real name. It was given to him by his employer, Underwood, a dangerous crime lord operating in New York City. In exchange for Trent’s talent at collecting things (i.e. thieving) Underwood promises Trent his heart’s desire: answers. If Trent can collect a mysterious box on his latest mission, Underwood has agreed to finally open up. It should be simple, but what Trent discovers on this journey will alter everything he knows, not just about himself but the very world he lives in. Soon he will be faced with a choice: What’s more important, who he was or who he wants to be? Trent starts the book a lost man, frustrated with his lack of memory and tortured by the lives he feels he’s stolen. Even though he hates the acts he does at the command of Underwood he feels a debt toward the man who has given him some place in the world. He’s also desperate for answers. On his mission to retrieve the box he inadvertently stumbles across another group also trying to secure it. Locked in a deadly battle with gargoyles, Trent helps them, hoping they may lead him to the mystery artifact. The more time he spends with them and sees their abilities though, the more he starts to realize they may hold more answers than Underwood ever could. Dying is My Business is a really great example of an urban setting mixing brilliantly with a high fantasy element. The contrast between the gritty criminal underworld Trent is working in against the almost fairy-tale mythical world he stumbles upon makes for a vivid read. The action sequences had a sense of realism yet were at the same time magical. One particular scene, where Trent is being pursed through Times Square by a medieval knight on horse back, jumped straight off the page into my imagination in wonderful Technicolor. The mystery of the box was definitely interesting, but what really had me turning the page was the mystery of Trent. As more enemies appear and mythology is unveiled, there is a real sense that he could be something hugely powerful, and not necessarily good. The creatures and environments were beautifully detailed, fresh and at times pretty terrifying. Trent’s character development is weaved throughout and I found myself desperately rooting for him to find not just answers but also a home. He’s inability to die can make him reckless at times, but the ramifications terrify him. He struggles to trust the new relationships he is making but the point is he wants to. Plus Underwood isn’t exactly the type of boss you just walk away from. There is a slight romantic theme, as Trent finds himself drawn towards Bethany (one of the group members) but he has a unique relationship with each of them, striving to work through his lack of self worth and be proud of his actions. Dying is My Business reminded me of The Bourne Identity with a massive fantasy kick. It’s infused with intrigue, danger and a sense of magical discovery. I purposefully haven’t gone too much into the plot because I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery; I will say I was surprised on more than one occasion. I’m not sure if is the first in a planned series but I seriously hope this isn’t the last we will see of Trent. Sexual content: Kissing

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I first encountered Nicholas Kaufmann’s fiction reading Chasing the Dragon a wonderful novella put out by the fine folks over at Chizine; it’s a wonderful little fantasy allegory about addiction that I highly highly recommend. When I spotted Kaufmann’s latest series of novels about a man who refuses to stay dead I pounced on them and devoured them wholesale back-to-back. Starting with Dying is My Business Kaufmann introduces readers to Trent. Trent works for Brooklyn crime boss doing odd jobs, p I first encountered Nicholas Kaufmann’s fiction reading Chasing the Dragon a wonderful novella put out by the fine folks over at Chizine; it’s a wonderful little fantasy allegory about addiction that I highly highly recommend. When I spotted Kaufmann’s latest series of novels about a man who refuses to stay dead I pounced on them and devoured them wholesale back-to-back. Starting with Dying is My Business Kaufmann introduces readers to Trent. Trent works for Brooklyn crime boss doing odd jobs, particularly retrieving odd valuable objects. He has no memory of who he was beyond waking up in an alley several months ago. It turns out that Trent doesn’t stay dead. Every time Trent does die he wakes up minutes later healed of every wound and the person nearest to him sucked of all life. Dying is My Business lays out these details nicely opening with Trent waking up from one of these deaths. It’s a nice little in-media-res opening and Kaufmann does a great job of hooking you in the beginning then quickly outlining the, admittedly scant, details of Trent’s life. While the mystery of Trent’s origins and his strange power is a huge part of the novel it is obviously a long-term plan and Kaufmann doesn’t offer many details in Dying is My Business. Kaufmann sketches a simple plot that leans heavily on the fact that Trent know’s so little about his life. It’s obvious from the get go that his boss Underwood is stringing him along and Kaufmann’s every description of Trent’s living conditions and the way his boss treats him reveal that he is seen as something more like a pet than an employee. It isn’t long until one of Trent’s jobs sees him encountering people whose experiences in a similar retrieval-based line-of-work illuminate the stark differences in what it means to be part of team and part of a family. Kaufmann easily plays Trent’s encounter with Bethany and Thornton against his desperate, perhaps subconscious, need to connect with people. The same encounter also reveals a deeper world of the supernatural which in an amusing turn the seemingly unkillable Trent has difficulty swallowing. Trent’s connection with Isaac, Gabrielle, Phillip, Bethany and Thornton marks an interesting shift in character for Trent. Maybe that isn’t entirely accurate. It is perhaps more that Trent’s connection with this group reveals the falsehood of Trent’s life with Underwood and his cronies. Dying is My Business is full of action from your standard fisticuffs to a huge chase scene as Bethany, Thornton, and Trent flee the mystical Black Knight through the crowded streets if Manhattan. Dying Is My Business is an excellent introductory novel, laying out the mysteries of Trent’s existence while simultaneously establishing the rules of a supernatural world where the Guardian of Magic has gone missing, turning magic into a volatile corrupting influence, and where the other Guardians remain aloof and enigmatic.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Arushi

    Trent is man with no memories. But what he does know beyond doubt is that he cannot die. Everytime he is killed, he comes back to life and someone else dies instead. Trent works for Underwood, a Brooklyn crime boss who has promised him answers about his identity in return for Trent being his 'collector'. But then a job goes horribly wrong, and Trent starts questioning everything Underwood has told him, his own feelings and decisions and above all, the reality of the world around him. The creatio Trent is man with no memories. But what he does know beyond doubt is that he cannot die. Everytime he is killed, he comes back to life and someone else dies instead. Trent works for Underwood, a Brooklyn crime boss who has promised him answers about his identity in return for Trent being his 'collector'. But then a job goes horribly wrong, and Trent starts questioning everything Underwood has told him, his own feelings and decisions and above all, the reality of the world around him. The creation of a layered magical world with the human one is done well. The answer that people see what they expect to see, is as good as any about the invisibility of the supernatural in spite of all the chaos that ensues. The characters are well done. The chemistry between Trent and Bethany, Thronton and Gabrielle, Isaac's motivations and Philip's devotion - all of them make these characters real, because they have their flaws and sometimes they move past them. Other times, their friends kick them past. It has also been a while (The Cal Leandros books to be honest) since I enjoyed a book from a man's POV so much. Its not that I am sexist (at least I do not think I am) it is just that I have been reading a lot more books from female POV's and this was like a breath of fresh air. The quirky humor spread out through the book, especially Trent and Bethany's banter livened up the book a lot and made me grin, even though everything was kind of dire. The plot is great, and while I did guess some twists, the others were indeed surprising. The story was in no way just another saving the world type. It has enough nuances to keep you guessing right till the end. I am truly not doing justice to the book with this review. It seriously is something that has to be checked out.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    I was excited to finally get my hands on this new UF series with a male lead. Trent can't remember anything beyond the last year; he doesn't even know his real name. What he does know is that he cannot die. Because that has already happened--repeatedly--and he keeps coming back. A local crime boss sees his value and sends him on dangerous jobs to retrieve people and/or objects. When his latest job to retrieve a box isn't as simple as expected, Trent is suddenly pulled into a world of hidden magic I was excited to finally get my hands on this new UF series with a male lead. Trent can't remember anything beyond the last year; he doesn't even know his real name. What he does know is that he cannot die. Because that has already happened--repeatedly--and he keeps coming back. A local crime boss sees his value and sends him on dangerous jobs to retrieve people and/or objects. When his latest job to retrieve a box isn't as simple as expected, Trent is suddenly pulled into a world of hidden magic where werewolves, gargoyles, vampires and dragons coexist with humans in NYC. Trent isn't necessarily a bad guy, and I really liked how he evolved as the story progressed. It made for a highly engaging and entertaining read that I honestly didn't want to put it down. I wasn't fond of the cliffhanger ending, but since this is the first book in a new series, I'll just have to wait for the next book to find out what happens next.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mihir

    Overall rating = 3 & 1/2 stars I've previously read Nicholas Kaufmann's novella "Chasing The Dragon". It was a fantastic re-imagining of St. George's mythos. With this book, Nicholas gives us a mystery ensconced with a urban fantasy world. Trent is the man who cannot die but he doesn't know who he is. Tasked to find a box, he will soon learn that there's more to the mundane world he know and what's out there might be more than enough to make him permanently dead. Running from his former bosses Overall rating = 3 & 1/2 stars I've previously read Nicholas Kaufmann's novella "Chasing The Dragon". It was a fantastic re-imagining of St. George's mythos. With this book, Nicholas gives us a mystery ensconced with a urban fantasy world. Trent is the man who cannot die but he doesn't know who he is. Tasked to find a box, he will soon learn that there's more to the mundane world he know and what's out there might be more than enough to make him permanently dead. Running from his former bosses and aligning himself with newfound allies, he tries to uncover the mystery of the box he was supposed to find and himself. But what he uncovers is a treat for the reader. More to come in full FBC review...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    I really wanted to like this one, liked the blurb about the book. However as I read I was bored, put this down and picked up another book, in fact I picked up 2 different ones to read in between. Trent was ok for me, I wanted to know about his past, why couldn't he remember, but I hated how he lived his life. I did like how Trent blended in with the new group, but hated how he kept lying. Around page 200 we were starting to get some answers, but I realized that at this point I didn't care any mor I really wanted to like this one, liked the blurb about the book. However as I read I was bored, put this down and picked up another book, in fact I picked up 2 different ones to read in between. Trent was ok for me, I wanted to know about his past, why couldn't he remember, but I hated how he lived his life. I did like how Trent blended in with the new group, but hated how he kept lying. Around page 200 we were starting to get some answers, but I realized that at this point I didn't care any more, even Trent's potential past couldn't keep me interested. In the end this one just wasn't for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    This was a FUN BOOK to read. It had that wonderful "Constatine"/"Hellboy" vibe of magic lurking just around the corner, in the shadows of our modern world. It felt like a grittier version of a Neil Gaiman story. Even though I have a digital ARC of the book, I'll be buying a copy when it comes out, just to show support for the author. In fact, the next book I read will probably be "Chasing the Dragon" by this same author. The world he created underneath (sometimes literally underneath) New York C This was a FUN BOOK to read. It had that wonderful "Constatine"/"Hellboy" vibe of magic lurking just around the corner, in the shadows of our modern world. It felt like a grittier version of a Neil Gaiman story. Even though I have a digital ARC of the book, I'll be buying a copy when it comes out, just to show support for the author. In fact, the next book I read will probably be "Chasing the Dragon" by this same author. The world he created underneath (sometimes literally underneath) New York City is one that I look forward to seeing him revisit a follow-up book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Hey, what's in the box? Clever, fun mix of horror/fantasy/mystery with a hero who can't die and pages you won't be able to stop turning. Hey, what's in the box? Clever, fun mix of horror/fantasy/mystery with a hero who can't die and pages you won't be able to stop turning.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy Braun

    Loved this book! It was the first urban fantasy I'd read in a while, and I was instantly immersed. The world building is subtle at first but grows into something stronger, and I was super happy to see gargoyles being used in a creative manner. The visuals Kaufmann described were stellar, especially with the enemies, which made the plentiful action scenes all the more visceral and real. The characters were great. I absolutely love Trent. He's a tough guy, but he's also vulnerable and kind, in add Loved this book! It was the first urban fantasy I'd read in a while, and I was instantly immersed. The world building is subtle at first but grows into something stronger, and I was super happy to see gargoyles being used in a creative manner. The visuals Kaufmann described were stellar, especially with the enemies, which made the plentiful action scenes all the more visceral and real. The characters were great. I absolutely love Trent. He's a tough guy, but he's also vulnerable and kind, in addition to be the unluckiest guy in the world. The action scenes were awesome and all led to an insane final battle. While some of the twists were predictable, there was a lot of tension and still some mystery to carry the series, particularly at the end. The storyline was linear, which made it easy to understand and enjoy. I really loved how different and unique this story was to the urban fantasy genre and am eager to see where Trent's story goes next. Such a fun book, I highly recommend it!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Title: Dying is my Business Author: Nicholas Kaufmann Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (October 8, 2013) ISBN: 978-1250036100 Price: $12.60 “It’s not as easy as it looks to come back from the dead.” What would you do if you couldn’t remember anything beyond one year ago? What if you also had a strange inability to die? You know this, because you have died—exactly nine times in that last year—and come right back to life. Well, if you’re Trent… well, just Trent.. Then you don’t have a last name, because Title: Dying is my Business Author: Nicholas Kaufmann Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (October 8, 2013) ISBN: 978-1250036100 Price: $12.60 “It’s not as easy as it looks to come back from the dead.” What would you do if you couldn’t remember anything beyond one year ago? What if you also had a strange inability to die? You know this, because you have died—exactly nine times in that last year—and come right back to life. Well, if you’re Trent… well, just Trent.. Then you don’t have a last name, because that’s something that would tell you a little about where you came from. You’d also find a place among New York’s underbelly, moonlighting as the “good dog” of the crime boss known only as “Underwood.” You work for this scum bag, because he promises to tell you who you are and why you can’t remember anything from your life before you met him. However, when you accidentally freak out in the middle of a job over a werewolf and a couple of gargoyles and accidentally save the life of your target, things start to get ugly. I’d like to introduce you to my friend Trent. The first thing you’ve gotta know about Trent is that he’s a badass. No, not in the “I drive a humvee and wear my sunglasses indoors” kind of way, but the strong, silent way that a Great White Shark or an African Rhinoceros is a badass. Trent lets his actions do his talking. He’s constantly being consumed by the questions inside him and everything else just pisses him off. Oh yeah, also, he can’t sleep. Like, at all. So, instead he stays up all night brooding over black-and-white movies and a terrible book he found in the rain, which makes him progressively more badass as time goes on. In the middle of one of his jobs, he sees a couple of “men in trench coats” who turn out to be freaking gargoyles attacking a five-foot-nothing chick with pointed ears. He pulls his gun and throws a few rounds at one of the things before he realizes that it's completely ineffective. In the middle of a skiff with one of the ugly things, Trent picks up a magical staff with a mummified fist at one end, and cracks off a home run. This begins his journey on to Underwood’s bad side and into a world full of everything you could only imagine. New York City is not the little ray of sunshine it seems to be after all. In Dying Is My Business, Kaufmann has filled it with vampires, werewolves, zombies, sorcery, dragons, and all kinds of other things that piss Trent off. Dying Is My Business is, admittedly, my first rodeo with Urban Fantasy, but I think if you’re gonna do anything, you’ve gotta go all in. This entire novel takes place over the course of just a few days, but it’s jam-packed with explosions, gun fights, gigantic monsters, and even a little dash of godlike power in case you were wondering. However, that’s just the surface level. Kaufmann has created a seriously complex and interesting character to follow through it all in Trent, and has surrounded him with a supporting cast of moody, counter-culture anti-heroes who make this one of the best books I've ever enjoyed. Sure, it has its flaws. For example, Phillip, the novel’s vampire, is a pretty convincing photocopy of BLADE, complete with head-to-toe black and shades. I dig everything about Phillip, but I gotta speak the truth. Also, the book moves so fast that it almost forgets to wrap up a couple of questions that are introduced along the way. However, this is just the first in what I hope is a long, long series which should wrap all of those ends up nicely. In short, Dying Is My Business will grab you by the throat and throw you headlong into a version of New York City you never knew existed. I hope you don’t like sleep, because this is one book you won’t be putting down until you've finished it. Even then, you’ll be sitting there wondering where your life leads now that it's over. Pick up your copy of Nicholas Kaufmann’s Dying Is My Business from Amazon, Overstock, Wal-mart, Powell’s Books, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, Barnes&Noble, or pretty much anywhere books are sold. If you’re still reading this, you’re not reading Dying Is My Business. Do yourself a favor, and go get your copy now. Read more reviews at www.zombiesandtoys.com

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Blythe

    Dear Mr. Kaufmann, First you invade my dream with creepy pictures. Now this. I had plans, you know. I had things to do. But no, you had to provide me with the awesome that is Dying is My Business . Now my laundry remains unfolded. Stacks of papers and other detritus continue to clutter my shelves. All the words I planned to write remain unwritten. And I'm can't seem to rub the glue from my eyes, as I try to recover from the hours of sleep I lost last night in the desperate need to finish readin Dear Mr. Kaufmann, First you invade my dream with creepy pictures. Now this. I had plans, you know. I had things to do. But no, you had to provide me with the awesome that is Dying is My Business . Now my laundry remains unfolded. Stacks of papers and other detritus continue to clutter my shelves. All the words I planned to write remain unwritten. And I'm can't seem to rub the glue from my eyes, as I try to recover from the hours of sleep I lost last night in the desperate need to finish reading. I was absorbed by the story from page one, when Trent wakes from being shot and killed yet again with another dried out husk of a body nearby. The trade off for his return to life is that someone else must die. As an apparent side effect of his condition, Trent has also lost all of his memories beyond one year before. He's been taken in by Underwood, a twisted and violent crime boss, who exploits his abilities and sends him out to "collect" various things. Trent's latest assignment to collect a mysterious box quickly leads him into a new understanding of the world, a world that includes magic, gargoyles, and a whole slew of things most people never knew existed. Having an amnesiac main character can potentially be annoying, if not handled well. But Trent as a character is spot on. His loss of self and personal history has caused him to be cynical and fatalistic in understandable ways. He longs for the truth about his past without becoming tedious or whiny, and it's easy to see how Underwood could have drawn him in by promising those truths. Trent is sometimes protagonist, sometimes antagonist, and sometimes both. He carries a great level of guilt for the lives he's taken and the crimes he's committed, making for a conflicted and fascinating character. Now, can I just take a moment express my love for Bethany? This diminutive, spright-like young woman with a passion for the rules, a troubled past, and vest full of charms that will lay you on your ass has won my heart. She is hard edged, intelligent, honest, and kind. She is, in a phrase, many kinds of awesome. And then there is poor, poor Thornton. My heart is all asunder from his hopeful bravery and ability to crack jokes in the face of his tragedy. I have love for all the characters really, even the nasty ones. Underwood and his cronies are cruel and unsettling in the most delightful ways. The Black Knight is destructive, powerful, and greedy for power. I shiver at the thought of ever meeting anyone of them in a dark alley. Last night, I could not stop reading. I turned page after page, ignoring the episodes of Big Bang Theory my roommate turned on and loosing — as I mentioned — much sleep. I continued reading even as my friend began to turn of all the lights in the house, leaving only a single lamp behind my head to illuminate the pages. Upon finally reaching the end, I began to flail. "No!" I cried, waking my roommate from her deep slumber. "Why?! Why is it over? I need more book! Why isn't there more book?!" You're ending gave me chills, and I find myself awash with feels, saddened and maddened that it's over. How can it be over, when I want so much to keep reading, to know what happens next, to know the fates of the characters I've come to love? Why would you do this to me, Mr. Kaufmann? What am I supposed to do with my life now? This had better be the beginning of a series with the second book to come in the near future. Because if I do not have the sequel soon, I will be forced find a way to flay you in a manner that would make Underwood grin. Sincerely, you're humble reader, Andrea

  27. 4 out of 5

    Blood Rose Books

    In his debut novel Nicholas Kaufmann introduces a man who is willing to do anything in order to regain the memories of his past, even if it means dying.....a few times. All Trent remembers from his past is a brick wall, he remembers nothing but the wall where he awoke one year earlier, he did not even remember his name but he is on the ever search for his past, even if that means looking in unconventional places. Trent finds himself working for one of Brooklyn's crime bosses on the hope that he c In his debut novel Nicholas Kaufmann introduces a man who is willing to do anything in order to regain the memories of his past, even if it means dying.....a few times. All Trent remembers from his past is a brick wall, he remembers nothing but the wall where he awoke one year earlier, he did not even remember his name but he is on the ever search for his past, even if that means looking in unconventional places. Trent finds himself working for one of Brooklyn's crime bosses on the hope that he can uncover clues as to who Trent was, but this means that Trent is in the line of fire, constantly. Which really isn't so bad, when you don't die. But when Trent dies there is a price. The closest living individual near him dies as he takes their life force in order to survive. When Trent is sent to steal an antique box he is about to find out that he is not the only supernatural individual in the world and that box is linked to the old as time struggle between good and evil and Trent has to decide what is more important to him, discovering who he is or saving New York City. This was an awesome debut novel, Kaufman was able to keep me on the edge of my seat as there never seemed to be a dull moment in this book, with a mystery that kept me guessing right to the end and I'm sure it will keep you guessing too. I have said it many times before in this genre I want to read something new and different it cannot always be about vampires, werewolves and witches. However, although this book has all three of them I did not find Kaufmann's use of these characters tired or the usual, there were some different aspects to all of them. I personally think there are not enough male lead protagonists out there within the paranormal genre. I like the change of having a male lead as it offers something completely different all around and can really define how a book is structured. Additionally, I'm always a fan of the anti hero, and Trent fits this description well. All he wants is to find why he unable to die and will go to any costs in order to archive this, even if means stealing for a living. Trent also is trying to find out who he is as (literally) as he cannot remember his past and I found that this made him a more complex character. Trent is also a very meticulous and you can see him weight the pros and cons of every action that he takes, even those that you may not agree with. You can really feel his struggle between whether he should do something for himself or the greater good. I'm really interested to see not only who Trent was is the past and who he will become, but also the power(s) that exist inside him. I mean what/who causes him to come back to life each time he dies. Is Trent really a good guy or a bad guy. I am looking forward to the second novel in this series to see what answers Kaufmann has for me. All of the secondary characters were interesting as well, and as stated above, although Kaufmann does not really introduce new types of creatures, his spin on some of the classics was refreshing. Kaufmann also introduced some creatures that we have heard of before, but often take a backseat to the more popular ones, in this novel there is a heavy presence of gargoyles, which i thought was unique and I enjoyed of Kaufmann seat of their world and culture. In fact overall, the world building and flow of the novel is really well done. Kaufmann has written a novel that those who enjoy the paranormal or urban fantasy genre will want to flock to. Well written, non stop action, great mystery, well developed characters and an interesting premise will hold readers captivated (there is even a little bit of romance and it really is just a touch, for those who need/want that in their reads). I know I will read the next book by Kaufmann and I hope he continues on the dark path that happens through out the book. I think that Kaufmann is going to be a big name in the future in these genres. Enjoy!!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Wow! This is good. The gold standard for me in Urban Fantasy is Harry Dresden. Nothing else really comes close in my book. This comes close, really close. A bit slow moving at first and seems mundane but, once it gears up, there’s no slowing down. Creative world building and interesting characters. If you are remotely interested in UF, put this on your list. And, glad to say, there’s a sequel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary Good

    Guy can’t stay dead. Action adventure with non stop action. Guilty pleasure of a book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cornerofmadness

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’m not sure why I picked this book up. It had a lot of things I don’t particularly like. A character with amnesia. A main character who is a criminal. Comparisons to authors I don’t care for (Whedon aside). And yet, something said ‘take me from the library.’ So I did and I loved it. It’s a 4.5 read for me. Trent has some reason problems. He just woke up after being dead again. For him, being dead just doesn’t stick and worse, it usually sucks the life force right out the person nearest to him a I’m not sure why I picked this book up. It had a lot of things I don’t particularly like. A character with amnesia. A main character who is a criminal. Comparisons to authors I don’t care for (Whedon aside). And yet, something said ‘take me from the library.’ So I did and I loved it. It’s a 4.5 read for me. Trent has some reason problems. He just woke up after being dead again. For him, being dead just doesn’t stick and worse, it usually sucks the life force right out the person nearest to him after he’s killed, leaving them a mummified husk. Usually it’s the person who killed him but once it was an innocent little boy that he can’t forget. Unfortunately Trent has forgotten just about everything else. He only has memories of the last year, when in his isolated and lonely state he ends up in the employ of Underwood, a crime boss. Trent isn’t particularly thrilled about it but sees the world as a harsh place and most of what he steals for Underwood is from someone equally bad so why not? What he wants most is to find out who he is and get back to the life he lost. Underwood dangles this like a carrot and promises answers after one last big job, steal an antique box and kill anyone who is in the vicinity of the box. This is new and Trent doesn’t like it. He’s not a killer, not intentionally anyhow. He promises to do it in order to keep Underwood from sending two of his flunkies who’ll gladly kill just about anyone. Trent finds someone else hunting the box, a diminutive woman, Bethany and her companion, Thornton, but they are not alone. They’re being attacked by monsters, gargoyles. Seeing Bethany and Thornton as his best possibility for finding the box, he helps them but achieves something neither of them have ever seen before, he turns a gargoyle into ash. Before he can even grasp this, and the whole idea of magic, they’re attacked by the Black Knight and even weirder things happen. Trent finds himself sympathizing with Bethany and Thornton as they lead him into the world of magic, organizations that fight the magical evil and he starts seeing them as more helpful to him than Underwood ever could be but even as he finally finds friends, he knows when they learn about why he’s looking for the box, they’ll feel betrayed. If they live that long, since more than one evil thing wants that box and to destroy the world. It’s up to Trent, Bethany and the others to stop them. It was exciting and had several plot twists that surprise me (I guessed the final reveal mind you) which doesn’t happen much these days. While it’s in first person, you still get a fairly decent read on Bethany and Thornton in particular. There is a nice split between male and female characters with powerful characters on both sides. So why not five stars? I’m not much on insta-love (yes yes, I know it happens but in my experiences, not often and not well) and while it’s more like insta-lust, this whole book takes place in only two days so the closeness of Trent and Bethany and for that matter Trent and Thornton seems a little fast to me. I could handle that but Trent’s habit of racing off to do what’s right without discussing it with the other people involved annoys me too and is rather overdone (looking at you Angel and Harry Dresden among others). Still, these are very minor nits and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

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