Monday, August 19, 2013

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is set in Seattle in a world in which the mythic and supernatural live side by side with normal people, though hidden in plain sight.

The story begins with Sam, fast food worker, college dropout, and rider of skateboards, on a typical night at work, when a chance encounter brings the supernatural world crashing into his.

The next thing he knows, an evil necromancer has identified Sam as a fellow necromancer and a rival.  The only problem is, Sam has no idea what he is or how to use his power.  So when the evil guy sends Sam's friend Brooke - beheaded, but as pretty and sassy as ever - to deliver a message to join him or suffer the consequences, Sam doesn't see much in the way of options.

Not until he finds himself locked in the guy's basement in a magical cage, with a pretty half-fey hound, half-werewolf girl.  With her help, the advice of a dead 10-year-old with a magical Blackberry, and his good friend Ramon rushing to the rescue, he might just make it out alive after all.

What I thought:

Sam is a good-hearted Beta male.  He may not always know what he's doing, but it's never unpleasant to be in his head, which is a good thing, since much of the story is told from his point of view.

In fact, the chapters from the evil necromancer's perspective (told in third person), seemed less well-written, and less compelling.  Thankfully not enough that I stopped reading - by the end I couldn't wait to read the next book, and that fault did not exist in the sequel.  The third-person sections of the second book were just as strong as her first person.  These two books now rank among my favorites - ever.

The characters are excellent.  I love that our protagonist necromancer is a vegetarian who hates killing, and gives us a fresh new take on what it can mean to be a necromancer.  I appreciated that the love interest was a female Alpha to Sam's Beta, and it works while respecting both characters and their strengths.

The balance of horror with humor, and the warm, kind relationships between Sam, his family, and friends keeps the book from ever seeming too dark.  Fellow fans of the TV Show Supernatural, which has the same strengths, will probably find these books as much to their taste as I did.

Book 2, Necromancing the Stone, picks up immediately where Hold Me Closer, Necromancer left off.  I highly recommend both.

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