Friday, July 6, 2012

REVIEW: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (this book made me wish I was a good Necromancer)

Every time I read this title, I am struck by an urge to sing off-key:

Get it out of my head!  Get it out!!!!!!

Perhaps reviewing the book is the cure-all I need....

McBride, L.  (2010).  Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.  New York:  Henry Hold and Company.

343 pages.

Appetizer:  Sam dropped out of college and is unhappily working at a fast food restaurant named Plumpy's.  After a strange man enters Plumpy's and accosts Sam about why he hasn't reported to some mysterious council, his life goes down hill at a drastic angle and quickly.  Another man attacks Sam at the end of his shift and he and his friends Ramon and Frank flee.  But the final member of their Plumpy's shift, Brooke, isn't quite so lucky.  The strange man, Douglas, kills her and reanimates her head to "send a message."  Sam finds himself drawn into Seattle's supernatural politics, a grab for power and a mystery related to a missing (and attractive!) werewolf hybrid named Brid.

Oh, and Sam learns he's a necromancer.


Filled with humor, dramatic twists and touches of the macabre, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is a well-written urban fantasy worth checking-out.  I was strongly reminded of the cancelled TV show Reaper as I read due to the mix of humor and supernatural action.  Plus, both are set in Seattle and both feature protagonists who begin the stories as college dropouts with parents who have been keeping some supernatural secrets.

The chapter titles throughout the novel are references to various songs, which meant I wound up with a lot of songs stuck in my head throughout the reading process.  I had to go to to get other songs stuck in my head.  While fun, I did wish music entered into the plot of the story a little more.

One of my few big complaints about this novel is the way the author switched point of views.  For me, Sam's voice was engaging enough that I wanted to stay with him.  Plus, when he met with his mother for her to reveal important backstory, the switch to flashbacks from her point of view (as opposed to maintaining the conversation between mother and son format) didn't really work for me.

Fingers crossed that a companion novel is published sooooOOOOOOOooon!

Dinner Conversation:

"I stood in front of today's schedule still holding my skateboard, still drenched from the ride over, and still desperately wishing that I hadn't dropped out of college.  But wishing wouldn't erase Sam from the counter slot and rewrite it under the grill slot.  No matter what, my job kind of sucks, but on the grill it sucks less.  On the grill, you don't have to handle customers.  Something about the fast food uniform makes people think it's okay to treat you like crap.  Personally, I'm always polite to anyone who handles my food.  There are lots of horrible things that can be done to your meal before it gets to your plate." (p. 1)

"My name is Samhain Corvus LaCroix, and I am a fry cook.
I tried to take some pride where I could.  If I was going to be a dropout loser, then I was going to be the best dropout loser.  That pride came with some complications because it always depressed me to spot anyone, short of a manager, working fast food over the age of eighteen.  I didn't look in any mirrors until I got home and out of my uniform.  It was better that way." (pp. 2-3)

"Douglas watched as the girl unlocked the front door.  No use debating what could have been.  The gloves were already off, and now he was going to have to give a very ungentlemanly kind of warning.  Pity, that.  Still, a necromancer left unchecked could create all sorts of trouble.  Best to put him in his place now.
The little parasite had to be lying.  How could he not know?  It wasn't like necromancy was a power one could ignore.  Douglas could remember seeing his first spirit when he was quite young." (p. 27)

"I opened the box, then quickly dropped it and scrambled up onto the counter, making very dignified shrieking noises.  Ramon stared.  Frank came into the kitchen just in time to see the box bounce onto its side and its contents roll lazily out.  Ramon tried to back up, but he was already against the wall.  Frank managed a quick hop back as Brooke's head rolled to a stop in the middle of the floor.  It had been severed cleanly at the neck, making her ponytail appear longer as it trailed behind like the tail on a grotesque comet.  I couldn't see any blood.  In fact, the wound looked cauterized, which didn't make it any more pleasant.
Nobody said a word.
Nobody except Brooke.
"Ow, cut it out, you guys!" Her blue eyes popped open and swung around until they found me. "Ugh, so not cool. Really, Sam. You don't just drop somebody's head. Especially a friend's.  Like being stuffed into a box and bounced around for an hour wasn't bad enough." (p. 49)

"Douglas swore and closed his eyes.  "I saw my first spirit when I was a child, Sam.  You can't tell me that you haven't had some sort of experience.  Your aura isn't that weak.  Weven if you can't accomplish a full raising, you must have seen something by now.
"Full raising?"
"Of the dead, Sam.  Necromancy.  You're a necromancer, like me."
I laughed, saw he wasn't joking about the necromancy thing, then stopped. "I'm nothing like you," I said. I guess my keep-my-mouth-shut policy had gone out the window.  "Necromancy." I laughed again.  "You could have at least worked up to that one.  You know, started with 'Luke, you have the power' or something like that." I snorted. 'Come over to the dark side.'" (pp. 95-96)

Tasty Rating:  !!!!

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