Tag Archives: necromancer

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

McBride, Lish. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (2010). 343 Pages. Henry Holt & Co. $16.99

I told myself I’d pick a schedule and stick to it for the new year; M/W/F was starting to look pretty good, and then I got absorbed in playing The Sims 3 and I forgot to review any of the mountain of library books that are sitting on my desk, or any of the books I have read from my shiny new Kindle. Whoops. So we’ll be settling into a schedule soon, but for now we’ll continue with “updating when I’ve read something and have had time to write about it.”

And, for today, that something I’ve read is Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, which sounded like the sort of book which would be romantic– the whole “hold me” bit– but wasn’t. I was ok with that, though, because I enjoyed the adventure.

Synopsis

Samhain “Sam” LaCroix has had a fairly lame life until now. He’s a college dropout working at a fast food place, mostly getting by, and sometimes wishing he’d stayed in school*.

Things get interesting for Sam when a game of Potato Hockey damages the wrong car, and he catches the attention of Douglas Montgomery, a powerful necromancer with an agenda. As it turns out, Sam is a necromancer, and Douglas doesn’t play nice with the competition.

Now, Sam has to figure out how to use his necromancy, how to save Brooke, and eventually, how to save himself before Douglas kills them all.

First Lines

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.

Thoughts

As I mentioned, I was expecting something a little more romantic– I love YA romance– but wasn’t disappointed by what I got. Sam is an awesome narrator who adds the charm and sarcasm which separates this story from most. The fact that Sam is an outsider to the supernatural community he discovers means that we learn about it with him. It’s also great to see his friends; they’re fiercely loyal and protective, and it helps make Sam more likable.

Surrounding Sam is an entertaining supporting cast. We’ve got Ramon, his best friend and coworker. Brooke, the adorable heartbreaker-in-training, Frank, the kid whose spirit they’d like to break, Brid the hottie werewolf, and then peripheral family members. Opposing Sam are Douglas and his minions; all dangerous types who would do a lot of harm if they could.

Aside from the bit towards the end where Sam is really fairly helpless in a cage, most of the story features him being fairly proactive about his fate. He doesn’t descend into hopelessness, and remains determined throughout. (The lack of whining was nice, I must say.)

This book is clearly setting up for a series; there are several things left just open enough to make it clear that it was at least hoped for**.

Overall, I found myself fairly impressed by Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and I was glad I’d picked it up. (And saved myself enough time that I didn’t have to put it down until I was done.) It’s pretty good for a debut novel, and manages to be a paranormal-YA without becoming anonymous within the genre(s). I’d give it a solid 4.5/5– it was nearly perfect, and I really, really liked it.

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* This could have quickly took on a PSA tone, but it didn’t, thank goodness. (In part because Sam’s a good narrator.)

** The fact that it came out in hardcover rather than going straight to paperback says that they expected it to do well and they’re likely to let it turn into a series.  (I’ll read it, if it continues.)

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This is the first book of the Local Library 2011 challenge.

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Filed under Book Review, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blood Lite (Anthology)

Anderson, Kevin J. (editor). Blood Lite (2009). 379 Pages. Pocket Books. $16.00

It’s very, very rare that I cannot finish a book. I made it through the first four stories, and gave up. I don’t foresee surviving the rest of this book at this pace.

It opened with Kelley Armstrong’s “The Ungrateful Dead,” which I did really enjoy. You do need to know the basics of her main series, because the main characters are Jaime and Savannah. Do I think that the book is worth picking up, considering all the other stories? Yes, as long as you’re not paying for it.

The second story, “Mr. Bear” by Joe R. Lansdale was a strange interpretation of Smokey the Bear, if he were a child star gone wrong. Jim runs into “The Bear” on an airplane, and gets dragged along on an adventure he never wanted to have. There are dead hookers, greased weenie pulls, and a lot more vulgar things. I don’t think I enjoyed a single thing about this story.

I figured it could only get better from there, and in a strange sort of way, it did. “Hell in a Handbasket” by Lucien Soulban. A mysterious baby is left on hell’s doorstep, and it messes with every demon it comes across. It ends with a huge poop joke. I was moderately entertained.

The fourth story, “The Eldritch Pastiche from Beyond the Shadow of Horror” by Christopher Welch, was trying too hard. Our narrator– an “I” who may be “Christopher”– has been writing what boils down to bad Lovecraft fanfiction, and struggling to get published most of his adult life. He attempts to find help, because it has ruined his life, and instead he finds out that he has a greater purpose.

After that, when confronted with the title of the next story: “Elvis Presley and the Bloodsucker Blues,” I gave up. I’d laughed once or twice while reading Kelley Armstrong’s story, and had not laughed since. I really wish I had enjoyed it, but I didn’t. I’d picked up the book expecting paranormal stories with a bit of funny, which the book failed to deliver.

In Conclusion:

I’m sure there are people out there who would enjoy this. People who like poop jokes and vulgar “humor.” I am not that audience. It gets a 1/5 for being unreadable. (It has a 3/5 rating on amazon.com).

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy