Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1)
Author: Lish McBride
Rating: 4.5 stars
Summary: Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.
Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.
With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?
I thought this book would be pretty cool, but now after finishing it my thoughts are that it's totally awesome. A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Lish herself, at Changing Hands. I had never even heard of her before and after listening to her talk a little alongside the other authors present, she was so funny, I figured I just had to read her book. So I talked with her after the signing finished up and a few weeks later I got a copy of Necromancing the Stone (#2) in the mail, signed. (Yep, you guys know what that means!) But I had forgotten to read the first one (this book) in the meantime, so here is my super belated (late?) review, which should have been up long ago.
You still with me?
I'll start with the setting. Seattle!! Dreary and mysterious, weird people, and the perfect place for some mis-magic-happenings. Really, no one will question it. And I'm from near there, so I may be a little biased because it's like my hometown. :)
I really like every one of the characters, and felt none didn't get fleshed out to the max. Sam, our protag, is a college dropout currently working at a burger place, and not really fitting in with the world. I thought he was super-cool for a few reasons: Sam is a vegetarian. Sam's mom is a witch, so holistic and tea and herbal ointments are abundant. Sam is a necromancer. Oops, spoiler alert. Anyway, I got him, and totally can't wait to continue his story. He's very likable.
For the other mention-worthy characters: Brooke is...well...something else. She's the head of their little group, and her story took a completely different direction than I expected. You find out very soon in the book what I mean by that. Ramon is like the best friend ever. You can't rely on too many people to throw their only skateboard at a cat-sized fire-breathing dragon in order to rescue you from being kidnapped. Frank is like all of their little adopted sibling. He's so naive and funny, I really like what his character brought to the story, and I think/hope he'll be in even more of the second book. Sam's sister and mother, his neighbor, all good characters too.
About halfway through the book I realized what was so different about the chapter titles. They're all random lyrics of old songs! Johnny Cash, The Beatles....and a bunch more. It's fun to figure them out and how they relate to the chapter ahead. I sure had too much fun every time a chapter started.
I have two small complaints: The romance, which seemed a little unnecessary. Lighthearted books like these that have that small touch of romance, always feels weird to me. I don't know why. Maybe because it leans slightly to a guy-book (and I hate to make that differentiation) and so his mind is obviously different than mine, but since there wasn't actually too much romance, I'll stop there. The POV is not my favorite, because I prefer first person as opposed to third-person, like this book is. But it is essential we see what the villain and other characters are doing and thinking while Sam is unaware, so I get that.
All in all, it's just a wonderful novel; full of funnies but in a serious sort of way, and never a dull moment. I will get to the next book, Necromancing the Stone, right away because I already have it. Then there shall be A Giveaway of Said Book.
There's not an easy category to fit this book into, which makes it unique, but I recommend this book to guys and gals of the mid-teen-and-up range. Possibly to fans of Anna Dressed in Blood (my review here) and/or Heather Brewer's Vladimir Tod books, though I haven't read those, they pop into my mind. But those are also for a slightly younger audience, so I may be totally wrong in that comparison.