Thursday, 31 May 2012

Review: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Hardcover
Released: October 12th, 2010
Rating: 7/10

Amazon 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?


Firstly, can we all just take a minute to appreciate the genius title of this book? It rolls off the tongue, and makes me want to listen to Ironik's song of almost-the-same name. Also, it just sounds cool, don'tcha think?! I'm glad the actual book lived up to its title, because if it hadn't, I'd have been more than a bit disappointed. I wasn't though, and instead I'm simultaneously enjoying a new appreciation for werewolves and hankering for a sequel.

Each chapter of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer opens with song lyrics that give you a hint of what's to come. As soon as I saw that, I knew I was in for a good read of dead people and their masters. I never expected werewolves to play a big part in the story, nor did I expect it to be as laugh-out-loud funny and snarky as it was. It's what I imagine the '99 movie Idle Hands would have been like if it was a book: sharp, clever and ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek. You know the saying heads will roll? Yes? Well, in this book, they really do. I was shocked for a couple of seconds but then had the urge to burst into laughter. I'm sure that's not the right response to someone getting decapitated, but whatever. McBride delivers it like an unexpected punch to the face, and I loved it.

Samhain Corvus LaCroix is a fry cook at a fast food joint, and he hates it. He's also a skater boy, general layabout and, oh, hey, a necromancer. Bet he didn't see that one coming. He's soon stuck with a power-mad necromancer who goes by the oh-so-evil name of Douglas, and finds himself imprisoned next to a naked female werewolf called Brid. Either he's the luckiest guy on earth, or he's soon to be flayed by a raiser of the dead. I'll let you decide which it is.

McBride's plot is compelling, her dialogue is snappy a la Master Joss Whedon, and her characters rock. Sam's like a deer caught in headlights at first, but he quickly steps up to the necro-plate and does some damage. Him and Brid are by far my favourites from this book - I didn't really get attached to any of the others, though Brooke would be next on my list - and I do hope I'll get to see more of them in the future. I have no idea if this is the start of a series or a standalone, but I hope it's the former. Necromancy is a neglected theme in YA paranormal fiction, and Lish McBride is well on her way to rectifying that. Rock on dude!


Laura Hartley said...

Sounds really different and an interesting read! I like the idea of the chapters starting with song lyrics too...


TG said...

I thought this book was fun, too. It reminded me of the TV show Reaper, with its humorous take on darkness and demons.