Monday, April 22, 2013

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release: October 12, 2010
Source: Library
Others in the Series: Necromancing the Stone
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?
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer opens with a perfectly typical contemporary scene about a group of college dropouts working a shift at a fast food chain and introduces readers to the pains of their everyday lives. This teen-to-adult anguish will carry throughout the entire novel, providing a refreshing dose of reality, but will soon become much less prevalent.

Because then a dark, powerful necromancer shows up. And that is when things get crazy.

Both of these plot lines diverge dramatically, but each one still exists in the backdrop of the other, affecting the overall mood of the book. Sam's more human problems are written with a hint of a creepy flair and the paranormal conflicts are so deeply entwined with interpersonal relationships that they seem vibrantly real. I adored this seamless world blending and, in the places where the two stories meet, their intersection is even more exciting thanks to the intensity of each.

This plays out against parallel storylines and flashbacks to which one could argue that the transitions are rather abrupt. While turning the pages of this book, readers may find themselves invested in one story, only to be jerked not-so-smoothly into another setting, and this jumpy bumpiness could very well be a cause for annoyance. I, however, surprised myself once again when I realized these sporadic changes of scenery just added to Hold Me Closer, Necromancer's quirkiness rather than finding the plot too spread out or disarrayed.

This development of the plot works remarkably well with the narrator's light, airy voice that is consistently hilarious, even with the darker spins it sometimes takes. Although Sam has multiple problems he must face, from his self-defined life failures to the insanity and danger his newly discovered necromancing side presents, the witty jokes he and other characters craft never take themselves too seriously and will have readers laughing throughout life-threatening situations. In fact, his wisecracks often play off the more grave plot points, which only serves to blend the light and the dark of this book.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer certainly has a strange premise and title that, depending on the reader's point of view, may be as off-putting as they are intriguing. However, the amusing humor and unexpectedly bright writing style illuminate the violence, the paranormality, and the long-buried secrets, making this novel's most fantastical scenes read almost like realistic fiction. If you, like I was, are skeptical about this book, I highly recommend giving it a try because it is sure to surprise you with the fabulous fresh air it brings to its genre.


  1. I'm not a fan of the cover (it doesn't do anything for me) and since I am like you and have been skeptical of the book, I guess I'll have to dismiss my feelings and try anyways! I hope I'll feel the same as you with this book, but also the transitions. I don't like harsh transitions, but I hope I'll think it's charming! It sounds like a great mixture of both dark and humorous and I love that you call it realistic fiction. Great review!


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