Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This was a breath of fresh air book. I've read some disappointing books lately, and I needed a good one. Plus I was pining for a good UF read. I loved the easy writing flow, the funny dialogue, and the wonderful, self-deprecating hero, Sam. Although this was released as a YA book, I think it easily could have been marketed as an adult UF novel. I believe the older readers will enjoy it as much as teen readers because there is a lot to like in this book.
McBride keeps her world-building simple, but simple doesn't mean lacking. She has an interesting reality here, with people born with magical abilities, specifically necromancers. Sam is one, but he doesn't know it, because being one is quite dangerous for him. His normal, rather boring, letdown life explodes into one of extreme danger and dread as he becomes exposed to a very dangerous, cruel, and evil enemy. Along the way, he becomes aware of a supernatural world with its own rules. He finds out that there are a lot of creatures out there that he didn't even know existed. That is one thing I love about UF--the normal is really far from normal when you take a close look around you.
Sam is the everyman that you like and feel protective of. He has a rough journey in this book, but he weathers it all with grace and takes a lot of crazy stuff in stride. I respected him for that. I also liked his friends, specifically Ramon and Brooke. I liked Brid too. She is pretty darn kickbutt. Sam's mom is a sweet lady, and I would like to learn more about Sam's longlost uncle. He seems cool.
I think McBride has all the right ingredients in this story, but it doesn't add up to 'formula', but instead a fun, enthralling, sometimes scary and thrilling, and very enjoyable read. The quote on the cover by Sherman Alexie is so true. This book is both scary and funny, and a good balance of both. I am a big fan of snarky dialogue in books, and she does it well. I loved all the pop culture jokes. They were hilarious! I was quite impressed with how McBride reveals the menace of the villain and his heinous acts without going overboard. Poor Sam and his friends are truly in jeopardy, but you manage to catch your breath with some good laughs along the way.
I was very satisfied with this book, and even if it's a one-shot, I am still happy. If she continues the series, I'd be even happier, because I do see some threads that I would love to be explored further. Although McBride does a good job of making this a self-contained read that stands on its own (cliffhangers are a freaking enormous pet peeve of mine), I could easily see her going back and writing more in this world.
I do recommend Hold Me Closer, Necromancer to UF fans of all ages. I think they'll enjoy it.
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.
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