Monday, January 10, 2011

Review: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Title: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Author: Lish McBride
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (10/12/10)

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?

First Impression: It's as if Kevin Smith wrote a YA novel! Slacker Sam is working at a fast food restaurant when his world is turned upside down after a broken headlight during potato hockey leads to a meeting with the very scary Douglas Montgomery. Montgomery is a necromancer, and is not pleased to see another unexpectedly. What follows is a twisty tale full of politics, magic and a large dose of sarcasm.
Plot: McBride's world is a fun take on urban fantasy, with a large number of magical creatures and practitioners with councils and politics of their own, and satisfying rules governing them all. I enjoyed it greatly!

Characters: Sam and his crew were appropriately laid-back and chill about the new world they're faced with. His loyal best friend, Ramon, was charming and likable. Coworkers and family were also well done, as were the magical folk. I got a little tired of some of the flashbacks and explanation of Douglas Montgomery, but on the whole he was very evil and very frightening. Most importantly, Sam is an inherently good guy, and I was definitely rooting for him.

Style: As I said, Kevin Smith in a YA novel. It was very funny, and fast-moving. If you are annoyed by college dropout slackers, it might get on your nerves, but they are very nice slackers and I liked them. The point of view changes sporadically, and I thought Sam's voice was definitely the strongest, but they were all well done and distinct.

Wrap up: Cute and fun book, definitely on the list of contemporary fantasy books that can be confidently recommended to teenage boys! As a librarian it is always nice to find those.

Special mention for the awesome title and great cover - also teenage boy friendly!


  1. Great review! I am really intrigued by this book -- both the title and the cover make me want to read it.

  2. Definitely sounds fun! I love me some sarcasm in my books.

  3. Thank you! I often have trouble finding books I can recommend to teen boys in my library. I've had my eye on this one for a little while, so I'm glad to hear you review it positively. Great review!

  4. This is on my "sooner rather than later" list but I hadn't read a review of it yet. I'm so excited to read it now. Thanks for such a great review!