Friday, January 11, 2013

New Adult Project review: "Hold Me Closer, Necromancer" by Lish McBride (audiobook)


Goodreads 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?


***


When you hear the word “necromancy,” you always think of something very disgusting and creepy. So it shouldn’t surprise you when I tell you this book is dark. But it’s also fun and hilarious. What makes this book great is the cast of characters. There are far too many books where the protagonist’s best friends are either stereotypes or set-dressing—not the case with this book at all. Ramon was just as funny and active a character as Sam, Frank was a lovable woobie, and Brooke is probably the best subversion of the “women in refrigerators” trope I’ve ever seen. And of course, I absolutely loved Sam’s self-deprecating humor. Oh yeah, and who wouldn’t want a snarky little girl as a spirit guide or a neighbor like Mrs. W?

It’s hard to say how I felt about Douglas. If you’re looking for villains that are relatable, then you should probably look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for the kind of villains that are so cold and evil that they fill you with a scary evil dread, then look no further! (He wakes up a dead man and forces him to re-enact his own death! You can’t get much more evil that that.) As for the love interest…well, she’s likeable enough, but very underplayed. Even though she’s supposed to be hot-headed and a kickass fighter, I didn’t really get to see that until the end. From the way the other characters described her (and the way she described herself), I assumed she would jump at any opportunity to escape or attack her opponents, but when opportunities arose, she remained passive and well-behaved. If the author really wanted us to believe she was a badass, she should have done a better job showing it.

This book is not without plotholes, and the narration is kind of weird (first-person for Sam and third-person through everyone else’s point of view). I also think this book might have been better if the werewolves were cut out, as their portions of the story were very cliché and info-dumpy. But the awesomeness of the characters and the combination of darkness and humor still made this book a great read.

Note: I don’t recommend listening to this book on audio, as at least two out of the three narrators felt too old to be narrating the thoughts of 19-year-olds.

***

Full list of New Adult Project reviews

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