Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review - Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

I was surprised by Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. I'll admit my expectations weren't high going in. I'd burned out on YA paranormal lit a couple of months ago after blasting through the first seven Morganville Vampire books in ten days. Afterwards, whenever I picked up a YA book that had a paranormal vibe to the storyline, it felt like my eyeballs might pop outta my head and going pinging around the room. I retreated to Regency-era historical fiction along the lines of Austen to soothe my frayed neurons, and Necromancer remained mid-way through the teetering stack of TBRs.

Initially I bought it because it had a promo blurb by Sherman Alexie, author of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (which the brilliant, hilarious, heart-breaking movie Smoke Signals was based on), whom I luuurve. His books should be required reading in high school. He's an amazing writer.*

And the fact that the author's name was Lish. Which kinda plays on the necromancer theme. Lish... Lich. McBride... Bride. The Lich Bride.


OK. Maybe it's just me. Anywhoo...

When I finally - and I will admit, grudgingly - picked Necromancer up, I nearly set it down again permanently when I realized main character Sam's full name was Samhain. I sneered in disgust. The author hadn't even done their research. Any good Gael can tell you Samhain is NOT pronounced "sam-hane". It's more along the lines of "sah-win". Thus, SAM cannot be a derivative of SAMHAIN.

Sorry to be such a pronunciation snob, but that shit bugs me.

Fortunately, before I could throw the book across the room, the author redeemed themselves with a plausible explanation in the next paragraph. At that point, I gave up the struggle and let myself become completely engrossed.

Sam is a lovable slacker - a skateboarding college dropout working the fast-food career track. That is, until he has a run in with the local necromancer at which point Sam's entire life goes from meh-to-worse in the space of 48 hours.

One of the other reviewers on GoodReads (Vinaya) said they pictured Sam looking like Lloyd Dobler from the 80s movie Say Anything, and now I can't get the visual out of my head.

Slap a hoodie on him, hand him a skateboard, put him in Seattle, and pit him against an evil-dead-raising SOB, and you have Sam LaCoix.

The plot was twisty and sprinkled with enough new angles on the paranormal stuff - werewolves, vampires, fairies, ghosts, zombies, etc. - to seem fresh. Which is hard to do considering how the market is flooded with the stuff. (Oo. I just came up with the title of my next book/blog post: Weary of Werewolves. Or how about, Fed-Up With Fairies? Sick of Vacuous Vampires?)

Despite all the weirdness going on, Sam came across as a very normal, likable guy. He's not the perfect hero. His apartment is a mess. He eats a lot of ramen. His friends crash on the couch. He ogles the occasional chick. He sticks his foot in it a lot. He bumbles around trying to make sense of his life and find some sort of purpose. He gets his ass handed to him a couple of times, so he's no ninja. All of those things, combined with a good heart, make him a character worth reading about.

The ending, which was very satisfactory, still left the door wide open for sequels. I'm eager to find out what happens to Sam AND all the interesting secondary characters that were introduced.  If the first book is anything to judge by, it's going to be an interesting ride.

*Shameless plug. Sherman... call me.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE LLOYD DOBLER!!! That is one of my Top 5 movies of all time! I almost want to read this book just because of that reference! Also, even though I know you read A LOT, you don't put that many on your blog, so if you made the effort for this book, it must be good.

    Also, I'm working on making a button for my blog challenge. I've never made a button before so I'll keep you posted on my progress.