Book Review - Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Author: Lish McBride
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (October 12, 2010)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Description from GoodReads:

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?


My review:

Imagine living your life just thinking you are a regular guy?! Nothing special, maybe a little bit of an underachiever.  This is Sam.  He has dropped out of college, works at a hamburger joint (kind of funny considering he is a vegetarian), hangs out with his best friend from childhood, and concerned that he isn't going anywhere fast.  But then comes Douglas.  Literally overnight, Sam's life changes and so does the lives around him.  Douglas is apparently a necromancer for hire and doesn't like the idea of another necromancer sharing in any potential job opportunities.  It seems that being a necromancer can be quite profitable.  After a serious beating, and a very personal message, Douglas gives Sam a week to become his apprentice or lose his life.  

McBride manages to pull it all together in her debut offering.  Hold Me Closer, Necromancer has all the ingredients of a great book - a well-balance ensemble of characters, humor, a little romance (but not over doing it), and pacing that doesn't drag (I pretty much read this in one sitting and refused to go to bed until I finished it).  Sam is a likable; your every day sort of guy.  His friends are kind of eclectic.  There is Ramon (a childhood friend/like family), Frank (a bit of a dork, but dependable), and Brooke (fiesty & entertaining).  Even secondary characters such as Sam's mother (with her own secrets) and sister, or his neighbor - an on the go, 70-something granny (who has a more active social life than Sam) add rather than detract from the overall story. And well then there is an assortment of paranormal creatures (were-creatures, harbingers, witches, etc.) that Sam discovers on his quest to understand what a necromancer is and how he managed to not know about these unique abilities.  

For fans of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal stories, this will be an easy sell.  In my opinion, it is one of the best books within this category that I have read recently.  True there are some places that require suspending reality (like the immediate attraction between Sam & Brid - a cute shape-shifter- while they are stuck in a cage but then it was hot, & steamy in a fade to black kind of way) which I don't see as an issue.  This is after all a fantasy story.  However, when I finished it, I wanted more.  Sure, this was a complete book - no huge cliff-hanger ending, but readers can easily imagine this story continuing.  I can imagine and hope that this book will continue for at least several more installments.  So please somebody tell me that there will be a book 2 and a book 3?!

For fans that may not be prone to reading a good Urban Fantasy, I suggest giving this book a read through.  Hopefully, it will be a pleasant surprise.  If not, maybe you can have fun identifying all the songs that McBride uses as chapter titles.   

You can find out more about author Lish McBride on her website, click here.  Or you can follow her on twitter: @teamdamanation

Also take a moment to check out the Book Trailer for Hold Me Closer, Necromancer