Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Now available in paperback is Lish McBride's debut fantasy/horror adventure, HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER, the first in a series that introduces readers to a college dropout named Sam.
A thoughtful but complacent skateboarder, Sam is in the middle of a typical boring shift at Plumpy's Restaurant when life gets seriously interesting. After having the taillight broken out of his Mercedes during a game of potato hockey between Sam and his friend Brooke, an irate suited man comes in to confront the culprit. But he is distracted by Sam (who had been scraping gum off the bottoms of tables) and begins ranting about contacting the Council. When he is beat up by another guy in the parking lot after his shift ends, Sam figures out that the two run-ins are connected. When Brooke is murdered, Sam realizes he is in grave danger.
"Though dark and sometimes violent, McBride’s novel is charming and even funny.... Although its intended audience is young adults, HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER is entertaining and original enough to appeal to older readers as well."
Necromancing is the ability to control and even reanimate the dead. This little known power is at the center of Sam's story as it turns out the man in the suit, Douglas, is a necromancer (as first evidenced by his reanimation of Brooke's severed head) --- and so is Sam. The difference is that Douglas is a powerful necromancer who is in charge of a Council of witches, werewolves and other magical creatures, and Sam had no idea he was special at all. It turns out that members of Sam's family are witches and necromancers, and when he was little, they put a spell on him to bind his powers and hopefully protect him. But once the spell is unbound, Sam --- along with some new and unexpected allies and a couple of good friends --- is able to fight Douglas in an attempt to save his own life (as well as the life of a lovely young werewolf). Will Sam's newly discovered necromancing be any match for the strong and evil Douglas?
Though dark and sometimes violent, McBride’s novel is charming and even funny. Sam and his friends and family are likable, and the villains are appropriately mean and humorless. Skirting close to the ever-popular vampire story, McBride cleverly gives us necromancing, an obscure power but one with much literary possibility. And in the hands of the hapless young Sam, necromancing in future installments should continue to be surprising and morally challenging. Another aspect that sets the book apart from other genre novels is its sense of humor. From its hilarious title to its rock-and-roll lyric chapter names (not to mention the dry Generation Y banter), this is a fun and easy read, despite its depictions of murder, torture, spells and ghosts.
Although its intended audience is young adults, HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER is entertaining and original enough to appeal to older readers as well. Scary books are typically understood as winter by-the-fire-on-stormy-night reads, but McBride's is light enough for a summer paperback vacation choice.
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on May 31, 2012