Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer/ Necromancing The Stone

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

I don't even remember how I stumbled across Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, but the title absolutely cracked me up and I had to read it.  Not only was the title a delightful little nod to a beloved song, every chapter title is a great song lyric or title.  I love when writers do this.  I'm the girl that gets all squee when screenwriters name TV show episodes that way.  Who usually even pays that much attention to those?

I didn't realize, when reading the first book that it wasn't a stand alone, and surprisingly, I even thought a follow up would be good for this book.  I am pretty sure there is a novella called Necromancer that I downloaded and enjoyed on my nook, too.  Now, I didn't read these books together, but I did read them both and haven't ever reviewed the original, so I figured I'd write up my thoughts on them together.  I even found a bunch of interesting stuff on the original.

Lish McBride is a goodreads author and here is the link to her page on the site. On the Macmillan page, they have posts on both books.  The first one you can find by clicking here,  and the link for the second book, Necromancing the Stone can be found here. I also found a number of book trailers on You Tube.  Here's the official one from Macmillan.
I also found this interview with Ms. McBride. It's long, but if you want to see it, here it is:

Now, about the books,  I'm pretty sure that since I'm combining the two books to review, I'm going to have spoilers.  If this is a problem for you, consider yourself warned. I enjoyed both books and the novella. I'm not sure they'll ever make it to classic status or be part of any YA canon that may come to be, but you could do a whole lot worse. McBride has a real flare for real characters, despite their highly unrealistic natures.  I mean, we're talking a whole lot of supernatural/magical beings.  Witches, gnomes, sasquatch, werewolves, ghosts, necromancers, all accounted for and all written so as to feel natural.

Sam LaCroix is a good kid. He's got a great mom and little sister, a crappy job and some awesome friends.  He's also got a talent that he was unaware of, Sam is a necromancer.  He can see, speak to, and even raise, the dead.  This little gift was bound up tightly in the hopes that no one, including Sam, would ever find out about it.  This was fine, until Douglas came along.

Douglas got wind of Sam and became the cause of all kinds of problems. One night Sam is minding his own business at his job, flipping burgers when a stranger comes in and announces that Sam is a necromancer.  This means nothing to Sam.  Then, he's attacked in the parking lot after work.  His best friend is killed, but luckily, Sam really is a necromancer and her head is often around to keep him company.

Now, not only is Douglas part of some board governing supernatural creatures, he's mean and evil in all of the ways that make mean and evil people the worst they can be. He's powerful and secretive and sadistic.  Douglas thinks that Sam has a small amount of power and that he can take that power for himself.  He tries to sway Sam over to his side, but despite the fact that Sam is in way way way over his head, he's got a great support system to help him and because he's such a good guy, he manages to win over more in his quest to fight  Douglas.

In the second book, Sam is still trying to win people over, because necromancer's don't have really good reputations.  He's doing a great job, too. Not that he always feels like he is.  In over his head is pretty much his life story. He's going out to the woods to settle disputes and complaints for supernatural creatures, he's got to manage to keep from getting ripped to shreds by his werewolf girlfriend's pack and the gnomes in the garden at Douglas', now Sam's house are completely out of control.  Sam has big problems to solve and only  his own sense of right and wrong and a small group of loyal and devoted friends.

I do really like Sam.  The character is not a Bella Swan, all thumbs and pathetic.  No, he's been raised an average kid.  He's struggles with the big decisions, but was given enough good parenting that he really does try to do what's right.  Sometimes that's harder than others.  As a coming of age story, I think these books could have real appeal to the YA and more mature middle grade readers.  They've got some romance and a whole lot of violence.  Sam, his friends and family temper that with just how wholesome and moral they can all be.

I'd like to think that I'd turn out as good as Sam after facing trials like his.  I'm really not sure that I would.  Maybe that's the point, when you look back instead of forward.  McBride's intended audience can take a lot of good pointers away from these books.  I'd like to challenge some of the actual YAs I know that read to let me know what they think.

No comments: