A red background with a black outline of a man and a bird on his shoulder

About the Book

Title: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1)
Published: 2010
Series: Necromancer
Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Cover Story: Friends & Family
BFF Charm: YAY!
Talky Talk: 2 Legit 2 Quit
Bonus Factor: Villains, Talking Heads
Relationship Status: I WANT This Book. With My Lady Bits…

Cover Story: Friends & Family

I can’t really decide if I like this cover or hate it. I mean, the guy looks nothing like how I imagine the protagonist, but it does have that pop-art Shepard Fairey-thing going for it. Just to be safe, I’d proudly display this in front of people who know me, but use my e-reader on the train.

The Deal:

Sam is a 19-year old lost-soul college dropout who works in the food service industry. Where he’s miserable. Then again, he hasn’t really ever been able to find his place, anywhere. And THAT’S because he’s actually a necromancer — only he doesn’t know it, yet. Through a mishap during some break-time shenanigans, Sam draws the attention of a for-serious and scary big-time necromancer, Douglas, who wonders how Sam could have been living right under his nose and yet he never sensed it. Why are Sam’s powers nearly undetectable? Still, having another necromancer in his region doesn’t suit Douglas at all, and Sam finds himself running out of time to figure out the mystery of his own life…

BFF Charm: YAY!

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

So I liked Sam in the beginning, but as the story progressed, and he really began to develop as a character (AND deal with the crazy-ass shizz that was being thrown at him from all directions) I began to LOVE him. And also like-like him. He’s that kinda cute awkward/dorky boy who has a wicked sense of humor but low self-esteem, who, as he grows into himself, sheds his awkwardness, revealing depth and courage that combine to make him a hot-hot-hotty. So I’d give him my BFF charm. Or my BF charm. Whichev.

And then there’s Brid, (pronounced Bridge, if I’m not mistaken) who is full of self-confidence and strength, not to mention raw power — due to her lineage. Girlfriend is fierce, but also sweet, and definitely someone I’d want in my corner.

AND I’d be remiss not to mention Ramon, Brooke and even Frank, who make an awesome scooby gang, and with whom I’d be proud to solve mysteries OR sling burgers.

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Maybe it’s because I wasn’t expecting it, which makes it hard to write a proper review of the swoon — and the story itself. If I say ‘This book totally blew me away’, it might lessen what could have been an organic reading experience for the readers of this review. But, this book totally blew me away!

AND it has some of the hottest S.E.X. I’ve ever read in a fantasy/adventure story. Despite what Annie from the venerable action classic Speed said about relationships that start under intense circumstances not working out, I can’t help but feel hopeful for the romance that develops in this story. What is it about a brave guy who’s had the shit beaten out of him and a really powerful woman locked in a cage together with very little clothing on? Oh, I know. It’s the recipe for a fire in your panties.

Talky Talk: 2 Legit 2 Quit

Though I enjoyed this book from the beginning, it wasn’t until I was about half-way through that I suddenly COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN. Ms. McBride lays the groundwork for her characters slowly so that in the beginning, when she would leave one person or group’s storyline to follow the arc of one of her other characters, I found myself wanting to just get back to the first one. But she was crafty, setting the stage with solid character development for when the storylines all converged. Using different narrative styles, she was able to give each player their own distinct voice, while infusing the whole thing with the humor and angst of a 19-year old boy. Here’s an excerpt, during a ‘lesson’, when Sam sees his first dead-raising:

…he looked like your average American businessman. Except he was dead. And not just soul-dead like most cubicle workers, but actually dead.

“Go ahead,” Douglas said. “Ask him a question.”

“Why is a raven like a writing desk?” The zombie stared back at me blankly. Douglas glared at me. I heard Brid stifle a giggle from inside the cage. Good to know I wasn’t the only one who’d read ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. How come I couldn’t meet a nice, naked, well-read girl until I was kidnapped and thrown into a cage?”

This is the first book I’ve read in a while that I HOPED would be a series. (And it IS! Yay! But we have to wait until Spring of 2012!)

Bonus Factor: Villains

Hannibal Lector in his prison mask covering his cannibal mouth
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Anthony Hopkins, 1991

Nothing ratchets up the tension and scariness in a story like an honest-to-goodness baddie. Douglas delivers.

Bonus Factor: Talking Heads

The band Talking Heads album cover

Okay, I actually meant literally, you guys. Silly Talking Heads. Always popping up in my google image search, just begging to be put into a post. If this book is ever made into a movie (which it SHOULD be, obvs) it had better have a BIG effects budget. You hear me Hollywood? Don’t skimp.

Relationship Status: I WANT This Book. With My Lady Bits…

I’m not saying that this book and I have no real substance to our relationship. I’m not saying that what we have is purely physical. And I’m not saying that it couldn’t develop into the real deal. What I am saying is this: this book makes me feel tingly all over when I’m with it. And I think about it when it’s not here. A lot. Especially when I’m alone. At night. In my bed.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Henry Holt and Company. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is available now.