Publisher: Henry Holt (2010)
Format: Hardcover | 343 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
There are books that stay longer than they deserve on our shelves. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer was one of those books. I'd read a few glowing reviews so I bought it last year, but then I "kind of" forgot about it. Thankfully it was brought to my attention (I really should start my very own "because Wendy said so" shelf), by a review of book 2, Necromancing the Stone. I decided to read it... and I was left wondering why it had taken me so long to pick this up.Synopsis (GR): "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?"
I was constantly reminded of the TV series Reaper while I was reading this book. It's a good thing, I thought that series was hilarious. Maybe because the protagonists of both the book and the tv series are named Sam. Or because they are both college dropouts who work at a store and are really the most normal of guys. They just happen to have superpowers... sort of.
Anyways, back to the book. Sam is a college dropout. One day he has a very random and unfortunate encounter with Douglas who is a... necromancer. Douglas is as mean as they come: he is a psychopath. And he forces poor Sam to be his apprentice because Sam is also a... necromancer.
Here's what I liked about Hold me Closer, Necromancer: it had that kind of no-nonsense narrative that most YA books lack. There are no flourishes. No highly intelligent and mysterious males. No extreme unpopular protagonists, who turn out to be (again) highly intelligent or simply attracting the most popular guy/girl in school. There was only Sam, semi-loser, very little prospects and his friends. They suddenly find themselves in a world of trouble. Mayhem and genuinely funny humor ensue. Severed heads talk. Harbingers of death and Egyptian deities pop up.
Sure some things could have been better explained (the Council comes to mind) and the action seemed a bit rushed in places, but overall this was a funny, entertaining read.
The cast of characters is diverse and represents stereotypes (the "mwahaha" villain, the henchman) but somehow still maintains some individuality and personality.
Other things you won't find in this book: insta-love, love triangles and a male protagonist that is super dark and tortured. You will find: strong female characters and fairy hounds (who can resist that.
Overall it was, as stated before, a nice read. I loved the cast of characters, especially Mrs W., Ashley and Brid. Recommended.