27 November, 2010

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer - Review

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Publication date: 12 October, 2010 by Henry Holt & Co.
ISBN 10/13: 0805090983 / 9780805090987

Category: YA Fantasy/Horror
Format: Hardcover
Keywords: Paranormal, Funny as Hell

From goodreads.com:

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?

How I found out about this book: Eye-catching cover, no? It nearly yanked my eyeballs out of my head. I had to take it home with me. Or else.

Quickie: I nearly died laughing. No, really. At some point I actually stopped breathing; silent laughter is the best laughter I can produce.
For more details, click on "Read More"

My review: Be warned, there are some slight spoilers below, so proceed at your own risk.

I loved everything from the jokes, to the song-lyric chapter titles (more on this later), to the quirky characters that people (and, occasionally, haunt) this funny, well-paced, and clever debut novel. McBride manages to make sweet comedy with severed heads (well, just one that I know of), spirits, waffles, and a bunch of burger-flipping teens.

But Sam and his friends Ramon, Frank, Brid, and Brooke aren't just here for our amusement. Along the way, they manage to teach us a thing or two about family, friendship, and doing the right thing. No matter how twisty the plot gets, that's pretty much what each character is striving for, whether the right thing is to escape out of a ward-reinforced cage, or find a comfy carrier for the severed head which is all that's left of your good buddy, or, you know, make human sacrifices to boost your magical powers. It's different for everyone.

Some readers might find the romance between Sam and Brid pretty flimsy. I mean, they get thrown into a cage together and suddenly they're the best of friends (with benefits)? Somehow McBride successfully sets it up for me, so when it comes time for me to suspend my disbelief, I pretty much dangle it as far down and away as it can go. Where this series is concerned, I'd be happy never to see my disbelief again. It can go hang.

One of the outlets of humor that entertained me the most were the apt, though occasionally dated, song lyrics that title the chapters. In "Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String," one of my favorite things (in the book, anyway, not IRL), shows up on Sam's doorstep. In "Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting" the were-pack goes head-to head with some feisty lawn ornaments. And in "Beep Beep'M, Beep Beep, Yeah" Sam's geriatric neighbor drives like a bat out of hell. I don't know if many teens today would be familiar enough with the Timbuk3 song "The Future's So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)", but I felt pretty smug when I got the reference :D

Then I felt a little old. :(

Who would love this book: Anyone with a sense of humor and a penchant for swearing (i.e., ME!) There's also a pretty steamy sex scene in there, so certain parents who believe in sheltering their offspring to that extent--well, I warned you. (Truth be told, I think people need to lighten up and trust their kids to pick their own reading material. If it's too mature for them, they just won't get it, and they'll put it down. That was me, trying to read Franny & Zoey when I was 10.) Read this if you want a fun, guffaw-inducing adventure.

I couldn't find a good author photo, so I'll leave you with the meaty, delicious book trailer. Er, warning: like most fast food, it's a little gross.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is Lish McBride's first novel. (I'm guessing it's part 1 of 3, though I'm hoping it'll be more like 6 or 7 :D Hee-hee.)

Find the author at lishmcbride.com, on Twitter @TeamDamnation

Shortlink to this review: http://bit.ly/plumpySam

Find this book on goodreads.com.

What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)

1 comment:

  1. Disclosure, because I forgot to write it in: I bought this book :D