It should come as no surprise that I adore this cover, anything bold and graphical will always get my little reader's heart racing, as opposed to the glut of photoshopped glowing half-faces of inexplicably healthy teens which just leaves me, at best, a little cold and, at worst, insulted. But thankfully there are no pouting My Space girlies here, and why would there be? This book is about a boy, a rather hot boy if the dish on the cover is to be believed. And, er, his crow. Apparently.
Samhain, or Sam to his friends, has led a rather lackluster existence. Dropping out of college and working full time at the local burger joint, Plumpy's, with his only three friends was not on his list of things to achieve in life. So when an ill advised potato hockey match brings him to the attention of one Douglas Montgomery, necromancer and all round power crazed a-hole. Sam is very surprised to suddenly find a whole world of crazy shiz existing right in front of his face. And now all of it is revolving around him. Disembodied heads that can talk, dancing zombies being sucked out of the ground, little girls demanding waffles in exchange for knowledge on the dead and a very cute werewolf girl all come together when Sam realises that Douglas's offer to train him in necromancy, may not be the selfless kind act he insists it is.
Debut! I have to keep reminding myself this is a debut novel. Because it was so good! Where on earth did Ms McBride appear from with this little gem, and why oh why did I have to pick it up now? When there's no news yet of the next book and I have no clue how long I'll have to wait till it's released? I have absolutely no patience when it's comes to waiting for the next book in a series I love, but as we all know (and so I keep telling myself) absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer feels like a pretty short book mainly due to the fact that we don't get to meat of the story until about halfway through, but Ms McBride is such an natural at weaving interest and humor into the everyday moments I didn't really notice that I had more pages in my left hand then my right when things really began to kick off. Which turned out to be a bonus if you consider the emotional pay back I got from all those pages spent building the characters was huge. Even the characters with the smallest word time were a pleasure to read about and not once did I have any trouble imagining a face or location, Ms McBride has that rare skill with writing that allows you to follow the action perfectly with the bare minimum of words (see also Sarah Rees Brennan and Ilona Andrews).
"Ramon and I started a rousing game of "Guess What I Put In The Fryer."
I closed my eyes and leaned against the back of the shake machine. There was a fairly large plop and a hiss from the fryer. "Pickle," I said.
"That's uncanny, Sam" Ramon said.
"Not really. I just helped Frank get the bucket out of the walk-in."
"Damn," he said.
After the pickle, a bun, one set of tongs, a spoonful of mayonnaise, and a hat, Ramon ran out of ideas, and I decided not to eat the fries here any more. I stared at Ramon's spatula.
"Thou shalt not covert thy neighbor's spatula, Sammy.
"I'm pretty sure that's not in the Bible," I said.
"How do you know? Have you ever read it?" He slapped a chicken burger on the grill.
"Not really, but I'm still pretty sure that's not in there"
"Trust me." he said.
"Fine," I said, "what version then?"
"The King Ramon version. Spatulas are considered very sacred in the King Ramon version."
I folded my arms across my chest. "Well, I'm not Christian, so I can covet. I can covet like a fiend.""
Sam himself is rather lovable (and, I thought, a bit of a hottie), despite seeming to be a massive dropout and all round failure. His three best friends make up a fantastically dysfunctional Scooby Gang of sorts and I challenge anyone to read this book and not wish Ramon was their bestie for life, everybody needs a friend who wouldn’t think twice about hitting a rampaging psycho with their skateboard for them. I also adored tough-as-dried-on-porridge Brid, she was bright, optimistic and wasn't afraid to take what she wanted regardless of being stuck in a cage for most of the book, and the scenes with her and Sam? I lived for those while reading this.
So in conclusion, it has action, it has funny, it has romance and it has a genuinely scary bad dude. All this filtered through the sharp pen of Lish McBride make this a must read. And if anyone knows anything about when and what the next instalment will be. Please share the love with me?