by Lish McBride
At long last, it's here! This review contains some spoilers from the first book, so proceed at your own risk.
After killing the evil necromancer Douglas Montgomery in last year's hilarious Hold Me Closer Necromancer, Sam LaCroix has not only inherited Douglas' seat on their town's supernatural Council, but he's inherited his huge house, his shapeshifting cat butler James, and a small army of angry jam-loving gnomes as well. Just as he's settling into his new position as head of a very unusual household, however, his sister gets a nasty threat delivered to her door, and a sudden death changes everything. One thing a necromancer should always keep in mind, after all, is that just because someone's dead doesn't mean they stay that way.
It feels like we've been waiting for this sequel forever, and I'm so pleased to report that catching up with Sam and his crew is even more fun the second time around. Necromancing is more tautly plotted, faster, funnier, and full of even more madcap moments than the last time around.
Fun Necromancing Madness
A vengeful undead enemy? Check.
A werebear best friend? Check.
A harbinger of death who uses a Blackberry? Check.
A pointy-toothed, beef jerky-loving pygmy cupacabra? Check.
Stupidly entertaining gnome names like Chauncey the Devourer of Souls or Gnoman Polanski? Check.
Deceitful companions who just might be enemies? Check.
Aside from the zany one-liners and good-humored characters, there are also surprising moments of gravity that I really appreciated. Okay, so they happen to involve a sad zombie panda and throat-cutting, but still! I also got the wish I expressed in my review of Necromancer, which was that the antagonist would be more fully developed and nuanced. I loved the way the author explored his back story, and the climax and resolution felt properly serious and satisfactory, without being too somber for a book like this.
If I were to nitpick, I do wish a little more had been done with the awesome secondary cast. While I really liked the werewolf politics involving Sam's girlfriend Brid and her pack, I would love to have seen more done with the werebear, gnomes, etc. Right now they're mostly there for comic relief, while there was such a great opportunity to utilize them in the action and interpersonal scenes. I am, however, very glad that the book mostly loses the extraneous POVs that made the first book so disjointed. Necromancing focuses on two primary characters and allows us to get to know and appreciate both. Still, a third POV is inserted very late into the book at page 161, and then again at pages 278 and 296--and being that all of them total 11 pages, it seems as though the book would be much more streamlined and would have flowed much better if those parts had been reworked somehow.
But none of that really matters in the end, because jeez, this book is just so much fun. It's awesome when a sequel is even better than the original, and I'm hoping this means we'll not only see a trilogy, but that the third book will be the best book of all. If you enjoy humor with your young adult urban fantasy, this is a series that's not to be missed.
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
This review also appears on GoodReads. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
P.S. Waffles make an appearance on page 50. Just in case you were wondering.
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