24 July 2014

Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn't exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well . . . not really. He's pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can't help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he's not exactly sure how to "use "it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it's time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?

I have the distinct impression that there isn't going to be another book, though I'm comforted by the fact there are two novellas I have yet to read.  I was shocked by my immediate attraction to the first book, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and this here second book only served to reinforce my love for anything done by Lish McBride.  With her witty characters, swift plots, and getting more than a little crazy in the creepy aisle, Lish McBride has turned into an author I will watch out for.

I'm always wary of the Second Book Syndrome because second books in a series tend to droop a little bit.  But it's like where other authors lag, Lish McBride took a shot of caffeine.  The characters were just as alive and three dimensional, and the plot just as compelling and creepy all at once.

My one fault with Necromancing the Stone is the way the love interest, Brid, is represented.  Neither this book or Hold Me Closer, Necromancer were romances in the socially-understood way.  There was romance, but it in no way took center stage.  My issue here is that it's one thing to have a character interacting on the sidelines, but it's another thing entirely for the character not to be totally "there."  Brid, a hardcore half-werewolf, half-fae, came off as just sort of "being there" which in turn made Sam, the main character, look kind of ridiculous because he was so into her.

Aside from Brid, the other characters were brilliant.  Sam is a great main character, with faults and features that he deals with in turn.  I love how he isn't just "one thing" other than a guy who has to deal with a lot of stuff happening all at once, stuff that he doesn't have the experience to deal with very well.  But he's a character with a good set of morals driving him, and so that makes him easy to cheer for.

What I also have to mention is the antagonist.  Having a healthy, fearful respect of the antagonist goes a long way towards upping the tension coursing through the novel.  Throw on top the dramatic irony being flung around everywhere, and it makes it impossible to put the book down.

All wrapped up with a steady, laugh-out-loud humor, Necromancing the Stone was a brilliant follow up to the originally brilliant Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.  Fans of Anna Dressed in Blood, you have met your next love.

Ramon looked closely at the little guy as he ate. "Maybe he's Jewish. I mean, if Sammy Davis Jr. could convert to Judaism, why not a chupacabra? We should name him Harry Mendelbaum."

I held up my arms in protest. "You're all racist. Now shut up. We'll call him Taco von Precious of Svenenstein. There, everybody happy?"

"Isn't von the same thing as of?" Frank asked. "Wouldn't that be kind of redundant?"

"You're redundant," I said.
Homework, classes, running around, and then—bam—nothing but a life of work stretching out before you. No one prepares you for that feeling or even mentions it. You just suddenly have a gap and have to decide how to fill it.

Book Info
  • pages - hardcover, 344
  • published - September 2012
  • publisher - Henry Holt & Co.
  • genre - urban fantasy
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Necromancer
    • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer | Review
    • Necromancing the Stone