Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: 'Necromancing the Stone' by Lish McBride

I didn't move -- I didn't need to.  Sean may be strong and fast, but the thing about the
 undead is that they can just keep coming.  An owl swooped down at his eyes, making
 him swerve away from me.  The raccoon jumped onto his back while the smaller birds
began to dive-bomb.  Sean stopped his forward assault, attempting to swat while he
turned around and tried to get the raccoon.  But for every bird or mole he swatted, another
 took its place.  Pretty soon he was just spinning, a ball of flailing arms and feet...
And the squirrel? I watched as it slid up Sean's pant leg.

Sam LaCroix is still adjusting to life as a necromancer and his new role as member of the local magical council.  There's some stress involved, gnomes wrapping is room while he sleeps; a minotaur fascinated with puncturing his car's tires; but, generally, things are going just fine.  And then the unthinkable happens.  The assassination of a high ranking member of the council leaves Sam on unfamiliar ground and the magical world in chaos.  Suspects abound and, somehow, Sam has been put in charge of tracking down the assassin.  Just when things can't get any worse, Sam starts to wonder if a former enemy is truly out of the picture for good.

I should probably preface this review by saying that I LOVED McBride's first novel, 'Hold Me Closer, Necromancer'.  While her humor will not appeal to everyone, her style of writing and tongue-in-cheek delivery tickle my funny bone with a consistency few writers are able to achieve.  That being said, 'Necromancing the Stone' was everything a reader could have asked for in a second novel.

Sam continues to grow as a character, slowly growing into the formidable man he will likely become (the novel ends with the promise of more adventures with Sam and the crew).  Brid's part is distanced a little bit, which allows a touch of romance without slowing down the pace of the novel.  But the most interesting character, I found, was James.  When the reader meets James, he is the magical familiar/personal assistant to Douglas, a morally bankrupt necromancer set on destroying Sam.  In 'Hold Me Closer, Necromancer', the reader got the barest glimpse of the roiling cauldron of conflicting emotions, loyalties and desires that bubble behind James's serene facade.  'Necromancing the Stone' made me LOVE James!  He's one of my new favorite fictional people.

As with McBride first novel, 'Necromancing the Stone' starts with a bang and moves at a clip from start to finish.  Humor abounds (much of it of the darker persuasion), as does action, violence and camaraderie.  Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Rebecca
Book Source: Local Library

Recommended Ages: 16+ Violence, non-graphic adult content

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