Book Two of the Sam LaCroix books
By Lish McBride
Available now from Henry Holt (Macmillan)
Review copy courtesy of Vanessa Booke
HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER spent a year or so on my wishlist. I loved the punny Elton John title and all the reviews said that it was hilarious. Finally, the ebook was discounted to promote the sequel NECROMANCING THE STONE. Lish McBride's debut was as good as everyone said and I eagerly moved on to NECROMANCING THE STONE.
There will be spoilers for HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER in this review. I recommend reading these books in order because NECROMANCING THE STONE deals with almost nothing but consequences from the first novel. That works for me, but it might not be as entertaining if you haven't read the first book.
With Douglas' death, Samhain LaCroix - Sam - gained a lot of power, a creepy house, and a position on the Council. Given that he's new to the paranormal world, he's not entirely sure how to be one of the leaders for his region. As for the house, at least he has the room to move his friends in and house spirit James doesn't seem like such a bad thing. But, alas, Douglas isn't quite dead yet. Fiendish necromancers aren't defeated so easily.
Meanwhile, things with Brid aren't going as smoothly as Sam might hope. You'd think being locked naked in a cage with someone was all you ever needed. As things are, Brid needs her pack to trust her, which is already difficult since she's a hybrid. And dating a necromancer isn't the best way for her to convince them that she'll be a good leader like her father.
The thing I love most about McBride's writing isn't the humor, but the optimism. Sam has a power that causes most of its users to go bad and he lives in a world where terrible things happen to his friends. But this is no dark fantasy. What matters for the characters is friends and family. There doesn't have to be a cycle of murder if you allow love to guide the way. (Fortunately, McBride is far less sappy than I am.)
If you like your urban fantasy chock-full of wit, heart, and pop culture references, look no father than HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER and NECROMANCING THE STONE. I can't wait for the third book. And let's not forget this little bonus: Sam is college aged. Yay for the rise of new adult novels!