Title: Necromancing the Stone
Author: Lish McBride
Publish date: September 18th 2012 by Henry Holt & Company
Source: ARC from publisher
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?
Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride is the sequel to Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and the book is like a smorgasbord of paranormalcy. THE BEST kind of smorgasbord, filled with hilarity.
Sam’s still trying to work out how this whole necromancy thing works. When push comes to shove, he’s still basically a college-age kid. Watching him grow into his role not only as a necromancer, but as a member of the magical council is just as engrossing as when he first stumbled into this supernatural world (or, more accurately, when it kind of attacked him).
Lish brings Sam to life so authentically that I half expected to look up from my copy of of Necromancing the Stone to see him standing in front of me. He’s just… he’s such a boy, guys. A good guy, and noticeably matured from the first book but… he feels real. If one of my IRL guy friends was put in the situations that Sam’s in, I expect that he’d react very similarly.
The humor in this book is another thing to marvel at. It’s chock full of laugh out loud moments… especially when it came to the lawn gnomes. I had the unpleasant experience of snorting soda up my nose from laughing during one of the their appearances. But I’ll let you see that for yourself.
It’s true that the main character’s in Necromancing the Stone are guys, but the secondary female characters like Sam’s family, his girlfriend, and a couple friends are drawn equally strong and are each fierce in their own right. My favorite among them is probably werewolf Brid, who will lead her pack one day, kicks ass, and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. But it’s still obvious that she’s got feelings.
One thing that I’ve discovered really makes a novel come alive for me is when you get to know the villain. Douglas isn’t exactly a sympathetic character, but Lish McBride develops him, explains his past so that we get him and understand what makes him tick. He may not feel sympathy for his present, but it gets to the point where you (or at least I) mourn the person he once was and could have been.
Basically there’s an element of authenticity to the character voices that I rarely see in a paranormal novel.
Overall rating: 5/5. A sequel that is either equal to the first awesome book… or one that just plain surpassed it.
Be sure to check back on September 27th for my stop on the Necromancing the Stone blog tour, when I’ll be interviewing Sam’s “capricious werewolf sort-of girlfriend,” Brid!