Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
Reviewing ARC version from Amazon Vine.
Sam is college dropout, trying to find his place in the world but currently flipping hamburgers, riding his skateboard and hanging out with his friends. A smashed tail light causes a chain of events that brings Sam to the attention of the areas most powerful necromancer and brings Sam to the discovery that not only does the paranormal exist, but he is a necromancer as well.
Douglas intends to train Sam, keep him if he's useful and kill him and steal his power if he isn't. None of these options is really what Sam had in mind for his life, and his attempts to resist Douglas lead to murder, uncovered family secrets, heroism and love.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer has a fast, but enjoyable pace. The chapters alternate between Sam's first person point of view and a third person point of view of other characters. This causes the flow to be interrupted a bit at the beginning of chapters, but isn't a vital flaw.
When the paranormal world is revealed, the reader is bombarded by race after race of fantasy creatures. This is overwhelming, trying to absorb all the information being given, and many of the races have no bearing on this story. A more gradual introduction, as the races become relevant, would have been better.
Sam and his friends are well defined, with likable and believable personalities. Douglas is a bit over the top, more of a stereotypical evil villain, but his back story was well written.
A most amusing point was the chapter titles. Sam's love of classic rock is reflected in those titles and often gave me a chuckle.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is a good, light novel with humor and tension and well planned plot. I expect Ms. McBride will leave her mark in the paranormal YA genre.
Note to parents: This novel does contain consensual, lightly described, sex between young adults.