Heads Will Roll (Necromancer, #0.1)
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Heads Will Roll (Necromancer 0.1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  194 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Lena’s not your typical animal trainer. And when she and her unicorn partner, Steve, decide to enter a fight, it’s definitely not your typical fight…
At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
ebook, Free Online, 32 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Tor Books
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badass cage fighting unicorn?? don't mind if i do.

so this one takes place in the same world as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, but like The Too-Clever Fox, and UNLIKE A Visit to the House on Terminal Hill: A Tor.Com Original, it will still make sense to the uninitiated. like me. I KNOW, I KNOW i should read them - so many of you love that series, but i haven't taken the plunge. yet. but i will.

for now - i just have this story, which is about lena and her unicorn-pal steve. do NOT make fun of steve...more
The Holy Terror
I just made a "unicorns" shelf because of this short story ... And now I feel like I should've come across books with unicorns before now and the fact that I haven't seems like a shame.

This is a free short story that's under 20 pages and was something fun to read when I had a bit of downtime. You can read it here. I think this author writes female main characters better than males, and even though I saw such a small amount of Lena, I liked her better than Sam from Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. M...more
Karly *The Vampire Ninja*

UNIKITTY ..... but not really..... This is a little more "Eragon" than "Legoland", although, McBride does toss some snark and wit in at times....

Unicorn cage fights?! Say what?! And truthfully it was interesting but I would have liked to have seen it fleshed out a bit better....

All and all, worth the time but I'm kind of glad it was free :/

Go here, Karen liked it better than I which probably means I under or over read something somewhere along the way.
Tor short story: A young woman and her white unicorn, Steve (professionally known as "Phantom") take on other mythological creatures in cage battles. ("Unicorns pick their own names, and I’d love to see someone go up to Steve and tell him he chose poorly. I, for one, would think twice about it.")

This story reminds me of the Percy Jackson series, except that it's maybe a little bloodier, but it's very Greek-mythology-in-our-world, and the writing has a similar sense of humor. There's also a stron...more
Feb 10, 2013 FREEBIRD rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans
Recommended to FREEBIRD by: The Holy Terror's review
This was absolutely hilarious. Cool seems to be the perfect word to not only describe the story, but also the main character, Lena, herself. She's rebellious and believes in herself and she has such fabulous confidence, which is such a rarity in YA stories. She is a no-nonsense, direct girl and can describe herself better than I can:

I’m battle cries, death rattles, and the light touch of a swan’s feather.

Which served as a great foreshadowing for this: (view spoiler)...more
Laura Thomas
Whoa! I don’t think I even blinked while reading this.

Lena is the epitome of tough. She can hold her own with the best. Half human and half Valkyrie, she has much of the warrior women’s strengths.

Her partner, Steve, is a snow-white unicorn. You don’t see many of them around, and definitely not in the fighting arena.

The unicorn is a symbol of purity and usually has to be starved, beaten and driven insane in order to get them to fight.

That’s not the case with Steve. He’s a full partner with Lena a...more
Karyn Kar Mun (Thy Evil Queen)
Back when Julius Ceasar ruled the Roman Empire, gladiator games were all the rage. Humans – usually criminals – fought with wild animals for the cheap entertainment of an audience that cared far more for a “good show”, than the lives lost and bloodshed.

This story is a gladiatorial game with mythological creatures. Here, unicorns are fighters.

[…] train them like you train dogs for a cage match. Get them young, young as you can. Starve them. Beat them. Slip blood into their milk. Give them a taste...more
Maki Kotone
Lena’s not your typical animal trainer. And when she and her unicorn partner, Steve, decide to enter a fight, it’s definitely not your typical fight…

...you had me at "her unicorn partner, Steve".

This is a quick and quirky story set in the world of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.

There are cage fights between a slew of mythical creatures. There is a unicorn named Steve. And the story ends with the main characters (figuratively) riding off into the sunset.

I haven't read the Necromancer series, but I t...more
A slick story about fighting fantastic creatures against one another. Available online.
Loved this. I'd like to have a whole book about Lena. Please? :)
For a freebie that was pretty damn awesome. A heroine who's half-valkyrie and half-mechanic-from-Rhode-Island riding a fighting unicorn called Steve, liberating the downtrodden and enslaved with horn and spear... what more can you possibly want??

I'm getting more and more excited for Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.
With just enough mythology to provide a nice introduction, and without going overboard, this short story provided a fantastic introduction to the same world McBride carefully constructed in Hold me Closer, Necromancer. It had a strong ending, opened in just the right moment and was full of action and blood-shed throughout: a fantastic way to get readers interested. Lena, the protagonist, with a family background in the magical world, is no nonsense, often sarcastic or blunt, and kickass.... McBr...more
Drew Cernava
"A white unicorn that fought? A fairytale. A rumor. The after effects of a head injury. Anything but the truth."

Who knew unicorns could be so awesome? :D Totally looking forward to reading Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.
Weird and brilliant. McBride writes bright, descriptive scenes and quick action sequences without being too lofty or verbose. "Heads Will Roll" is a crackpot's delight of a short story.
Lindsay Wilcox
This reminded me of all my favorite things about Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. It has very similar humor, even though it's so short that you don't get to know the main character as well. I'm not so sure I'm behind the mechanics of Lena's mission, but I enjoyed reading about it, at least. The references to mythical creatures are bountiful and quick, so if you're not into mythology, you might find yourself running to Wikipedia. I'm interested to see how these other creatures appear in future "Necro...more
Jade Warwick
This short story was not what I was expecting, but I liked it. It is about a deep, complex bond between human Lena and unicorn Steve as they battle in underground fights with other supernatural creatures, always with the intention to right wrongs and promote justice. This is what allows Steve to stay a pure, shining white, his coat never dulled by the senseless violence around him. He and his partner, the passionate Lena, fight for what’s right, vowing never to stop until the job is done. This i...more
Een novella met een heel origineel verhaal ik ben heel benieuwd geworden naar de serie. Alle verschillende wezens, dat belooft zeker iets goeds voor de rest van de serie. Plus het las ook nog eens heel fijn. Daarom geef ik deze novella 4 sterren.
4.5 stars

Short, sweet, fantastic.

I'd definitely read more about Lena and Steve!
Mythical monsters fighting to the death in an arena? Hell. Yes. Too bad it was so short.
Why 5? Because this is my new "this is what Lish McBride is all about" title. Seriously. It's like all the lessons she has learned from previous works has gotten her to this gem. I love it. It's the perfect length for the bit of information contained in it. Yes I wanted it to be longer. Yes I loved the characters presented and want more books from them. But the truth is, we may never see anymore of them. We may never hear from Lena and Steve ever again, even though in this moment you can't think...more
The characters in Heads Will Roll made me sad to see this short story end. I really loved the relationship between Lena and Steve (the unicorn). The fact that they telepathically communicate and the way this was described by McBride was great. I thought the story was heartwarming in a way, easily compared to real life situations of shutting down dog fighting rings. The ending was great, the additional characters joining Lena and Steve seem like they would add a lot of drama and hijinks. I would...more
cute little short story
Sadie Mason-Smith
I wish this was a full-length book. You can read it for free on the Tor.com website, and I seriously suggest you do.

This is a quick, free short story by an extremely talented, funny contemporary fantasy writer. I can't recommend her enough. I'm sure this story would have been 5-star if it were expanded into a novel. As a short story, there just wasn't as much character development as I like.

This is a story about a young woman and her friend, a unicorn, who enact vigilante justice on those who run supernatural creature fighting rings.
A fantasy about a fighting unicorn and his badass trainer? Awesome!

I came across this while reading reviews of McBride's novel "Necromancing the Stone," which I am currently reading. I really enjoy her writing style, and this short story didn't disappoint! I hope it gets developed into a full book or series. In the meantime, it's free on Tor.com: http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/11/he...
A unicorn named Steve - now that's something different! The story is short but not necessarily sweet, raising some issues to think about. Well worth reading.

And, on the side: Hello, Ed, nice to meet you! - if anyone was wondering about the Necromancer connection.
Another Tor.com short story.

Okay, I think this is my favorite Tor story so far. I really hope I get to read more about the Half Valkyrie trainer and her avenging unicorn. This is one of the first stories I've read that gets all of the mythology RIGHT. It's rare to see an author do their research and then not make changes to what they learn. I'm all fangirl squee about this :)
i love stories that take old mythology or fairy tales and see how those creatures or gods or beings would adapt to living in this modern world. instead of putting our characters up on a pedestal and gazing up at ancient ideals, McBride has them get dirty and live & breathe. a wonderful short, and i really wish she'll feel the need to expand on this snapshot into a full novel.
Kelsey Jacobs
I think I loved this more than the main series (which, I did not realize this was connected to until I just came here on Goodreads). Loved the main character, the mythology, the unicorn, everything. I can't wait to see how it's going to tie in and I've been recommending it to at least 4 people (people with good taste) that I can think of off the top of my head.
Zara Brumana
I will gladly take each scrap I can from Lish McBride. Yes, this one is "different" from the Necromancer books but... well, an interesting twist leads to us meeting one of the characters from that series. Reading that McBride has a Masters Degree in writing makes a lot of sense. She is studied and to a degree stylized but never pandering or patronizing to readers.
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Lish McBride was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. It rains a lot there, but she likes it anyway. She spent three years away while she got her MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans, and she liked that too, although the hurricane did leave much of her stuff underwater. She enjoys reading, having geek-laden conversations about movies, comics, and zombies with her friends, and of...more
More about Lish McBride...
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, #1) Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer, #2) Necromancer (Necromancer, #0.5) Firebug (Firebug, #1) Untitled (Firebug, #2)

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