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The Necromancer's House

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3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,026 Ratings  ·  230 Reviews
Those Across the River, a “beautifully written…exceedingly clever” (Boston Herald) masterpiece of “genuine terror” (New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson), was hailed by #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris as “one of the best first novels I’ve ever read.” Now comes Christopher Buehlman’s new novel—one of uncommon horrors hiding behind the walls ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Ace
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The Road by Cormac McCarthyTHE STREETS by Robert DunbarThe Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird BarronWhen The Tik-Tik Sings by Doug LamoreuxLittle Girls by Ronald Malfi
Dark Literature
22nd out of 80 books — 45 voters
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaDracula by Bram StokerJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Gothic, Neo-Gothic, Gothic-Lite, Southern Gothic
39th out of 65 books — 16 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
This is a somewhat challenging book to review. For a good deal of the book I was thinking 3 stars at most. Other times it would "obviously" rate the full 5 stars. So up front let me say this is an excellent book in many ways and I would recommend you give it a try. I say that up front because after this I intend to give a few details and that is going require some talk of pluses and minuses.

So first a controversial statement, if you're interested in only a "plot" that is "a story" you could prob
...more
Lukas Holmes
Apr 08, 2014 Lukas Holmes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
I think there is simply no one putting out better fiction than Buehlman. He is the one author I have to buy the moment he puts something out. I guess you can call these horror, but it's impossible to categorize his first three books into one little genre like that.

This one is all about a modern day 'wizard'. From there you really can't expect anything. There are so many moving parts in a book by Christopher that you will WANT to read it again. Not HAVE to.

His voice is so unique and so new I ca
...more
Michele
Oct 16, 2013 Michele rated it it was amazing
I got hold of an advance reading copy of this, so was lucky enough to read it before it was officially released. Well, actually my husband got the ARC and I had to wait until he was done with it before I could get my greedy little hands on it. Longest two weeks of my life.

Given that the author's previous two books were "period pieces" -- although from wildly different periods -- I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, a very contemporary story complete with classic cars, AA, chat rooms, and
...more
Zoeytron
Sep 29, 2013 Zoeytron rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Consider that the cosmos has a small percentage of individuals who are luminous. That is to say, users of magic. Call them witches or warlocks, or magi, they are scattered all over the universe. Most of them are aware of the other users, their strengths and their weaknesses. Enter the magical world of necromancer Andrew Blankenship. In his house, you can step into the Room of Skins, dive into a bath tub like no other, and be served by a wicker man, a dry man with a dog's heart and a framed portr ...more
Lee
Nov 27, 2014 Lee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, paranormal
Yeah, Harry Dresden? You're a big fucking girls blouse. You want to play with the big boys? Huh? Well let me introduce you to Andrew Blankenship and the shit he has to to deal with. None of this prissy pussy footing around Chicago in a fancy fucking magic raincoat on the back of a dinosaur with fairies looking out for you. Shit no! My Blankenship has to watch out for freaking psycho Slavic witches and horny russian mermaids. All he has to help him is his dead dog, now converted into a wicker man ...more
Bandit
Dec 16, 2013 Bandit rated it did not like it
Christopher Buehlman's writing is very much an acquired taste, one I simply can't seem to acquire and not for the lack of trying either. I found his first book to be average and his second one to be tedious, but this one just had such an interesting premise, great title, one more try was in order. Turns out this was just the third strike. No matter how fascinating the concept or the backstory, there is just that weirdly overly stylized writing with its one sentence paragraphs that just renders t ...more
John
Mar 15, 2014 John rated it it was amazing
Chris Buehlman has one of the most unique voices in modern fiction today. His first two published novels; Those Across the River and, Between Two Fires, are both fantastic and the Necromancer's House continues this tradition of excellence. His research is extensive, his prose is layered, and his characters are continuously flawed and fascinating.

This is his first book set in contemporary times, and has a more playful feel than the other two. It has more of Buehlman's sly sense of humor and at t
...more
Allie
May 02, 2013 Allie rated it it was amazing
WOW. It's not every day I find a book with this quality of writing, with characters and magic and settings that are just made for the screen, that scared the crap out of me and made me cry like a little girl. More later...
Shannon Moseley
Jan 07, 2014 Shannon Moseley rated it it was amazing
For the past few days, I have been reading The Necromancer’s House by Christopher Buehlman. I can honestly say, I have not read such an entertaining novel in long time!

The story revolves around a wizard and his lesbian friend, whom he meets at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. It seems the wizard, Andrew, has another friend, a Russian Mermaid that enjoys drowning men. Unfortunately, the little mermaid drowns an old Russian man with ties to a very powerful family of witches.

The story is fast paced
...more
B.L. Hewitt
Jan 18, 2014 B.L. Hewitt rated it it was amazing

Buehlman never fails to delight and surprise, which is one of the reasons I love this author. Once again he has blindsided me with something I didn’t expect. The Necromancer’s House is a tale of modern magic. The protagonist in this piece is a recovering alcoholic wizard, who while in his cups, has made a small errors in some of his castings and conjured up unwanted daemons that just complicate his to the death, or not, fight with an ancient witch.
I love the voice the author has given this unli
...more
Kelvin Pau
Nov 17, 2013 Kelvin Pau rated it really liked it
A breath of brisk, refreshing air. Imaginative world-building and style elevate this book above the hordes of lesser urban fantasy.
Emme
Jan 28, 2014 Emme rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1off, favorites
I was not expecting this book to be as awesome as it was -- no slight to the author at all, I just had not heard of him nor read his previous works, so I was utterly surprised at how AMAZING this read was. I found this in the new fiction shelf at my B&N, but really I think it should have been sci-fi (urban fantasy). I wonder if it is categorized as fiction according to B&N because they think it should be in the horror genre and B&N lumps that in with fiction (for whatever reason).

The
...more
Lisa
Nov 30, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Andrew Blankenship is an eccentric recovering alcoholic living near Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. He also happens to be a wizard (although he prefers “magus”) who specializes in communicating with the dead through film, and who also tends to attract “weird shit.”

This is a hard book to review without giving away too much, but it’s definitely worth reading. The story is very meandering and stream-of-consciousness at first, and it takes a while before the actual plot becomes clear. Although som
...more
Nikki Pill
Nov 15, 2013 Nikki Pill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book is brilliant. I've been eagerly anticipating it for over a year and it did not disappoint.

First, Buehlman's versatility as a writer is astonishing. Even though all three of his books are inventive and engrossing, I never would have realized that all three are by the same author if his name wasn't on the cover. His settings pervade every story, and the language of each book reflects the setting in an immersive way.

My favorite aspect of his writing is his use of language and metaphor. Ev
...more
Sue
Jan 06, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing
I read Mr. Buehlman's earlier book, Those Across the River, last year. While I enjoyed it, I didn't love it. The plot and characters were interesting, but for some reason I found the whole thing a bit turgid. Still, I enjoyed it enough that when I saw a copy of The Necromancer's House on the shelf, I gave it a hard look, and ended up buying it. I'm SO glad I did. The Necromancer's House is a rollicking, frightening and moving book that grabbed me from the beginning and never slowed down. The tit ...more
Deborah Replogle
Jan 01, 2014 Deborah Replogle rated it really liked it
I've found a new Urban Fantasy author to follow. I love that! Actually, I love finding any new (to me) author that engages my attention and makes me think about the plot as I am reading,or after I've finished. I have to say I've read too many books that are immediately forgettable.

If you like Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, you may like this. It has elements of Dresden the Wizard, and one could even imagine (in the fictional world) that Dresden and Buehlman's warlock - Andrew Blankenship, might act
...more
Kelly Cochran Davis
Mar 07, 2014 Kelly Cochran Davis rated it really liked it
My favourite aspects to Chris' style is how complex, many layered and ultimately convoluted it is. You cannot breeze through his novels and get the gist of anything. You must read each and every deliberately and lovingly chosen word to really immerse yourself in the story's potential. His are not the works for a person looking only for a popcorn snack, but for the person seeking a thought provoking glimpse into worlds like and unlike ours in a few very important and potentially terrifying ways. ...more
Tim Martin
Mar 31, 2014 Tim Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, reviewed
Magic has consequences, and the use of powerful magic has powerful consequences. That would be the theme of this well-written modern/urban fantasy. That, or perhaps instead of the title _The Necromancer’s House_ (though the title does fit), it might be called _Magical Blowback_.

The chief protagonist is one wizard (though he does not like being called a wizard) by the name of Andrew Ranulf Blankenship. Living near present day Oswego, (upstate) New York, on the shores of Lake Ontario, he has a rat
...more
Jennifer
Oct 31, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads, horror
Gorgeously written and delightfully original, The Necromancer's House misses that elusive five-star rating by a hair due to a certain emotional coldness which leaves you not-quite-able to truly invest in the characters.

Before you start looking at me crooked, wondering how I could possibly give four stars to a novel I just admitted failed the empathy test, let me point out that this is the only novel I've ever seen that bases itself on Russian folktales and then runs with it brilliantly - I mean,
...more
Jim
Dec 09, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I picked this book up on a whim, having never heard of it or the author before, just because I really needed something to read. It's a decision I'm glad I made. The present tense narration is a welcome change from the norm, as is the way Buehlman modernizes the use of magic for his characters without beating us over the head with too much information. The novel can be a bit tricky as he juggles quite a few plot threads; there are a lot of balls in the air throughout the story but they all come t ...more
Naomi K.
May 27, 2013 Naomi K. rated it it was amazing
Buehlman' s best story yet. Will grab you at the prologue and refuse to let go until you've drowned. A modern setting that contrasts the period pieces he has previously released, it is no less engaging or riddled with wonderment. It skillfully combines a modern sensibility with some very deep, dark, and old mythos indeed. Andrew Blankenship is an easy protagonist to love. Complex and deeply flawed, he also has a noble heart and is determined to overcome just how deeply his past has shattered him ...more
Kim Bishop
Mar 06, 2014 Kim Bishop rated it it was amazing
This is the book that made me both happy and sad that I can read on my phone, because now I can't stop reading on the infernal thing. This is the book that ruined my already terrible sleep schedule, because I couldn't put it down until I had finished it, something I haven't been able to say since the final Harry Potter book. This book bears all of the earmarks of one that I will go back to again and again, joining Barry Hughart's Master Li books and Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books in the very, very ...more
Kristin
Sep 28, 2014 Kristin rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Andrew Blankenship is a warlock able to communicate with the dead through VHS (he hasn't quite figured out digital yet). He also has a past that involves having stolen books filled with Russian magic from the old crone, Baba Yaga, while in the former Soviet Union. Too bad for him, Baba Yaga is coming...

There were aspects of this book that I loved. The characters were vividly portrayed, each with his or her own strengths, flaws, and quirks. There were bits of the unexpected, like Andrew's house s
...more
Cyrus
May 09, 2013 Cyrus rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Christoper Buehlman's third book, a modern fantasy called The Necromancer's House is as different stylistically from his previous two releases as they are from each other. Gone is Those Across the River's literary flow that reads like Keats telling Stephen King to sit back, put his feet up and watch how a big boy plays. In its place is a laconic narrative that's more Hemmingway if ol' Ernest had any poetry in his heart. The pace is fast, and it holds you tightly.

This isn't "hard" fantasy. The ma
...more
Adam
Oct 07, 2013 Adam rated it it was amazing
Well written and fun. Some of the neatest urban-magic ideas. Things happen at an uncommon pace, the storyline is A to B, but flashbacks are woven better into the narrative than some jarring chapter shift. I love the characters and they are all flawed in some way as to be realistic, best of all you can understand them; no one is some automaton going through motions, even side characters have enough motivation to make sense.

The closest use of language similar I can think of is House of Leaves, but
...more
Bee
Jan 09, 2014 Bee rated it it was amazing
Why haven't heard of this book before?

It. Was. Awesome. Seriously, like a cross between a Gaiman novel and a better version of Lev Grossman's The Magicians. The attention to details and his knowledge of mythology was impressive.

Yes, it is stylized. If you like your supernatural fictions YA easy reading style, this is not for you. Also his previous novels were period pieces, so I could see the torture and magic and sex being a rude awakening.

He is awesome at characterization, almost to his detr
...more
Nik Magill
Dec 21, 2013 Nik Magill rated it it was amazing
Love Buehlman's writing. It is smooth and real, a wicked quick read that I couldn't put down. I love the universe that he created, and look forward to seeing more of it.
It's like a dirtier, grittier, more realistic, Dresden Files. And I loved every second of it.
If you're going to read any Buehlman, read this one first. Then do yourself a favor and go back and read his first two.
Cannot praise this book, or Buehlman's writing in general, enough.
Jake
Mar 22, 2015 Jake rated it it was amazing
How I made it this far without discovering Christopher Buehlman is a mystery that vexes and shames me.
This was excellent and if you disagree I'll poop in your car.
Morgannah
May 20, 2015 Morgannah rated it liked it
Christopher Buehlman’s THE NECROMANCER’S HOUSE is set in present-day upstate New York and integrates mythologies from various cultures ( mostly Russian and Slavic folklore) and traces analogies to the new myth-magic of hacking and cybernetics.

To keep you interested there’s a sexually mismatched romantic entanglement at the core. There is also a fair bit of engagement with the impact of addictions (and AA founder Bill Wilson has a small but substantive cameo). And just in case you need something
...more
Edensbookshelf.com
Nov 04, 2013 Edensbookshelf.com rated it it was amazing
Deeply influenced by the dramatic styles of Russian literature as well as the fantastical story telling elements found in both Southern Gothic and Latin American literature, The Necromancer's House is an ode to narcissism & the human condition.

Unconventional and highly stylized, Buehlman takes familiar elements and distorts them to view the world from the point of the absurd. This is a tale of magic and love told through the lens of surrealism - much like the Salvador Dali paintings the auth
...more
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