Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011 Publisher: Entangled Publishing ImprThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://melaniecard.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
I don't normally start reviews off this way, but I honestly think that this was one if not the best books I've read all year, and since it's almost July at the time of my writing this, that's definitely saying something.
In Ward's world, magic is commonplace and some things that we take for granted are completely forbidden, such as surgery. Having always wanted to be a physician, Ward was kicked out before completing his training because of his penchant for grave-robbing -- a distasteful but necessary occupation for one who wants to study the illicit practice of surgery. Now forced to be a Necromancer for the rich, his job is to bring back those who have recently died for fifteen minutes so that their families can make peace with the deceased.
Hired by a rich man to wake Celia Carlyle, he is astonished when not only does she insist that she's been murdered rather than having been simply "ill" as her family suggests, but she also sleeps with a dagger under her pillow, dresses in men's clothing, and attempts to escape out the window. Knowing that her disappearance will result in an accusation of grave-robbing, he follows her trying to convince her that she must return. Instead Celia invokes Ward's Physician's Oath -- an unbreakable vow to help all those who ask for assistance, and one punishable by eternal torture in the afterlife if broken.
Making his decision, he follows her, having to re-wake her several times as the fifteen-minute limit of the waking spell is reached. At risk of permanently disturbing the "balance" between the worlds, he performs a dangerous spell to attempt to allow her to remain "awake" for a longer period, when something goes wrong. In addition to the fact that he's been forced to improvise with the required ingredients for the spell, he is interrupted before he can be certain his spell has been completed, but when Celia regains consciousness and helps to fight off their attackers, he assumes that everything worked as it should have.
However, it soon becomes apparent that his intended spell did not yield the expected results, as Celia shows no signs of decay, and in fact, actually seems... healthier than before.
Complicating matters is his own undeniable attraction towards her, but relations with the dead are strictly forbidden, and despite the fact that she eats, breathes, and walks, there is no denying that she had died and is therefore completely off-limits.
Add to that the fact that Celia is obviously not simply the pampered daughter of a rich noble, and Ward is soon drawn into a dangerous world of forbidden magic, assassinations, and deception.
One point of note is that while I have labeled this as Young Adult for my own convenience, it is more of a New Adult/Upper YA Fantasy. Not having read a lot of Young Adult in my life, I'm not certain just how important this distinction is, only that it was made and I felt it was wise to point it out. I think the biggest difference is that the main characters are no longer teenagers, but are instead both in the first stages of real adulthood, complete with all of the complications that come along with that stage of life
I admit, I'm actually having a hard time believing that this is a debut novel. Ms. Card's website and Goodreads profile list this as her only work, but I wonder if she's written any previous novels under a different name. I must do some Googlefu and see what I can discover, because I'm absolutely in love with her writing style and am thirsting for more.
It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I will be preordering any and all future books in this series, and I have a feeling I will be fangirling all over this one for a long time to come.
Recommended for fans of kick-butt heroines who reluctantly soften as they mature, heroes who actually have to work to earn the title, and an intriguing paranormal-fantasy universe to explore.
As you can see from the title, it's book 10 in a series of interconnected stories. I've never read any of the otheOverall, I really enjoyed this book.
As you can see from the title, it's book 10 in a series of interconnected stories. I've never read any of the other novels, but honestly I didn't realize it was part of a series when I picked it up. Many times, when a series gets past its second or third book, it's impossible to pick up with whatever the newest novel is without being completely and utterly lost (yeah, that's right, I'm talkin about you, Warden). ICSY, however, did a fantastic job of standing alone. Sure, I was curious as to some of the nuances of the group dynamics that obviously had been established in prior novels, but there were no prior details that left me scratching my head wondering what on earth people were talking about, or who the heck a certain character was.
On that note, however, I'm not certain I would be happy about that fact had I read the whole series already. Although well-executed, there was a LOT of information about different characters' history, their relationships to each other, and so forth, that might feel burdensome to a seasoned reader of this series. It wasn't quite a case of infodump or anything, but it certainly did add considerably to the page count.
As for the story itself, I have to say that I was highly impressed. While I did manage to figure out our killer's identity early on, I admit that I was never actually certain of it until right before the actual reveal. KR did a fantastic job of planting false clues and creating a lovely sense of paranoia for her readers to experience right alongside the police.
She also managed to make me care for the characters, which is something that I honestly don't find that often in romantic suspense novels (I'm more of a Harlequin type gal ;)). Both Eve and Noah were beautifully flawed -- her having survived two (that's right, two) brutal attacks by psychotic killers prior to this novel, and him having tragically lost his wife and young son in a car accident years ago, and then turning to alcohol. He's still working through his demons as a recovering alcoholic, and she's still struggling to be "normal" in the life of a survivor.
I also enjoyed the technological aspect of this story, as a good part of it revolves around an MMORPG, hacking and internet security. I also liked that some of the characters used Google on their phones, and that GPS devices and even high-tech baby monitors came into play. Quite fun :)
I may pick up one or two of the older novels in this series, but I admit, I don't really want to go back and read the whole set. That's more because I don't have the time and money to invest rather than a decided lack of interest, though, and shouldn't be considered as criticism. I am, however, definitely looking forward to the next novel in the series, Silent Scream, which is slated for release at the end of this month (yea!).