Vinaya's Reviews > Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
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's review
Apr 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-liked, hmm-that-was-interesting, surprised-me, ya-fantasy
Recommended to Vinaya by: Maja, Michelle, Flannery
Read from April 19 to 21, 2011

Confession: I am ridiculously addicted to 80s high school movies. In a I've-watched-them-40-million-times kind of way. In a I-own-hideously-expensive-collector's-editions kind of way. In a I-would-love-to-be-Lloyd-Dobler's-honey kind of way. I mean, seriously, who could resist this face?

Not me!

If someone had plucked Llyod Dobler off the sets of Say Anything, and stuck him in paranormal YA book, he would probably be called Sam LaCroix. Now this is Point 1 in Lish McBride's favour. You can keep your Michael Schoefflings and Rob Lowes. My heart will, forever and always, belong to John Cusack.

Sam LaCroix is the 21st century version of Llyod Dobler. He's a college dropout who works at a fast food restaurant. He's a drifter, with no particular aims or ambitions, until one day, he captures the attention of a creepy guy who tells him the truth about himself - he's a necromancer.

Now Sam (short for Samhain Corvus LaCroix) isn't exactly excited to find out that he has paranormal powers. He is even less pleased to have come to the attention of Douglas, the top necromancer in Seattle and head of the Council, especially since Douglas has an uncomfortable tendency to make threats, resort physical violence, and send hapless baby-necromancers talking heads of their best friends.

As Sam tries desperately to navigate through this new world, he is helped by his friend and fellow fry cook, Ramon, the hapless food service newbie Frank and the gorgeous-and-often-naked werewolf Brid.

Truth be told, I'm a little in love with Sam. He's self-deprecating, so very normal, but in an oh-so-adorable kind of way, and he really stands out in the crowded mass of paranormal alpha super heroes. But even more, I love the dynamic between Sam, Ramon, Frank and Brooke. First brought together by food service-induced misery, this quartet forge strong bonds of friendship and humor that warmed the cockles of my heart (what the hell are cockles, anyway?*) throughout the book.

I also liked Sam's relationships with his mother and sister, with a special nod to his awesome-funny relationship with Mrs. W, his neighbour down the hall. The relationship between Brid and Sam was not a high point for me, but I'm glad he found someone, and they turned out to like each other without falling in twu wuvv 4 eva!

Much to my surprise, I found myself recognising most of the songs used as chapter titles, although I can't say I appreciate the soundtrack of 'Tiny Dancer' running in my head every time I read the title. A fan of Elton John, I'm not!

Lish McBride does a fabulous job writing a male voice, making Sam gentle and non-aggressive without being effeminate. The other thing I really appreciated about her writing was the way in which she switched tenses and POVs without making the transitions jarring. I know some people disagree with me on this, but I really appreciated the opportunity to see the story from several angles. The characters also became more fully fleshed-out and multi-dimensional that way.

All in all, this was a truly worthwhile read, and if you haven't read it yet, well, what are you waiting for?! Go now, or I'm gonna sick Michelle and her !!!!!s onto you! ;-) Thank you, Maja and Michelle, for hounding me until I read this book! I can't wait for the next book, especially because I am dying to see what happens to Ramon! May 2012 *cries* why, why, why?!!!

* Wikipedia tells me that "Cockle is the common name for a group of (mostly) small, edible, saltwater clams, marine bivalve molluscs in the family Cardiidae." Huh, who knew?!
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Reading Progress

0.0% "Michelle: See, I'm reading this! Please don't attack me with the !!!! again! ;-)"
02/11 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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message 1: by Cory (new) - added it

Cory Well, I might have to put down the ever slow Kevin Canty book I'm reading to check this out. I like the title, and self-deprecating guys are fun to read about. I write about them all the time.

Vinaya Yeah, you should! It's pretty fun, and the pacing's not slow either. Quick, enjoyable read.

Rachel Hartman Is the title of this song an Elton John reference, speaking of the 80s? Because I can't read the title of this book without having Tiny Dancer stuck in my head for the ENTIRE REST OF THE DAY. And I like the song well enough, but this is multiple days in a row now, and I'm worried that if I read the book I'd be humming it to myself the entire time.

The book sounds great, but I have one really stupid pedantic question: does the book include the correct pronunciation of "Samhain"? Because it's pronounced SOW-in (sow as in pig, not as in planting), and while "Sam" is a viable nickname visually, it's not something easily derived from the spoken name. I just want to know the author knew that. Because, as has been abundantly established, I am a pedant.

Vinaya Yup, she does know that, and she has a plausible reason for why he's called Sam. I had the EXACT same worry when I heard about it too, but she clears that up in the first couple of pages!

And yes, I think it IS a Tiny Dancer reference, and the bloody song is STILL playing in my head and I HATE Elton John! Aaargh!

Rachel Hartman It's a devilishly clever title, you have to admit. The way it sticks in your head like that, and plays piano, and wears those big stupid glasses...

And thank you for reassuring me about the name. I'm glad you are ON THE CASE there, Vinaya! I knew I could count on you!

Vinaya With every funny comment you post, I want to read Seraphina just that little bit more! I'm calling dibs on an ARC!!!

message 7: by Cory (new) - added it

Cory Vinaya wrote: "Yup, she does know that, and she has a plausible reason for why he's called Sam. I had the EXACT same worry when I heard about it too, but she clears that up in the first couple of pages!

And yes,..."

I don't like the song. But I've never been an Elton John fan, so that wasn't a surprise. Jeff Buckley all the way.

Lani Woodland Did you have any hopes for his uncle and his mom getting together? It seems to me they'd be happy.

Vinaya This is true. I didn't really think about it, but you're right! I guess I was too focused on Ramon, lol!

message 10: by Lani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lani Woodland I can understand that. I'm so happy you liked it. :)

Barbara (VampAngel) I also loved this book and I share your love of 80's teen movies. Say Anything is on my top ten list with Some Kind of Wonderful, The Breakfast Club and The Lost Boys, among many others.

Oh, and the Zombie Panda was great!

Vinaya Lish actually reminded me of another great 80s Cusack movie I had forgotten - Better off Dead. Have you seen that one?

And oh, the Zombie Panda made me want to cry! With the whole holding-andnot-eating his bamboo thing. awww

Flannery So glad you liked this one, Vinaya. I knew you would. And I also love 80s John Cusack, (not so much these days) but I will also have a special place for Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles:)

And Lani, I thought about that as well--maybe in the later books!

(view spoiler)

Make sure you go read Ashley's little short story on Kindle. It's nothing amazing but it's cute and free:)

Kogiopsis So, you have small saltwater clams in your heart? Fascinating.

Methinks I needs must get this one. I love Seattle and I love necromancers (okay, that sounded better in my head) so it seems right up my alley.

Barbara (VampAngel) Vinaya, I have Better Off Dead and all the others I mentioned on DVD. I have quite an extensive collection of 80's movies. I adore License to Drive, have you seen that one? I was soooo in love with Corey Haim growing up.

Yeah, I felt for the Zombie Panda. Poor guy couldn't eat his bamboo. What a sad "undeath". ;)

message 16: by Lani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lani Woodland Which of his movies has the paper boy going. "I want my two dollars!"

Barbara (VampAngel) Lani, it's Better Off Dead.

Vinaya Flann, here is an article for you:

Vinaya VampAngel wrote: "Vinaya, I have Better Off Dead and all the others I mentioned on DVD. I have quite an extensive collection of 80's movies. I adore License to Drive, have you seen that one? I was soooo in love with..."

Oh, I saw that movie ages ago! I barely remember it. Hmmm... I should buy a DVD. Oh god, they made the BEST movies in the 80s. All those High School movies, and the SLASHER flicks!!! Sigh. VampAngel, we should hang out more. *grin*

Flannery Frahnch fries, frahnch dressing, Frahnch bread.

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead LOL, I love your review and the mention of my !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

message 22: by Meka (new)

Meka Thank you. I was searching through my audible list for books I wanted and was uncertain about this one. I plugged the title in to GR and up came your review. You have forced my hand!

Wesley Dobler:LaCroix, agree completely.

Heather Have you read "ready player one" yet? I think u would really love it - 80s twist and all.

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