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How to Save an Undead Life

(The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  6,144 ratings  ·  514 reviews
Grier Woolworth spends her nights weaving spooky tales of lost souls and tragedies for tourists on the streets of downtown Savannah. Hoop skirt and parasol aside, it's not a bad gig. The pay is crap, but the tips keep the lights on in her personal haunted mansion and her pantry stocked with ramen.

Life is about as normal as it gets for an ex-necromancer hiding among humans.
Paperback, 234 pages
Published August 19th 2017 by CreateSpace
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,144 ratings  ·  514 reviews

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Start your review of How to Save an Undead Life (Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #1)
Apr 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Charline Harris
Recommended to carol. by: Jilly
Social distancing has turned my brains to mush. I don't know what other excuse I can find for sucking down this book/series about a twenty-one year-old necromancer like ice water on a summer day. She's recently been released from Azkaban magic prison and has returned to her semi-sentient house to nurse her wounds and try to make a living as a haunted locations tour guide. Her bestie lives next door and works with her, and no one told her that best's brother--and third in their triplet of trouble ...more
Cool! I got to use my "zombies" bookshelf for a change. Even better? That zombie is a parakeet. I think I'm in love with a bird.

"I came to retrieve Keet."

"Your zombie parakeet?"

A bird pecks at one brain and people start throwing around derogatory terms.

Nice birdy. Step away from the brains.

This book is one of those urban fantasies that has some new ideas on vampires and necromancy and all of that kind of thing. I thought it was kind of fun and it is definitely setting up for a cool series.

Elena C.

I can't seem to get my UF mojo back and I can't stress enough how miserable that makes me. But there is only so much alpha-male posturing, stalking, manhandling and general dude-bullshitting sold as sexy courtship I can suffer through these days before my skull threatens to split open from extreme eye-rolling.

The exaggerated emphasis on Grier's (WHY) testosterone-supercharged social life at the expense of every other aspect of the story is a choice I find hard to understand, considering th
Montzalee Wittmann
This is great paranormal fun!

A necromancer that is jailed for a crime she didn't commit, now is released...but why now? By who? What happened to cause the release? Now a powerful vampire clan wants her before others find out about her. Oh, and the house she grew up in has a mind of its own, people would call it haunted. This is a fresh fantasy that is interesting, exciting, and full of great characters. Really liked it. Would've given it 5 stars but it just kinda stopped. But I liked it enough I
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I would have given a higher rating to this book if not for the very confusing beginning (the book starts in media res and it's not big on world building) and an irritating, irking secondary character. I didn't find him funny, and after 5 years in hell, drugged, abandoned, tortured, I thought she should have been well over a childhood crush. He seems stupid, beside a dog, and insensitive to boot. But then it might be me.
The book skirts too much the NA edge, and again giving the backstory, it shou
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Not a bad start to a series at all. Rating this one 3-3.5 stars and I will definitely not hesitate to pick up book two and see where it goes from here.
Mandi Schreiner
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uf
Well done urban fantasy - the heroine is a necromancer and there is a nice take on vampires. She lives in a haunted house - and the house itself kind of talks to her. Well-paced with a great heroine. The world building is well done - twists and turns. I laughed, but there are also darker moments.

I really enjoyed this one. First time I've read this author. Ready for book two.
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
How to Save an Undead Life is a brand new series by Hailey Edwards. I fell into the mystery and dramatic adventure of who and what Grier Woolworth is.

WOW I’m not sure where to start. This book is setting us up for one amazing adventure. Grier is thrown into the deep end and is not prepared for it. I felt for her. She’s one hot mess with some serious PTSD. You might wonder what happened, well lets just say her past is a tragic one and she didn’t have a chance. She also doesn’t know her background
Ohh, look, a new series! And I smell potential!

I have to admit, there are some things that annoy me at the main character.
But it's fun and interesting and it could be something that will get better the more I read.

For now, I'm keeping my opinion neutral (mostly), but I feel like it could become a good one.
Al *the semi serial series skipper*
This did not Wow me as I expected after having read the reviews. It seemed like a lot of things were happening and most of them don't even add to the story, it just dragged it out. Secondly, the heroine already has a love interest and the pairing happened off scene, this doesn't exactly make me any invested in reading about them.

The different caste of vampires was pretty unique and I might continue on with the series. Maybe.
I really enjoyed this both the charaters and the story and I want a woolly of my own. Can't wait for book 2!😃
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good start to a series. I discovered this author through her current series The Foundling- Bayou Born- and as a first instalment, promises that the series will be at least as good. This UF has vampires, necromancers, wraiths and plenty of secrets for the MC to uncover in future books. There must be thousands of Urban fantasy series out there, but this appears to be one of the better ones!
Lucie Ondrušková
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book has great reviews and I can't help wondering: But why.
Nothing ever happens in the book. The characters were very bland and not remotely interesting. The sentient manor and undead parakeet were mostly gimmicks (as cool as they sound as a premise) and generally the whole book felt like reading a prologue. The story went from nowhere to nowhere and we didn't learn any of the mysteries that were obliquely hinted at. I mean, it's great you want to build suspension and a longer story arc (I
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Mon avis en Français

My English review

Here’s a novel that I was curious to discover! There are not many series featuring necromancers and the only one that comes to mind is Anita Blake, I must say. So how could I resist Grier?

Poor Grier, she really had no luck in life. After her aunt’s death, she was charged with the murder and locked in a terrible place until someone pulled her out without her understanding the reason. And even if she’s lost everything, at least she still has her zombie par
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sionna by: Meels
Because I'm horrible at writing reviews quickly, this is a quick little bit for the series as a whole.

The first book didn't totally buy me in, but enough that I decided to keep reading and I'm so glad I did. The romance was something I was worried about, but it ended up being beautiful! It is so well done and so healthy. I adore how they are there for each other and work to help each other and are willing to work on their relationship issues together and do better in the future. They are such g
4 Stars... Hailey Edwards introduces readers to the interworking's of necromancers with her complex and dynamic character of Grier Woolworth; a young woman wrongfully imprisoned and attempting to find her way back in the world as she suffers loss, necromantic society's rules and expectations, and a new level of power and prestige... Who to trust and where to turn for answers becomes a confusing and terrifying game as she attempts to navigate her new normal... Throw in her life long love and a po ...more
Lakshmi C
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was really in the mood for a great Urban Fantasy series and GR recommends suggested this one.

4 reasons I loved this:

1 Grier is such a layered, likeable character. She's a murder suspect, sent to prison without a trial or any evidence. Now she's free physically but emotionally scarred. Grier was strong, smart, resourceful, determined, anxious, vulnerable and very real.

2 The world building is great. You are introduced to a society of necromancers, vampires, ghosts and other mysterious mythologi
How to Save an Undead Life was a surprisingly intriguing read. By that I mean there is so much more to the story than I expected. So much that I'm not sure how to compose a review that won't be either a duplication of the offered blurb or a spoiler. Much is left to either the reader's imagination or to be learned later, which would normally frustrate me however, in this case, it only made me more ravenous for details.
"Make no apologies for surviving."
When we meet Grier Woolworth she's scre
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
After trying and failing to read a PNR, this one actually stuck and I have to say it was quite refreshing from the normal. I read this in 2 days. It's not super long but it definitely piqued and held my curiosity.

It's been 5 years since Grier left Atramaneous, a supernatural prison, to return to her home Woolworth. Woolworth is literally a haunted mansion except she's a nice-to-Grier haunted mansion. Grier was accused of a murder she did not commit and the years in prison haven't left her comple
Jen Davis
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It can’t be easy to keep coming up with a fresh new take on urban fantasy. I read a lot in the genre and so many of the books carry similar threads or a common tone. I am finding, though, with Hailey Edwards that each one of her series has a unique flavor. This one is no exception. It is really, really good.

The heroine is Grier, a weak necromancer who has only recently been released from a supernatural prison where she spent the last five years for a crime she did not commit. This is a woman who
Tracy D.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it.

Been nursing another book hangover and I finally finished this one! I liked Grier, and sympathized with her situation. This book felt like a solid introduction to the characters and world Hailey is creating. I'm digging the necromancy, and magic use. The romance is a lot slow-burn. Seems like the childhood crush is trying to get down Grier's pants. Even though I dig how protective Boaz is of Grier, something seems off...
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in the Beginner's Guide to Necromancy series this urban fantasy is set in Savannah, Georgia. I was quickly drawn into the world and magic Hailey Edwards has created.

We meet Grier Woolworth a twenty-something ex-necromancer who owns her childhood home. Wait until you meet her house!  Grier has had quite a complicated life but I admired her spunk. Edwards enlightens us on her troubled past as she shares Grier's struggles and her passionate love of local history. 

Grier works nights as a h
Pippa DaCosta
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Readers in my Facebook group recommended this, and they weren't wrong. A fun urban fantasy that grips from the beginning. More of an emotional story than a fast-paced action-packed romp, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be reading the next book.
Feb 26, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (2/26/2020)! 🎁
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up HOW TO SAVE AN UNDEAD LIFE because I was in a rut of not wanting to read anything I had and not sure what I wanted to read next and I am beyond glad that I did. I LOVED it. It was nothing like I expected and everything I didn't know I wanted.

Grier has not had it easy and it looks like easy is not a word that is in her future. I don't know how she kept it together and at times she has a hard time doing it, but she was SO strong when most would have given up and it endeared me to her
Grier is an assistant necromancer that has just been pardoned from the most awful prison. She's not really sure why, she's just glad to be out of there and is trying to live a normal life when she is approached by Volkov, a vampire wanting to form an alliance. This puzzles Grier until the new Grand Dame explains the reason behind everyone's new interest in Grier.

I liked this one. I liked the setting (Savannah) and really enjoyed the characters. Grier is interesting and somewhat broken and the su
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: unlimited
It's with regret that I couldn't get into this book more - the second half did thankfully capture my interest more than the first, but it was never gripping. Good reviews, idea and characters, but there was a spark missing. The protagonist was likable but she got handed some crappy hands that would have left me angry and kept frustrating me throughout the story. She seemed traumatized but not as upset as she should have been. I would have liked more inner reflection on the mystery of her aunt an ...more
A Fantastic Start To This Intriguing Series

Hailey Edwards is a new-to-me author and I am so pleased to have found her. I found this book very easy to read and loved her writing style; the plot kept me gripped, the world was fascinating and the characters were multifaceted creations that felt totally believable even though many were not even human.

While I'm talking about characters, those of you who have read my reviews before will know that I crave heroines who are intelligent, resilient, resou
Loved! Foundling is still my far, but TBGTN is a close second after only one book, so, yay!

As usual with Hailey Edwards, unique world building, GOOD world building, and characters that I can get attached to and care about.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was all about setting the stage. I'm ready for some meat.
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Hailey Edwards writes about questionable applications of otherwise perfectly good magic, the transformative power of love, the family you choose for yourself, and blowing stuff up. Not necessarily all at once. That could get messy. She lives in Alabama with her husband, their daughter, and a herd of dachshunds.

Other books in the series

The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy (9 books)
  • How to Claim an Undead Soul (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #2)
  • How to Break an Undead Heart (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #3)
  • How to Dance an Undead Waltz (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #4)
  • How to Live an Undead Lie (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #5)
  • How to Wake an Undead City (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #6)
  • How to Kiss an Undead Bride (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #7)
  • How to Survive an Undead Honeymoon (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #8)
  • How to Rattle an Undead Couple (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #9)

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