Okay, I will flat out admit to the fact that I only chose this book for the title when I first spotted it in the library. I just couldn’t get Elton John out of my head the whole time I was reading it, so that alone made it a worthwhile choice. Still, it wasn’t the only positive to this novel.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is about Sam (Samhain) LaCroix. Unbeknownst to him, he happens to be a necromancer, and when he’s discovered by big, bad Douglas, a powerful necromancer who also lives in the area and has zero interest in competition, life starts to get a little interesting, and complicated, for Sam, as well as the friends and strangers who all get dragged into trouble with him.
Rarely does a dull moment appear in the novel. After Sam’s initial introduction, we move right into the action with Douglas’s first appearance and not only his discovery that Sam’s a necromancer, but also his assumption that Sam already knows it–because who doesn’t know they can do some dealings with the dead? (Sam. Sam doesn’t. And I suggest asking his mom if you want to know why.) Even during expository scenes, there’s an underlying action or urgency keeping both readers and characters on their toes. From start to finish, it’s fight scenes and mystery solving and a search for answers, but without wearing out the reader.
And like I said, this book was sassy. There were only a few characters who weren’t snapping out one-liners, and they were a good balance of normality among the rest of the cast. Frank was the most normal, and freaked out, of all the characters, and although he’s not a common fixture within the novel, even his normalcy provides some laughs. From Sam’s best friend Ramon, who’s protective of his bro, to their co-worker Brooke, who makes the best she can out of her own bad situation, to feisty spirit Ashley, who arrives completely unfazed by Sam’s situation, many of the characters are distinct in their personalities, while being strong in their own way. It can almost seem overwhelming and redundant to have so many wise-cracking characters, but the fact that they can each get serious when they need to helps keep the sass factor from becoming tiresome.
I was also really surprised and impressed with the pacing of the book. When I was maybe fifty pages from the end, I kept thinking, “There’s no way this story is going to finish by the end. This is going to end up as part of a series.” To my surprise, though, it completed the story nicely without feeling rushed or pulling me into a series–not that I’d have been disappointed by that, considering how much fun this novel was to read. With so many popular YA books being part of a series lately, it’s nice to find one that not only takes one book for its story, but also rounds itself out nicely without feeling rushed or abrupt. I think it probably could be worked into at least having a sequel if McBride wanted, but the end of the novel was a perfect stopping point on its own.
I would say if you’re a fan of horror and comedy, like I am, then this is a book you might want to consider.