Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday=Book Review Time--A bit of black humor

Up for today: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Why I bought it? I actually didn't buy this. I won it in a contest. Yay me! I'm so glad I did. I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. I thought I wasn't a fan of necromancers and that sort of thing, but the blogger giving it away raved about how great it was, so I entered.

Synopsis/Set up: When goofing around at work gets out of hand and a taillight gets busted on the WRONG car, a new world opens up for Sam (full name: Samhain Corvus LaCroix--it's something, eh? and there's meaning in them there names). A world that may end up killing him. He's been an unmotivated average guy, but he discovers that he is actually a necromancer. Can he discover why his powers have taken so long to surface? Or save himself and his friends from the impending doom?

What I thought? With the title's spin on Elton John's Tiny Dancer* I figured I was in for a fun ride, but I had no idea how entertaining it would be.  It ended up as one of my top 10 favorites of 2010 (a stiff (no pun intended) competition). Sam's voice and personality carry the day: witty and sarcastic but also lovable. He is trying to do the right thing. He is just as shocked at the events unfolding around him (death, mayhem, impending death, undead pandas, a talking head, etc.) as I was, even though others take them in stride. The big strength for me in this book was the humor. It kept me laughing all the way through. I love that it's a great book for guys. There are not near enough of these out there. If you like dark humor, do yourself a favor and read this. I seriously had a hard time putting it down.

*All the chapters, as a matter of fact, are headed with song titles (or variations on them) and very clever. I laughed out loud at some of them and chuckled later about points in the chapter that applied. Most teen readers won't recognize them all though as many of the songs are older ones. (Not even my daughter, who's a classic rock aficionado, recognized them all.)

My Rating: ****1/2

My Daughter's Rating: ****3/4, She said, "I really loved the book. There were parts that could have been written better, but it was still very, very good. The humor was pretty dark most of the time, but it was a good fit for me."

Cleanness Score: 6 out of 10, This is for your older teens. There is some language, violence, and a sort of skipped-over sex scene. I did let my 16 year old daughter read it.

It was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award that honors debut YAs. A seriously amazing debut novel.

A recap of how I rate books for anyone new:
* = Complete drivel. Not worth the paper it's printed on.
** = So, so. Has some redeeming qualities but is, essentially, a disappointment.
*** = An enjoyable read but nothing too terribly earth shattering
**** = Very enjoyable. This is where I'd recommend for others to read. I'd consider buying it.
***** = So much fun reading that I can't put it down or so compelling that I can't stop thinking about it. I HAVE to own this book.
*****+ = One of my all time favorite books. I know some people would think this is over the top, but then again sometimes I am that kind of person. I won't give many books this rating though.

Cleanness Score: 
The cleanness score (CS) is because I have young family members that will read these reviews, and so I want them and their moms to know what they will get with the books I review, and I think that others of you out there picking books for your kids might like to know. (Is that enough ands?) That said--my scale is going to be from 0 to 10. 0 has absolutely nothing the least bit offensive in it and 10 is for those books that have very offensive material. (I think I can guarantee that there will be no 10s in any of my book reviews, but it will still be on the scale for gauging purposes.)


R.S.J. said...

I love to know what others opinions are on books, so this in fantastic. Also, thanks for the cleaness score. Sometimes others recommend books to me that I normally wouldn't read. I like to know what I'm getting myself into.
BTW, you have read A LOT of books! That is quite a list.

lotusgirl said...

RSJ, I'm glad you appreciate the way I do book reviews. I have a hard time not reading a lot of books. I have to force myself to put the books down and do something else.

Jamie Burch said...

I haven't heard of this one! Thanks for the review on this title. I'll have to check it out!

Elle Strauss said...

Thanks for the recommend--I'll check it out!

T. Anne said...

Sounds like an unexpected hit! I love when that happens!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Great review! I'll check it out. :)

Laura Pauling said...

I do like dark humor. I'll have to keep my eye out for itJ! Thanks for the review!

lotusgirl said...

Jamie, I'm glad I could give you a heads up.

Elle, I hope you'll like it.

T. Anne, I do too.

Kimberly, Thanks.

Laura, It nice to meet a fellow dark humor aficionado.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm definitely adding this to my pile!!!! :D

And thanks for the warning that it's not for my 11 yo.

lotusgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lotusgirl said...

Stina, You're welcome. I'm pretty conservative, so once you've read it, you can see what you think.

Her highness, Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Have a contest! So I can win it! (You can send it to my Mom in the US...)

: )

lotusgirl said...

I don't want to give this one away. I'm keeping it for my son to read next year, but I'm going to have a contest tomorrow for my "what/where in the world" and this time there will be a prize: a signed ARC of Beth Revis' Across the Universe.

Patti said...

I've seen this book in bookstores and have to admit I hated the cover so I never really looked at it, maybe I'll give it a try.

Susan R. Mills said...

Sounds great! I just added it to my list.

lotusgirl said...

Patti, I'm not a huge fan of the cover either, but I understand it's a lot better than what was on the ARC. I probably wouldn't have picked it up in the store.

Susan, I hope you enjoy it.