Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

So the first book that I recently read was Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride.  I only partly picked it up because I was interested in it; I mostly picked it up because one of our librarians--who works a lot with the teen volunteers--sent us lists of the 2011 Best YA Fiction and 2011 Graphic Novels for Teens and asked us to read one novel from either list.  Necromancer was pretty much the only novel that both sounded interesting and was currently in our collection (I also read Girl, Stolen, by April Henry a few days ago).

It's the author's debut novel, and you can kinda tell that from the writing.  However (and I'm not sure you can read it in the picture) it was nominated for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, and you can also tell why.  Once I got into it, it was a really gripping, enjoyable read.  The reason why I wasn't immediately engrossed--it took about 80~100 pages in--was because I have a pet peeve: I get so annoyed when an author switches back and forth between first and third POV*, and as far as I can tell, primarily amateur authors are the ones who do it.  And yes, the chapters alternate first and third person.

But there really isn't anything to complain about other than that.  I felt like McBride was trying to emulate Jim Butcher's style: the main character was a bit predictably snarky, things got worse and worse for our protagonist as the book progressed, and the sentence structure in general was similar, I thought, to Butcher.  And I'll be honest, I skimmed the scenes where he was learning necromancy; it was mostly stuff about closing protective circles with willpower, using blood to make certain spells stronger, etc.--the same stuff you'll read about in any urban fantasy novel, and I've read a fair number of them by now, so that was all old hat to me.

*I also can't stand second POV or present tense, which means books like Aura, by Carlos Fuentes, are really on my shit list.

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