Wednesday, October 19, 2011


McBride, Lish. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2010. ISBN: 978-0805090987. 352 Pages. $16.99. Young Adult.

Lish McBride’s debut novel, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, stars Sam, a young necromancer, as he learns a little bit about life, love, and, of course, raising the dead. It’s touted as a comedy-injected addition to the current wave of YA speculative fiction. The author biography even jokingly declares that McBride was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. 

Meet Sam LaCroix, community college drop-out, Plumpy’s burger joint employee, and necromancer. Sam doesn’t know he can raise the dead until a chance encounter with Douglas, another local necromancer, who calls him out to stop loafing and accept his true nature. Douglas decides Sam’s time is best spent learning to use his newly discovered powers. While Douglas teaches him necromancy, Sam finds himself sharing a cage with a pretty werewolf. And, provided the were-girl doesn’t decide he’s dinner, Sam might learn about more than just his new powers.

McBride’s humorous title is promising, but the disjointed narrative shift between the first and third person dampens the prospect. Also problematic is the temporality of the pop culture references. While these references are sure to be a hit with an adult (crossover) reader, I expect the humor will be lost on any young adult without the Wikipedia app on his or her smart phone.

Heather Tylock  

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