Hold Me Closer, Necromancer – by Lish McBride

Summary: Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right–until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.  

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Lo says: I have no qualms admitting that I’m a girl who really likes some romance in a book. I mean, who is surprised? Our website is called Swoontini, amIright? I can even admit that I particularly like when the main conflict gets all tangled up in the romance – in creative ways (See Daughter of Smoke and Bone for example), but even the fun I Was Sent Here to Kill You But How Could I Possibly With Those Insane Biceps?

And yet.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer really isn’t that kind of book. At all. And it’s AWESOME. Sam is kind of a sweet mild loser, not really great at anything other than being nice, works at a burger joint. (We later find out he weighs like 150 pounds and honestly, just…no. I would break him like a twig.) Don’t get me wrong, there is romance here (more on that later) but it’s definitely not the central theme in the book. but. but! but!! I didn’t miss it at all. The characters were amazing, McBride writes an entire cast so well (I need to get better at this argh) and everyone stayed true to type the entire book. The dialogue was so fun and perfect and <insert high pitched happy noise here>

I love Ramon and Frank and Brooke. I love the evil Douglas (eep, he’s really creepy actually). I love Dunaway (the page where he’s introduced seriously made me snort like three times out loud. I’m such a laydee.) And I LOVE Brid. Love Brid + Sam even more.

One of my favorite aspects of the book was how Sam’s power isn’t something that he keeps from everyone in his life. He tells everyone – friends yes, but also strangers who seem trustworthy. If you think about it, that’s pretty refreshing. Usually secret powers are just that – shh shh sekrit – and not to knock on those books either (*cough*) but I loved how Sam was all “Help?  I just found out that I can raise the dead. That’s weird, right? Anyone? Bueller?”

This book is laugh out loud funny. It both embraces and totally mocks paranormal fiction which, let’s be honest, is the only way to approach it. In fact, I can say without any hesitation that this book is funny on every single page. I’ll give you a one of my favorites, but some of the best passages require context so you’ll just have to read the book and get back to me.

I crouched there, unmoving except for the shaking of my brandished butter knife, and stared at the head of a cute girl resting in the middle of the dirty linoleum of my kitchen floor. For some reason, I had the irrational thought of asking Mrs. Winalski whether or not this counted as having a girl in my apartment.

I just love how his dorky rambling BOYNESS comes through.

Sam is believable and not overdone, which is really awesome to read.  I will admit, my impression of him changed as the book went on. For the first half of the book I thought he could have been any number of my guy friends in college. As in, I’d totally love to swoon over him, but I suspect he genuinely wouldn’t know what to do with me and that, very unfortunately for Sam, leaves him in the Friend Zone.

Ramon handed me a cup of coffee. The detective took a cup as well and was he-man enough to drink it black. I can do without sugar, but I need cream at least, damn it.

Oh, Sam cute Sam.

Glimpses of Sam as a red-blooded male are rare in the first half but once Sam meets Brid, the rawr!male! part of him comes out more.  I’d totally get over the unfortunate snapping-him-like-a-twig problem because he can work that adorafriend into some decent Hot Guy. He’s honest and self-effacing in a non-wimpy way and just always hilarious. (As an aside, the scene where Sam and Brid meet is hands down the funniest boy-meets-girl scene I’ve ever read)

“So,” she said, pushing her bangs behind her ear. “I’ve shown you mine, now show me yours.”

“If you wanted to see that, you should have peeked when I was undressing, like any normal person.”

Woah there, Sam. Getting confident. Nice.

I can’t really say too much about Brid here, because her badassedness wasn’t explored as much as I think it will be in the second book. Still, I know enough to know she’s badass, and when I read the next book, I hope to make the review be mostly about Brid. She’s the next leader of her pack, she eats like a fiend (HIGH FIVE) and, well, let’s just say I fully support her reaction to being locked in a cage with Sam. I want more Brid. More Brid, please, Lish.

Before I end this rambling review, I do want to clarify that, even when Sam was just being cute-brothery, there was plenty of swoon. Oh yes. AUTHOR SWOON. This book is so insanely funny I am seriously in love with Lish McBride. I would totally go gay for this woman, no lie. If there’s one thing I can say it’s that this book gave me a glimpse into the awesomely wild brain of McBride and I am totally happy to wear a Lish Fangirl t-shirt from here on out.

I give this one:

Badass Chick on Board
I will ReSwoon Soon

About the Author: Lish McBride was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. It rains a lot there, but she likes it anyway. She spent three years away while she got her MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans, and she liked that too, although the hurricane did leave much of her stuff underwater. She enjoys reading, having geek-laden conversations about movies, comics, and zombies with her friends, and of course trying to wear pajamas as much as humanly possible. You can visit her website or follow her on twitter.