Initial Final Page Thoughts.
A very dejected ‘Meh’.
It wouldn’t take a great detective to realise I love music and I adored the fact that each chapter heading was lyrics. Also, necromancers? How cool does that sound? Oh and… major kudos for the front cover. I loved it! So original and didn’t make me want to burn it and I would’ve read this in public (except I was in my garden because it is uncharacteristically glorious in Manchester at the moment… but the sentiment is still there)!
There seems to be some alarm bells installed in my head that go off whenever the word ‘paranormal’ is used. Which is a shame, because pre-Twilight I loved paranormal. But now every single book has something to do with vamps or werewolves or witches or whatevers. So when I read that this book was about necromancers, I was excited. I mean… come on, raising the dead? Pretty cool right… just think of the training montages. So… my main quibble with this book (and I admittedly had a few) was why did Ms McBride feel the need to add a million different other supernatural creatures into the mix aswell? I get that she was trying to create a whole supernatural community but I don’t think this book needed it or benefitted from it at all. (Although I do have a niggling idea that this book may be the start of a series because there were a lot of characters and ideas and whatnot that were introduced and that was left unexplained when the book ended.) Even though I loved the whole idea of how she portrayed how supernatural creatures lived in modern day America with the council and everything… the tons of characters confused me, especially towards the end. It really distracted me from the actual story, and that’s not good. I wanted to give this a try because I love being proven wrong especially when it’s paranormally. But… dragons fighting werewolves? No thanks.
Overall, I liked Sam. I thought he was just the right side of ‘deadbeat-loser’ and didn’t react like the typical tortured MC when they discover they’re different. He had a bit of personality but I don’t think he was overly memorable. I also thought his little wise-cracks were a bit overwhelming… yeah some of them were really funny… but there are some times (like when your bff has been decapitated by someone who also wants your head) when jokey asides aren’t appropriate.
Boo-hiss. Eh, not so much. I think I was supposed to be scared of Douglas but I never knew why. Whenever he waltzed onto the page, there was always the allusion that he had done something horrifying that would warrant such fear that was awarded to him. But then we never found out what it was. If we had found out more about necromancers and Douglas’ history… maybe he would’ve been a bit creepier. He did have potential to be a good villain. But alas, it was not meant to be. Also re: ending, did anyone else think that everything was wrapped up too nicely? If I am right about it being the first in a sequel, McBride needs to start thinking of some more antagonists.
I really don’t mean to complain about this book… I think the reason why I’m being so harsh is because I so desperatley wanted it to be amazing. And it toyed with my expectations. One of my pet hates in books (not just YA) is when the author introduces a character that brings nothing to the story except to be a bit of eyecandy for the MC. And I have a sneaky suspicion that Brid did just that. ALTHOUGH- I feel I must add. Another pet hate of mine is when love in books (again… not just YA) is really inspid, luke-warm and all about emotions. I mean… yeah sure that does exist but maybe I just hung out with the wrong type of people. Dramatic glances and diary entries were not part of teenage romance. So… props to McBride for writing a very realistic scene (you know which one!) because teen’s raging hormones ALWAY trumps dramatic lovelorn glances.
Aww, Ramon. Sam’s best friend who shares my love for cheesy snacks and junk food. He was definitely my favourite character because he seemed, oddly for a supporting role, the best thought out. He was one of the redeeming features of the book and definitely part of why I didn’t just close the book and forget it ever existed. (Him and Brooke, I also liked her!). But… what happened to him at the end. WHAT. Come on McBride, you’re killing me.
I was trying to find a song that included ghosts, zombies, werewolves, witches, fairies and dragons… then I realised such a song didn’t exist. AND NOR SHOULD IT. So I have chosen this song as an ‘In Memoriam’ of the book I so desperately wanted this to be eventhough it has nothing to do with ghosties… or America. Shh. I love this song.
2/10. It would be a bit angsty if Wisecracks McInnapropriate didn’t keep making little asides when things got a bit hairy. Don’t get me wrong, some were quite funny but there were just a lot of them, almost like bam bam bam look how quirky my MC is. And gee, the did get tiresome. There is some dark subject matter in the book, but there is no way I could call it angsty.
People who like their paranormal stories a little different. People who like their paranormal stories vampy-lite. People who are thinking of dropping out of university/college. People who think they have mental daddy-issues. People who enjoy their books to have surprise and unnecessary werewolves (and were-fairies?!) appearances. People who kind of fancy Sam Riley and want his sexy face on their bookshelf… because the book guy really looks like him. No? Just me then.