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So… confession time. Instead of writing this review immediately upon finishing The Last Necromancer, I may have picked up the second book right away and devoured it as quickly as I did the first one.
I may have.
I totally did.
And let me just say that November and book #3 both seem very, tragically far away at this moment.
So, Dear Reader, does that give you any indication of my thoughts on this book?
(Hint: I enjoyed it immensely.)
So why did I enjoy it so much?
Well, while the main plot of this novel — Charlie’s necromancy being actively sought after by rival parties for reasons possibly nefarious, as well as the mysteries surrounding the intentions and backgrounds of each party — is well done and compelling in it’s own right, the real strength of this novel lies in Charlie herself.
Archer does a fantastic job of bringing her heroine to life — Charlie is relatable, empathetic, flawed and utterly wonderful. Having lived on the streets for five years has changed her from the dutiful vicar’s daughter into a street-smart, wise-cracking survivalist. She’s known pain, hardship, loss and these things have shaped her and molded her into a young woman who is clever, determined, resourceful and not easily cowed. Which is fantastic especially when she’s pitted against an antagonistic force like Lincoln, the formidable and intimidating head of the Ministry of Curiosities. Her progression throughout this first book — her struggles to understand herself and her place in the world — is just satisfying and very well done.
Speaking of Lincoln, he’s another reason this book was such a page-turner. He’s enigmatic, reserved, secretive — a man of few words and even fewer emotional tells. He could’ve been a very boring, flat character. And yet, somehow he isn’t. He is fascinating in his subtleties, and Archer did a good job giving him just enough dimension while still maintaining his overall aloof mysteriousness.
Since both Charlie & Lincoln made such an impression, I guess it will come as little surprise that I also greatly enjoyed the camaraderie that’s building between them. But there’s also a really fun antagonistic push and pull that goes on here as well. It’s a slow-building, frustrating, intense kind of something… and I’m totally loving it. And it’s part of the reason that November cannot get here soon enough.
Other things I love include Seth, Gus & Cook. The Ministry of Curiousites committee members are a very interesting and polarizing group of folks as well, which lays groundwork for some potentially interesting political situations. Really all the secondary and supporting characters are great. The descriptions of London are dark, evocative, and unsettling; London is essentially just another character that Archer brings to life.
Things that didn’t do it for me include the “literary” twist. The story would’ve been just as good without it. Also, while the existence of the Ministry of Curiosities is an interesting and vital bit of the story, I wish there was a bit more explanation as to its current, somewhat bare bones state if it’s an organization of such importance. And connected to that, a little more definition to the supernatural world as a whole would be great. But these things may come with future stories.
Overall, The Last Necromancer is a captivating, character-driven gaslight mystery, and I’m eagerly anticipating Charlie & Lincoln’s next adventure.
C.J. is giving away ONE (1) ebook (INTL) or ONE (1) paperback (US/CAN) of THE LAST NECROMANCER to ONE (1) lucky winner.
Terms and conditions arelisted in the Rafflecopter form below. Entrants must complete the Rafflecopter requirements to be eligible.