Author: Lish McBride
Publisher: Henry Holt
Blurb (GR): 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?
I guarantee you, if you read this book: (1) You will laugh; and (2) You will want to eat some waffles. I have eaten three waffles in the past two days just because of this book. (Fine, it was also because someone else made waffle batter and it takes a minute to make once all that work is done:)) But in all seriousness, this book is buckets of awesome. Samhain Corvus LaCroix (Sam) is a Seattle college dropout working at a fast food restaurant with a few of his friends and generally slacking it up in his off-time. After an unfortunate potato hockey accident behind the restaurant, Sam comes into contact with an intimidating man who recognizes Sam for what he is—a necromancer. Clueless, Sam is faced with an ultimatum before he even comes to terms with his dead-controlling ways. Craziness ensues.
Author Lish McBride uses short song snippets as the titles for the chapters and they are fabulous. I think my heart just about exploded when I got to the one entitled “Make A Little Birdhouse in Your Soul.” (My first concert besides Raffi and the parentally-enforced-you-must-love-being-Irish Chieftains concerts I went to with the family was They Might Be Giants, which I think is a totally respectable first concert, no?) Anyway, I loved every single one of them. It might be a little annoying to some people but I thought it went well with the overall campiness. Crowinator got there before me but she is dead-on that this book reminded me of a mixture of Buffy’s fun and the snarkiness of Dead Like Me. Sam very much reminded me of George from Dead Like Me—a sarcastic yet compassionate slacker working at a just-for-the-money job, only Sam is far nicer than George ever was. And he has his kickass friends, one of whom is a head in a bag. Yeah, you read that right. A head. In a bowling bag. The sense of humor is dead-on and the story was fun in the same way that Paranormalcy was. It felt fresh in a genre where originality can be hard to come by.
This book has it all, and I almost feel like Stefon from SNL could do a wonderful recap of what this book has to offer: Crazy garden gnomes that want to kill you, a talking cat that is really a dragon, sexy werewolves, a head in a bowling bag, medicine bags that make people invisible to supernatural radar, a Catholic schoolgirl harbringer that loves waffles, sex in a cage, and ZOMBIES. You get the idea. The pacing is quick but unhurried and the story arc is complete at the end yet leaves itself open to future books that I really hope will exist despite a lack of parenthetical series markers on Goodreads. It would be a huge shame if this was a standalone.