Fresh Meat: Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride is the sequel to Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, a young adult paranormal mystery featuring Sam the Necromancer (available September 18, 2012).

With the title of this book alone, I had a feeling that the voice of the author would be hilarious. After all, it takes talent to make necromancing funny. In Lish McBride’s sequel to Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, we are reintroduced to Samhain “Sam” LaCroix. He has recently killed his necromancing mentor, Douglas, and inherited all the power, wealth, and responsibility that goes with taking Douglas’s place in the supernatural food chain. On top of all that, Sam is dealing with the trials of being a young adult, a female werewolf’s boyfriend, and having one ghostly friend and another were-bear (say that five times fast) best friend.

Part of what makes this book work is the balance McBride strikes between horror, humor, and young adult themes. The ideal combination in any good paranormal universe is having the elements of fantasy while keeping the issues grounded in essential human emotions. Being a fry cook-cum-college dropout is hard, and everyone wishes that someone could wave a magic wand to get them instant wealth and the girl. For Sam, that gift came at a price and he’s still very uneasy with the transition his life is going through.

“If you remember, you insisted on bringing your own stuff, including that moth-eaten thing you call a mattress. You wouldn’t even put your music in the library, or your books. Ridiculous.”

I hadn’t wanted to mix my stuff with Douglas’s. I know it sounds weird, but I felt like, once that happened, this new house situation was permanent, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that.

I had not read the first book in the series before diving into this one. The first few chapters of the book (don’t worry, they’re short) were mainly recapping and reintroducing the main characters and some of the plot from the first book. This might be tedious for those who read the first in the series but helpful for those like me who had not. Fear not though, the action quickly resumes when someone close to Sam dies. Unfortunately, Sam is still getting used to his new necromancing powers—you’d think with those skills, finding someone’s murderer would be simple! Unfortunately for Sam, but luckily for the reader, the mystery of who the killer is remains an enigma even with Sam’s special skills.

This book’s humor made it a standout for me in the genre. It’s full of one-liners fit for a Will Ferrell comedy but still believable for a teenage character.

. . . While Douglas was holding me hostage, I’d met a girl—I mean, screw dating websites and house parties; apparently all the really eligible ladies are being held in cages these days.

. . . Douglas had a framed first edition of Bowie’s Hunky Dory on display there.
I guess even pure evil likes David Bowie.

. . . I mumbled something—it might have been “hello,” or it might have been “piss off.” It’s hard to be sure of these things sometimes.
“Be nice,” she said. Which meant I’d probably told her to piss off.

There are very few funny horror novels out there now (please help me compile a list because I really couldn’t think of any!). Of course there are films like Dead Alive, Shaun of the Dead, and Fido, but few authors, it seems, are willing to step into the void. Imagine David Sedaris taking on zombies, or a young adult version of Jonathan L. Howard’s Johannes Cabal the Necromancer and you’ll find the love child that is Necromancing the Stone.

Other reviewers have said the first book is more gruesome and high adventure than Necromancing, so if that is more your shtick, I would definitely attempt that one before heading into Sam’s second adventure. I’m not that big into gore, so Necromancing worked for me. McBride manages to be descriptive in this second installment without being gratuitous, and for that I thank her.

As the perfect foil for Sam, I anticipated the sections when we slipped into the villain’s mind almost as much as being in Sam's. Her villain ***spoilers (highlight to read)*** is Douglas, which is slightly predictable. Turns out he’s not so dead and comes back as a zombie-like creature. We are introduced to him in this second book as he is making a revenge to-do list—I can appreciate a villain who makes a to-do list. He’s quickly a man of action and starts in on said list.

My one critique would be that because we are so often in the mind of the villain as he plots, some of the mystery and suspense is lost. It doesn’t stop it from being an all-around fun book though. With a splash of horror and a huge helping of humor, Necromancing the Stone is definitely going on the keeper pile. I’m looking forward to starting the first book in the series and really diving into the gruesome laughs of Sam the Necromancer.

Have you read any good funny horror recently?


Sorry, this sweepstakes has ended.

Stay tuned on our Sweepstakes page for more offers!

To enter for a chance to win one of three sets including copies of Lish McBride’s Necromancing the Stone and Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, make sure you’re a registered member of the site, and then simply leave a comment below.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at  beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) September 11, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 a.m. ET on September 18, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

See more coverage of new releases in our Fresh Meat series.

Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance and watching crime shows, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt.

Read all Jennifer Proffitt’s posts on Criminal Element.


  1. Allison Campbell

    Oh, these sound fun!

  2. Angela Perry

    Sounds awesome! will add it to my TBR list!

  3. Mike Rogers

    Looks great!

  4. Marie-Louise Molloy

    [b][color=rgb(64, 224, 208)]Sounds thrilling![/color][/b]

  5. Anne Muller

    Lish and this series is new to me. I’ll be looking it up.

  6. Karl Stenger

    Looks exciting.

  7. alicia marie

    I so need to read this series! It sounds good : )

  8. Deborah Dumm

    Sounds like a great series thank you

  9. Ed Shannon

    Dark is lovely

  10. Diana Thomas

    These sound good, I’m going to have to add to my TBR file.

  11. Kayla Beck

    This sounds like such a great series, and the reviews that I’ve read are very positive. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  12. Kathy Fannon

    These do sound like fun reads. I’ll have to check them out.

  13. Doreen Sheridan

    The titles alone make these books sound worthwhile.

  14. Allison Moyer

    I can’t remember the last time I read a funny horror story. These sound inticing.

  15. Peter W. Horton Jr.

    I need this book!

  16. L L

    This sounds like a good book.

  17. Nancy Pate

    The first one was as hilarious as the title. Looking forward to reading the second.
    For funny horror, Christopher Moore!

  18. Tyler Dunning

    i would love these

  19. Rebecca Brothers

    Sounds like fun!

  20. Mary Ann Woods

    This book sounds like it’s right up my alley! Thanks for the chance to win it!

  21. Mickie Turett

    It was the title of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer that drew me to the first book. Silliness and necromancy – it’s a perfect combination, like green eggs and ham. Can’t wait to read Necromancing the Stone !

  22. Babsji

    Humor and Horror, sounds right up my alley!

  23. Max Lakshtanov


  24. amy fischer

    i would read

  25. Debbie K. Chioffe

    Winning these would be excellent! Thanks for the opportunity!

  26. Larisa LaBrant

    These sound like the perfect gift (bait) for a nephew in middle school that hates to read…Thank you for hosting a giveaway!

  27. Tricha Leary

    sounds interesting

  28. Jerrilynn Atherton

    Thanks for the chance to win! Can’t wait to read it!!

  29. MaryC

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. Diane Pollock

    Very cool!

  31. Andrea Ramjattan

    Great give away!

  32. Megan Mariner

    Love the concept! Excited to read these!

  33. Cheryl U.

    I think I’d really enjoy reading these books. I like everything with a bit of humor.

  34. Andrea Wickman

    I would love this

  35. Marsha Kamish

    Anything + humor = awesome reading!

  36. mobilewasher

    I would love these books, they are right in my regular reading catagory on any day and would probably buy them if I don’t win them!

  37. Jennifer Helms

    Sweet! Sounds awesome!

  38. derek

    clearly a must-read

  39. Bill Wolverton

    Something for my neighbor

  40. Kelley Tackett

    The titles of these books just slay me.

  41. Jody Darden

    My daughter mentioned these books to me. We both would like to read them!

  42. Susan Chester

    Sounds like a fun new series!

  43. Faith

    She also has a short story out for e-readers. I haven’t read Hold me Closer yet but the short story was great.

    Try Anna Dressed in Blood for another YA horror.

  44. mariah chappel

    Does sound good. Always looking for a new aouthor 🙂

  45. Shannon Baas

    I would like this.

  46. Jennifer Proffitt

    @Faith, oh really? I had no idea! I’ll have to add it to my list. And I’ve been eyeing Anna Dressed in Blood for a while, I’ll definitely have to give it a more serious look. (also, don’t forget to log in Faith, don’t want to miss out on a chance to win!)

    @MsGodiva1 These are total nephew bait! I’d also recommend any of our posts by [url=]F.T. Bradley [/url]as a good place to look for other ideas.

  47. Michael Papagermanos

    Sounds like a great read.

  48. vicki wurgler

    sounds like great reading

  49. Vicky Boackle

    sounds fun to read.

  50. cheryl wong


  51. Chrystina Williams

    Sounds good!!!

  52. Joe Hauser

    Very cool!

  53. edq143

    enter me thanks

  54. Manuel Capitao Jr

    sounds like a good read

  55. runner

    Groovy reading!

  56. Cheryl McCauley

    A must read.


    Sounds delicious!

  58. Lisa Potts

    I must admit, these have been on my “to read” list for quite some time. Would love the chance to win them. Thanks!

  59. James Murray

    I would love to win

  60. Crystal Faulkner

    these sound great! thanks for the giveaway!

  61. Sean Fox

    Ooo, pick me, pick me!

  62. Denise Carlson

    sounds good — I’m entering! Thanks!

  63. Denise Carlson

    sounds good — I’m entering! Thanks!

  64. Helen Gibbs

    interesting subject

  65. John Clark

    I have a bunch of YA library patrons who would love to read this book.

  66. Samantha Meyer

    This sounds like a super exciting series!

  67. Kerrie Mayans

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  68. Jennifer Peaslee

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  69. Susan Smith

    Thanks for the giveaway

  70. kacey robling

    Sounds very interesting

  71. kathy pease

    Thank you for the great giveaway please count me in 🙂

  72. Daniel M

    sounds like a fun one!

  73. Tricha

    Would love these

  74. julie hawkins

    these sound great!

  75. Micheal Shea

    I love the title

  76. Katharine Adams

    Looks great!

  77. Buddy Garrett

    My daughter would enjoy reading this book. Thanks.

  78. Cassandra Marquez

    this book looks awesome really hope i get a chance to read it!

  79. Tim Moss

    I wanna win!

  80. Susan Smoaks

    this would be a great read!

  81. Traci Dolcemascolo

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  82. Daniel Vice

    This sounds great

  83. Jessica Mosley

    Great giveaway, thanks!

  84. Heather Cowley

    Funny title. I remember watching a movie of a similar name. Book sounds good to me!

  85. Regina Marlborough

    Adding to my to read list. Great mix. Humor, Horror, macabre.

  86. Marie Oetzel

    Sounds like a good book.

  87. Ed Nemmers

    I wouold love to read this work!

Comments are closed.