Thursday, September 3, 2015

Review: The Last Necromancer by C.J. Archer

Ministry of Curiosities, Book One
by C.J. Archer
YA Fantasy
268 pages

Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.
People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.
Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust?
Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.


Talk about a book which grabs from the very first page! I was pulled into this story immediately and didn't put it down until the very last page (and then I was moping that I didn't have book two to grab right away). We find a poor '13 year old' boy in a dark, horrid prison with a handful of prisoners who do not have any good intentions with the poor kid. And the jailers don't give a darn. From the first second on, I felt for Charlie and hoped he'd/she'd make it through.

The scenes are amazing. Dark alleys, sewage and waste sided roads. . .one can smell and feel the terrible circumstances Charlie and the band of kids she hangs out with live in. Understanding why she's there and how she can't get out are crystal clear and only make the sympathy deepen.

Charlie herself is a great character--quick witted and she knows how to survive. She may come from softer upbringings, but she doesn't waste a single fraction of a breath whining about her present circumstances. She may not be physically strong, but the rest of her is a fighter through and through, making it more than easy to root for her. And despite her spirit, she needs all the support she can get.

The plot was fast-paced, grabbing and relentless. Charlie goes from one situation to the other, and just as things start to look up, it goes back down. She fights and suffers and fights again as she goes from one type of captivation to the next. Even when reasons to trust sprout up, there's always shadows of doubt hanging in the corners keeping the tension high. Her motto to trust no one is well based as every discovery about the world around her and her own past only lead to more secrets and trouble.

The romantic tension is masterfully woven amidst all the danger and action, bringing a level so high, I almost expected to hear it snap. Lincoln, aka Death, is not a hero one might expect, and the love at first sight thing is barely even a fairy tale, but it's exactly this which makes the relationship so intriguing.

I'd definitely recommend this to fans of the Infernal Devices series. The first part of this book had me really wondering why The Last Necromancer hasn't reached as much popularity yet (yes, it is really that good.) But as the second half came, the plot and flow did weaken just a bit. But not enough to make me stop reading even for a second. In other words, I'm dying to get my hands on book two and see what happens next.

And here she is. . .

C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two with her writing. Under her other name of Carolyn Scott, she has published contemporary short stories in women’s magazines, and she also writes romantic mystery novels under this name.

She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. She has won and placed in romance writing contests including winning RWAustralia’s Emerald Award in 2008 for the manuscript that went on to be released under the title HONOR BOUND. C.J. spent her early childhood in the dramatic beauty of outback Queensland, Australia, but now lives in suburban Melbourne with her husband and two children.

To be notified when C.J. releases a new book, subscribe to her newsletter from her website. She only sends out the newsletter when she releases a new book, and never spams.

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Giselle said...

Great review! This sounds like a fun read and I like how well balanced the plot/characters/romance seems to be!

C.J. Archer said...

Thanks for the great review! Glad you enjoyed it.