Hailey Edwards returns with the second book in her Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy series, narrated by Rebecca Mitchell.
How to Claim an Undead Soul
Jumping in with a full mix of characters, Grier has won her battle to train as a necromancer, even though she’s been housebound for her own protection. Enter ‘cousin’ Linus who is meant to teach Grier what she needs to know, and while he’s a good teacher with a unique way of engaging his students, even as Grier can’t quite figure out how much of what he learns about her is brought right back to his mother. But that’s not all that she’s got to worry about: she’s got vampires who are inordinately interested in this new necromancer, disappearing ghosts and a threat about a ‘devourer’, her relationship with Boaz and her unfamiliarity with dating, relationships and the odd connection that is developing between she and Linus. Questions and challenges abound as deep in the heart of Savannah, much of their tourism dollars comes from haunted tours, and while Grier begged, pleaded and was finally able to regain her job – only this time it’s on a haunted dinner cruise, and things don’t quite go well.
Most intriguing in this story is the learning and the sudden appearance of the very creepy Ambrose, and just why he’s appearing so soon after Linus arrived to teach her what she needs to know. And those lessons, with wards, tattoos and the house that becomes more outspoken and sentient as time goes on, there’s much new to discover and plenty more questions unanswered (or briefly filled in) from the first book now take their place and fill in gaps. Grier is desperate to find answers and contain and manage her own powers, but the learning isn’t as simple or straightforward as she would like it to be. And there is the questions about Boaz and his attraction to her: being denied the ‘normal’ teenaged experiences have left her more than a bit naïve and inexperienced, and when you’re not sure if everyone you encounter is being honest and clear in their intentions, or why it is only now that an interest is being shown, things are unsettled for her, rightly so. When you add in the obvious attraction and her confusion about it, not to mention threats, a more-than-usual-creepy apparition and the lingering questions about Linus’ ability to keep his mother out of her business, it’s a solid and quite fast moving story that is full of new information that builds on the earlier book.
Narration for this story is provided by Rebecca Mitchell, and while I found her work in the first book uninspiring and rather flat, I had hopes for the second. Unfortunately there was little to no improvement in the work: characters were indistinct in their voicing, often running into the narrator’s tone without clearly moving from “and then they” to “I wanted to” moments, making everything run together and requiring more effort to listen and distinguish moments and people than should be needed in an audiobook. Emotion, clarity of spoken versus action narrative, interior voices and even elements that one would expect as ‘ghostly overtones’ were not present in this performance, and sadly my hopes for improvement went unfulfilled.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 1 Story 4
Title: How to Claim an Undead Soul
Author: Hailey Edwards
Series: Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #2
Also in this series: How to Save an Undead Life
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, New Adult - Coming of Age, Southern, Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Rebecca Mitchell
Published by: Self-Published, Tantor Audio
Published on: 21 August, 2018
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 21 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
Life was simpler for Grier when she was flat broke and a social pariah. Now she's carrying the baggage that goes along with the title of Dame Woolworth, and shouldering that weight is giving her a serious crick in the neck. Her work as a Haint is the one thing that makes her feel normal, but even that's more paranormal than usual.
Spirits are vanishing from well-known hot spots on the ghost tour circuit, and vampires are turning up as shriveled husks. When Grier stumbles across the menace preying on Savannah's supernatural community, what she uncovers is bigger than a few flickering lampposts gone dark. It's a deadly threat unleashed by one of their own, and the cost of saving her city might be her life.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: