Hailey Edwards comes to the blog with the first in a new series, the Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy, which is narrated by Rebecca Michell. Please read on for my review of
How to Save an Undead Life
I love Edwards’ style for Urban Fantasy, and in this one set in Savannah Georgia, she’s managed to get me both intrigued and cheering on the heroine here, Grier. Given her past and some serious traumas, she’s passionate about the local history, but she has some solid friends and a house that never fails to be a comfort and source of strength. It’s not been an easy road for her, and she’s got a fairly overwhelming case of PTSD, we are given the backstory and some of the background of this world that she inhabits, and that leads us to the greater overwhelming fact of the paranormal community and their agenda, particularly where Grier is concerned. Far from an ‘ordinary’ girl, we’re learning about Grier’s potential and skills right along with her, after being dropped in the middle of the story, requiring listeners to pay attention (not hard to do) and put pieces together much like Grier is, without the traumas. An interesting way to engage and intrigue, the unfamiliar plot style that sort of begins in the middle is all the more intriguing when the pieces start to fall into place.
Distinct characteristics and traits, as well as power and purpose, of the variant paranormal beings, the powers of a necromancer in this world, and even some insight into the very sentient house that Grier owns, a zombie parakeet (ok – you thought it couldn’t get stranger?), a next door neighbor that starts to set a stage for romance, and some very intriguing moments, even adding things that could bite…. Edwards’ writing style manages to be intriguing and layered with hints, possibilities, humor and some seriously clever and never before seen (by me) moments for characters (and the house) to shine. Grier has potential that we’ve not yet seen or been introduced to, and I can’t wait for the next.
Narration for this story is provided by Rebecca Mitchell and I have to say that I wasn’t wowed by her performance, particularly in terms of distinguishing the ‘spoken’ dialogue from simple narrative needed to progress the plot. Different voices were indistinct and made following along far more difficult than necessary, while passages from Grier that were a mix of thought and spoken word were so similar that the certainty of what is spoken versus what is thought was lost entirely in the performance. I can only hope that as the series continues and pieces are solidifying for readers that the audio performances will start to reflect that trait, and that narration, particularly of different characters and spoken rather than ‘thought’ moments will sort out with clarity and more distinction.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 2 Story 4
Title: How to Save an Undead Life
Author: Hailey Edwards
Series: Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #1
Also in this series: How to Claim an Undead Soul
Genre: Fantasy / Urban Fantasy, New Adult - Coming of Age, Southern
Narrator: Rebecca Mitchell
Published by: Self-Published, Tantor Audio
Published on: 31 July, 2018
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 11 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
Grier Woolworth spends her nights weaving spooky tales of lost souls and tragedies for tourists on the streets of downtown Savannah. Hoop skirt and parasol aside, it's not a bad gig. The pay is crap, but the tips keep the lights on in her personal haunted mansion and her pantry stocked with ramen.
Life is about as normal as it gets for an ex-necromancer hiding among humans. Until the society that excommunicated Grier offers her a second chance at being more than ordinary. Too bad no one warned her the trouble with being extraordinary is it can get you killed.
Warning: This book contains one ex-con/ex-heiress with a pet zombie parakeet who lives next door to her ex-army/ex-crush. Brace yourselves, we're talking more exes than a pirate treasure map here.
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.