Meet Sam LaCroix, college drop-out, fast food worker, and, oh, yeah, necromancer. Meet Douglas, head of the Council and all-around powerful necromancer. As we start the story Sam doesn't know he's a necromancer until he gets busted for smashing the tail light of Douglas's car during a rousing game of potato hockey. Douglas threatens Sam because he hasn't "registered" with the Council for the region. Sam is clueless about having any powers because his mother, a witch, and his uncle, a fellow necromancer, had his powers bound when he was a baby. Douglas doesn't care and decides to take matters into his own hands by kidnapping Sam, throwing him into a cage with Brid, a fellow abductee who happens to be a were-hound, and forcing him to learn the trade of necromancy. How will Sam get out of this jam in one piece? Along the way he is helped by his friends, Ramon, Frank and poor, be-headed Brooke, his mother and sister, and a waffle-loving harbinger named Ashley. Sam learns about his powers and finally finds some focus in his life after drifting along and not really feeling like he had a place in the world.
This was a book that I listened to instead of read--my job includes a lot of driving so audiobooks keep me sane in the insane traffic of the Seattle area. Speaking of which, one of my favorite aspects of this book was the many, many mentions of Seattle weather. Now there may not be a lot of variety in the weather of this area--well, unless you count the different types of rain (light, heavy, misting, sprinkles, showers, downpour, etc., etc.)--but we really do talk about it a lot. There's always the caveat of "if the weather allows" tacked on to the end of every plan for outdoor activities. But, enough about the weather (but, for crying out loud, it's almost July and it has yet to reach a high of anything over 65!). Oh, and, for sure, no Seattle native goes around with an umbrella because the rain really can come at you sideways and you're soaked anyways and having to tote around an umbrella, too.
So, right, audiobook review--that's what you're here for. Ok, for me, the most important part of an audiobook is if the voice matches how I think the character should be. In this case I think Todd Ross and Chris Sorensen did an excellent job of portraying Douglas and Sam, and their viewpoints (respectively). Douglas was clearly evil and power-hungry and the throaty, whispery voice was just the right portrayal. Sam was the confused, unsure, scared and snarky teenager and the goofy, sometimes sweet and unsure voice was just the right touch.
As for the story itself, I thought that relationship between Sam and Ramon was very well portrayed and they always had each others back. Sam's quick connection with Brid came from a dangerous situation and very close quarters but seemed very sincere. The humor woven throughout the story kept it from being an emo-type teen paranormal book. For example, Brooke had her head chopped off and sent to Sam as a warning to cooperate with Douglas but she didn't stay all weepy about it, she saw the humor (and I say that loosely because she did lose her life in the process) in the fact that she was only a head yet she could eat and drink and blow her hair out of her face.
I'm very excited to learn that this book is the beginning of a series because I enjoyed it very much and there was a lot left dangling at the end of it--not a cliffhanger but definitely a jumping off point of further adventures. As much as I enjoyed the story I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that it reminded me so much of the television show, Reaper, where the main character was named Sam, he had a Latino friend and his supernatural "boss" was a very powerful person in the paranormal realm (in this instance he was the devil) and there was a bit of wisecracking going on during the danger, as well.