#BookReview The Last Necromancer by C.J.Archer
Category: Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I discovered this book when taking part in Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge on my blog (you have five minutes to decide if you’d buy or pass on a book by cover and blurb alone). The cover art is striking, and the blurb should hook any paranormal fiction fan with a thirst for secret organisations, raising the dead, and a fantasy/history mix.
The story is told from Charlie/Charlotte’s point of view. Banished by her father, Charlotte survives the slums in the only way she knows how – by pretending to be a boy. Stealing, lying, and moving on every six months is how Charlie stays safe.
I liked Charlie, ‘he’ was feisty and exactly how you would expect a young lad surviving on the streets to be. The fact that he is really a she remains a secret to the lads Charlie occupies an abandoned building with. The other kids aren’t a bit part of the story as Charlie is quickly taken away from this environment.
We, the reader, know that Charlie is the elusive Charlotte Holloway, but her captors are unaware, which is handled quite nicely in the scenes between Charlie, Gus, and Seth (the ‘henchmen’). When they discover the truth, the shift in relationship dynamics is quite subtle yet entertaining at times.
Fitzroy is a mystery, and I look forward to his character development in the subsequent books. He has a backstory that we haven’t discovered yet and remains quite cold and clinical throughout the book. There are fleeting moments where his softer side emerges but these are few and far between.
As this is the first book, I think the author has set up the series incredibly well. The storyline is an interesting one and despite the timeline discrepancy of the ‘big bad’ (which the author explains at the end of the book) I enjoyed the artistic license. I’ve already purchased book two, Her Majesty’s Necromancer.
The reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5 is due to character development. Once our feisty Charlie is captured and has access to a proper mattress and a hot bath he loses some of his spark. When the truth is uncovered that Charlie is actually Charlotte and our hero/heroine is given a dress then all that street kid/feisty/fighter disappears, and Charlotte emerges as a girly girl who could be scared of her own shadow. I would have liked her original character to have been more consistent – just because she wears a dress doesn’t mean she can’t kick ass!
Fortunately, there are hints towards the end of the book that Charlotte does indeed wish to recoup her sassy street cred and wishes to train with Fitzroy so she can fight. There’s hope for our Charlotte yet.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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.
C.J. Archer is the author of the bestselling Emily Chambers Spirit Medium and Freak House series. If you love historical novels with mystery, romance and a paranormal twist, THE LAST NECROMANCER is for you. It’s the first book in the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series.
Books in the Ministry of Curiosities series:
#1 The Last Necromancer
#2 Her Majesty’s Necromancer
#3 Beyond The Grave
#4 Grave Expectations
#5 Ashes To Ashes
#6 From The Ashes