"You think you got away with something, don't you? But your time has run out. We know where you are. And we are coming." The man on the screen says this in Russian. "Who are you?" The man smiles, but it's not a pleasant smile. The image freezes. The celluloid burns exactly where his mouth is, burns in the nearly flat U of his smile. His eyes burn, too. The man fades, leaving the burning smiley face smoldering on the screen. "Oh Christ," Andrew says. The television catches fire.
Andrew Ranulf Blankenship is a handsome, stylish nonconformist with wry wit, a classic Mustang, and a massive library. He is also a recovering alcoholic and a practicing warlock, able to speak with the dead through film. His house is a maze of sorcerous booby traps and escape tunnels, as yours might be if you were sitting on a treasury of Russian magic stolen from the Soviet Union thirty years ago. Andrew has long known that magic was a brutal game requiring blood sacrifice and a willingness to confront death, but his many years of peace and comfort have left him soft, more concerned with maintaining false youth than with seeing to his own defense. Now a monster straight from the pages of Russian folklore is coming for him, and frost and death are coming with her.
©2013 Christopher Buehlman (P)2013 Tantor
"The logic of the plot is eclipsed by the eruption of characters who evoke Dickensian whimsy and range from the merely unusual to the bizarrely imaginative. Within this magical universe, rivalries, revenge, and self-seeking contend with the willingness to sacrifice." (Publishers Weekly)
Artist living & working in the SF Bay Area
I don't know about you but I've grown so very tired of looking for magic and fantasy novels. It seems like i'm always Pawing through trite, whiny tween books, and the predictable female power/porn/romance fantasy novels. Blargh.
Finally! A really good magic/fantasy novel written for adults. The main characters are dysfunctional, sometimes distasteful, but in the end realistic and ultimately interesting. There's real danger and they make mistakes. The writing isn't for kids, and its not all about romance/fantasy daydreams. It feels a lot like Peter Clines "14" with modern characters and classic fantasy mixed.
Having read his previous two books, I was eager to hear what Christopher Buehlman had in store for his readers in this, his third, novel. A story about witches and warlocks engaged in decidedly human bad behavior but on a scale that make the failings of mere mortals seem trivial.
I must admit that the style, pacing, and perspective of this story are unlike his other two. This style was off-putting to me at first. I couldn't find the story's rhythm. It had a way of jumping around in perspective, partially introducing things in short bursts – for example like the dialogue from a chat session or a dream. It made me feel like I was missing something, and I had to force myself not to put it down all together. I stuck with it, and I am so glad. There is so much payoff in the second half of this book! Things really get good!
The Necromancer's House is totally unique and is why I think that Christopher Buehlman is one of the great horror writers of our time. He brings deep thought to the genre and is one of my favorites. I can’t wait for his next book.
The narrator, Haberkorn, did an excellent job with this book considering the style and the Russian accents. His reading definitely brought the story to life.
This is book may be an acquired taste but it is taste that will leave you craving more once it gets under your skin.
Hobby costumer, wannabe jewelry maker, recipe hoarder, fancier of DIY house projects that may never get done, and all around daydreamer.
Having read all three of Christopher Buehlman's published horror novels now, I can say that it has been a treat following his success. I know the author from his Renaissance Faire performances and have been a huge fan of his work there for years. I have to say that this book begins much like his performance work at Faire. "Unapologetic-ally Descriptive" was what a friend of mine and I came up with when we discussed the book over a few beers when we were both finished with it. Christopher Buehlman has a knack for painting a very detailed picture with his words. And that's how he hooks you!
In addition to his descriptive prowess, he is not afraid to delve into psychology and personal stories with his characters. And in this way, side characters who may not begin as characters you care about become Very important to you throughout the story.
The narrator on this work was great overall. The pacing and performance aided in a couple of "driveway moments" for me. However, I could not give the narrator a full 5 star rating like I wanted to because he MISPRONOUNCED the author's name. How does one mispronounce an author's name that they are narrating??? I am shocked that the narrator was not asked to re-record that one piece or that another voice was not hired to provide a recording of the book credentials.
I liked this book to start with. The characters are well developed and while the plot is somewhat complex and tends to wander, it doesn't lose you. For me the book droned on too long, too many flashbacks and there seemed to be no real limit to what magic the main character could use. Great book for an epic road trip.
The plotting is quite subtle, with the backstory woven into the narrative in casual asides that sometimes don't connect up until later in the book, and it has an ending both surprising and inevitable, so I might well listen to it again, or actually read it. I haven't read/heard any of his other work, so no opinion on the author's literary development, but I'd probably go with one of his other books and come back to this one later.
Andrew, the protagonist, is utterly human despite his magical powers, and struggles with the same challenges we all face in life, but with vastly magnified stakes and consequences. He can be charming and bratty and annoying and funny and selfish, and I'd have him over for dinner anytime.
Todd's performance is as good as any audio-book I've heard. His voices are distinct and appropriate to the character, his comic timing is excellent, and his droll delivery does justice to the author's wit. His voice doesn't distract from the writing, which I think is imperative.
I laughed out loud at a few points, but more importantly, it made me think, which I find far preferable.
Not recommended for the devout evangelical.
Probably Todd Haberkorn
I am not sure because his writing style is good. I just could not get into the characters and found that I did not care what happened to them so I stopped halfway through the book
He did a pretty good at giving the characters their own voice.
Never written it!
Depends upon the text/story
I would send the writer back to try and write a completely different book.
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