Title: The Last Necromancer
Series: The Ministry of Curiosities, Book One
Author: C.J. Archer
Publication date: August 11th 2015
Page Count: 230 pages
Age Rating: Older YA and Up (brief mention of gore, blood, violence, death, mentions of assault, and attempted assault)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
Purchase: Amazon B&N
Victorian London: 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.
Charlotte Holloway has the power to call spirits and raise the dead. Five years ago, her father threw her out on the streets when he learned of her ability. Forced to make her own way in the slums of Victorian London, Charlotte camouflaged herself as a boy, calling herself Charlie and living with various street gangs.
Now eighteen, Charlie is caught stealing and thrown into jail, where she is forced to once again use the power she so hates in order to protect herself and get away. News of her raising a man from the dead travels fast and soon Charlie is being tracked down by two men: one a mad scientist who wants to put her necromancy abilities to good use and the other is the very cold, yet very handsome, Lincoln Fitzroy, leader of a secret organization who wants to stop the madman and prevent others from using Charlie’s powers for their own nefarious means.
I really loved this book. Charlie was a great main character. Raised a lady, turned into a street urchin, and now being hunted for her powers – she was a really interesting character. She has this amazing power, and yet you really get a sense of how helpless she feels. She lives in a time when a woman, even a woman with the power over life and death, has no real options of her own. When you think about it, she had more options with what to do with her life and a better chance at survival as an adolescent boy on his own than as a grown women. Still, Charlie is strong and has a streak of stubborn determination in her and I think when she comes into her own, she’s really going to be a force to reckon with – can’t wait to see this character continue to grow in future books.
There’s a bit of a romance in the book between Charlie and Lincoln Fitzroy as the book unfolds, but it’s subtle, and feels a little one-sided sometimes. They are from very different classes (or maybe not? the book is a bit shadowy on Lincoln’s background) and have quite an age difference between them (Charlie is 18 and Fitzroy is 30, not that big a deal in Victorian times, but still). I hope the romance angle is explored more later in the series, but for a first book it acted as a great hook to get me interested – I want to see if the two get together or not.
This book contains some blood and violence, but surprising very little gore for a book about a necromancer – as long as you’re not too squeamish about dead bodies you should be fine. Also a bit of a trigger warning for mentions of assault and an attempted assault upon Charlie (don’t worry, it doesn’t get very far).
The Last Necromancer was simply fantastic. When I first cracked it open, I only planned to read the first chapter –four hours later I had finished the book without putting it down. The writing is spectacular and I was drawn helplessly into the world the author weaves. I didn’t want to leave and can’t wait to return. I will absolutely be reading the next book in this series and will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author.
Raven’s Brew Deadman’s Reach – a fantastic dark roast with sweet hints of hazelnut and bittersweet chocolate. There’s something dark and mysterious, yet kind of lush and opulent about this coffee that makes it a perfect accompaniment to The Last Necromancer‘s kind of gothic, Victorian setting (I love books set in Victorian times, especially shadowy paranormal books like this one).
This was an amazing book and if you haven’t read it yet but want to, this might be your chance! One of you lucky readers will get a chance to win a copy and come to love it just as much as I do – just leave a comment below (along with your e-mail so I can contact you if you win) before September 27th, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for one (1) ebook OR paperback copy of The Last Necromancer. eBooks can be sent INTL, but paperbacks can only be shipped to US and Canada only.