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*Starred Review* Sam has dropped out of college and is stalled in a fast-food job in Seattle. Interrupting the boredom of days waiting on Plumpy customers and evenings watching old movies with his friends, a scary guy named Douglas enters Sam's world. After a few pithy verbal threats, Douglas has Sam beaten and mauled by a sidekick and later delivers teen Brooke's pretty blond head to Sam's door. The good news is that Brooke seems to be in no pain and is as sassy as ever. The bad news, as Sam finds out in short order, is that Douglas is a necromancer and has identified Sam, who hasn't a clue what his strengths are, as a rival. Before the week is out, Sam finds himself in a cellar, caged with another pretty girl, who is part werewolf, part fairy. And then there's Ashley, the parochial-school-uniformed 10-year-old who can orchestrate salvation for Sam by using her Blackberry and brains. With fine writing, tight plotting, a unique and uniquely odd cast of teens, adults, and children, and a pace that smashes through any curtain of disbelief, this sardonic and outrageous story's only problem is that it must, like all good things, come to an end.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist
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A title this good has a lot to live up to, and debut author McBride proves she's largely up to the task in this scary and irreverent romp. College dropout Sam is underwhelmed by his life as a fast food fry cook, when a game of potato hockey behind the restaurant goes awry and throws him into the sights of an evil and powerful necromancer named Douglas Montgomery. Sam turns out to be a necromancer too, making him Douglas's target for either slavery or death. With help from Brid, a teenage werewolf/fey hybrid who is Douglas's prisoner, and a ghost named Ashley, Sam must figure out how to escape Douglas, keep his loved ones alive, and use his power while avoiding its more horrific aspects. McBride pulls no punches and hits where readers will least expect it; the story can be gory and violent, but isn't gratuitously graphic. A solid start that concludes with the promise of Sam's power growing greater and darker, secrets getting deeper, and more fun to follow. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal
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Gr 8 Up-This sometimes goofy, sometimes gory debut novel introduces Sam, a fast-food employee in Seattle who has grown up unaware of his ability to raise the dead. After a bizarre encounter with a customer, he gets a beating from a stranger, and his coworker shows up missing her body below the neck (a misfortune that does not affect her positive attitude). It seems that Douglas, an evil local necromancer, has become aware of Sam's powers and views him as a threat. With the help of his friends-and a very attractive werewolf girl-Sam must try to tap into his necromancing abilities to beat Douglas at his own game. Some of the jokes, like the punning chapter titles that quote song lyrics from the likes of the Eurythmics,'70s-era Paul Simon, and Timbuk 3, may be lost on many of today's teens. However, for fans of horror-humor hybrids like the film Shaun of the Dead, this book may hold some appeal.-Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.