How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards

Read April 2020
Recommended for fans of Sookie Stackhouse
 ★     ★    ★

Social distancing has turned my brains to mush. I don’t know what other excuse I can find for sucking down this book about a twenty-one year-old necromancer like ice water on a summer day. She’s recently been released from Azkaban magic prison and has returned to her semi-sentient house to nurse her wounds and try to make a living as a haunted locations tour guide. Her bestie lives next door and works with her, and no one told her that best’s brother–and third in their triplet of trouble–is home on leave from the military. A vampire is sniffing around the edges of her house, working at her wards, while another has come courting.

Seriously, a description like that usually gives me the hives. I dunno; I blame kindle unlimited, which is letting me do the equivalent of check books out from the library, and return if I don’t like it. (I never would have spent actual money on a description like that. Please.) But once you get past the first couple chapters, and Edwards’ typical homage to the UF/beginning writer’s love of adverbs and metaphors, it gets much better. The plot moves quickly, and despite what seemed to be the set-up for a love triangle, proved to be unpredictable.

The main character, Grier, feels very young, which is only fair. Although twenty-one, she went to prison, accused of murder, when she was much younger, and the missing years and PTSD seem to have stunted her growth. While believable, it isn’t always fun to be with first person. The supporting cast, however, is intriguing. The house, Woolworth (‘Wooly’ to her friends), was a fun character with an interesting range of emotion. The smart remarks from the besties and next-door neighbors help provide some appropriately-timed humor.

The world-building is perhaps still a little anemic, but I would expect it will be fleshed out (ha-ha). I like the necromancer angle, although there wasn’t much to it this book, which had a lot of vamp.

Altogether unexpected. Honestly, I think it’d play pretty well to fans of Sookie Sackhouse. It’s not quite that good yet (but was Sookie really that good?), but I see the potential, and since there are eight books to date, something tells me it got there.


About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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1 Response to How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards

  1. cathepsut says:

    Lol, I get the brains-to-mush-issue, I am currently reading the third fanfiction in a row. Apropos necromancers, have you read Anita Blake? Great for mushy brains!

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