My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The first part of this novel would be rated lower if I could do that but part of that might have been my mood at the time (I set this aside for months to be honest) and part trying to get used to the one sentence paragraphs and a lot of talking head scenes. This is an omni point of view novel but mostly in the titular character's point of view. Andrew Ranulf Blankenship is a necromancer and a recovering alcoholic. Prologue aside, it starts (and ends) with what he does at AA meetings. Andrew (no one calls him Andy) is 50ish but looks 30ish thanks to his magic or luminosity as it's called in the book. His main skills are using VHS tape (he hasn't figured out how to do it with DVD or streaming yet) to talk to the dead and to magic cars into some pretty amazing things. His house has so many layers of defenses it's not even funny.
Really, part one was slow. Once I got to part two, I read this in great gulps. Part one puts the players on the scene. Sarah, Andrew's lost love and only seen in his memories, Salvadore his automaton, and a lot of his friends, Chanco the former Mexican drug dealer turned auto mechanic, Anneke, a potential witch he's sponsoring through AA and mentoring as a mage, Nadia, the Rusalka who lives in his lake, Radha an internet mage and several others. Then there is Misha, the Russian mobster who Nadia has drowned in the lake and that's what sets this all off.
Things are rather complicated. Andrew is in love with Anneke and is there with her and her ailing fathr often (Dad thinks Andrew is gay, unsure if he realizes Anneke is a lesbian). He knows Nadia is a killer, sleeps with her anyhow in spite of the fishy smell (Anneke is unamused by this), doesn't realize she has killed someone important to Baba Yaga and if you don't know who that is check out Russian/Slavic folk lore. Baba Yaga is scary and she is in this. As we go on we learn that Andrew once was her captive and she hurt him. A lot. And thanks to Nadia killing Misha, Baba Yaga comes to town and realizes the one mage to escape her and stole from her is in town.
The rest of the novel is her attempt to kill Andrew and his determination not to be killed. Sounds very simple for a storyline that is very complicated. And dark. Not everyone is making it to the end, just saying. As for the end, without spoiling anything, let's just say I had some issues with it in what the ramifications could be.
While I'm thinking this is a stand alone book, there is potential for a sequel though what I'd like would be a prequel to learn more about him and Baba Yaga when she had him because sadly that is only touched on briefly and I wanted to know more.
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