Book Review: The Necromancer by Michael Scott

I finished The Necromancer (Young Adult Fantasy 385 pages) by Michael Scott today and unlike the previous books in this series, I am actually writing my review immediately following my completion of the book.

Again, I feel strongly compelled to put the warning at the beginning of this review that it is no longer possible for me to write generic reviews about this book or about this series without giving huge amounts of spoilers. So if you haven’t read the previous books in this series or you haven’t also read this book, stop reading this review.

“San Francisco: Sophie and Josh Newman are finally home, but they’re more confused than ever about their future. Can they trust Nicholas Flamel? Can they trust anyone?”

“Alcatraz: The island could not hold Perenelle Flamel. And if the Dark Elders have their way, it won’t hold Dr. Dee’s menagerie of monsters much longer, either. Machiavelli has come to Alcatraz to loose them on San Francisco. And the Flamels’ fight to protect their city from these horrors will surely kill them both.”

“London: Having been unable to regain the two final pages of the Codex, Dee has failed his Elder and is now an outlaw. But the Magician has a plan. All he needs is the help of the Archons. For his plan to work, though, he must raise the Mother of All the Gods from the dead. For that, he’ll have to train a new necromancer.”

This book shows how absolutely insane or clever or brave Dee is because it shows what his plans are now that he has all four of the power swords, the Codex, and has been declared an outlaw by the Elders. I once read something, and I can’t remember where I read or when, that said the worst thing you can ever do is betray those who are loyal to you. And this clearly demonstrates exactly how dangerous it is to attempt to kill someone who was a loyal friend or servant because they probably know a good deal of secrets and things that would be slightly uncomfortable for enemies to know.

Dee’s plan is completely crazy. He’s going to use Josh to summon the Mother of All the Gods and then unleash her in the Shadow Realms and let her kill and eat all the Elders and Next Generations and anyone else that gets in her way. At the same time, he intends to unleash all the monsters from Alcatraz and let them go crazy over the world and then come in and contain them or kill them and have humanity see him as a savior. That’s a huge amount of ambition. Destroy all the Elders and then save and rule the human world. I guess that’s one of the reasons people are often warned about how evil begets evil and how those with absolute power will be absolutely corrupted and always be greedy for more.

I’m normally not very keen on books that jump around from one set of characters to another because I’m usually only invested in a couple characters and the rest of the storylines don’t really matter to me, but that’s absolutely not the case here. Each chapter ends at a very unpleasant point for whomever is involved in that chapter, and every time I turned the page and found that the story had character hopped again, it didn’t really matter to me because I wanted to know what happened to ALL of them. The action and the characters are really starting to speed up and move forward at a very fast pace. That’s a good portion of what makes this whole series brain candy books for me. I’m reading them so quickly that I get annoyed or frustrated when I have to stop reading long enough to do things like go to work or eat. That really shows how much I’m enjoying this series and the characters in the books.

I really liked the new characters of Aoife and Niten and I really wanted Aoife and Scathach to be given the time and opportunity to work things out. The theme between siblings and twins is definitely strong throughout these books and it makes me unbelievably happy and relieved to not have any sort of annoying team romance going on throughout the story. As I mentioned in my previous review, I really like how this series is showing the power of all the different types of love. The love of family, the love of spouses, and even the love of knowledge.

I also greatly enjoyed the interactions with Niccolo Machiavelli and Billy the Kid. I thought the two of them combined were rather hilarious, especially Billy the Kid and the way that he clearly portrays the brash, young American from the Wild West. I think the two of them make a great pair and I’ve enjoyed reading the sections with their adventures almost as much as the main characters throughout the book. I kind of hope that they turn out to be more on the side of the good guys and less on the side of the bad guys as the series continues.

The one part of this book that stood out for me the most was when Prometheus told Josh, “Never call upon the Magic of Fire when you are angry. Fire is the one magic that must be called upon only when you are calm; otherwise, it can rage out of control and consume everything – including you.” And this is absolutely true of fire. I used to think of myself as a raging inferno – beautiful to gaze upon from a distance, but the truth is that it burns up all things living and of beauty around it until nothing is left but ashes. But at the same time, those ashes are often necessary to create new growth. I don’t see myself this way anymore, but I do have a very healthy respect for fire now.

This book really ended in a terrible place, though. As I closed the book, I actually said out loud, “What? You can’t end a book there! That’s so wrong!” Josh continues to make questionable and not exactly healthy decisions and he’s ignoring obvious things like how Sophie should be the only person he should trust, which means he probably shouldn’t just walk off with people who just want to use him and have unclear motives. Now, Dee has the full Codex, all four of the swords of power, plus Josh. He can do some very, very, very bad things with that full combination.

Overall, I’d easily rate this book as a high three or a low four on my rating scale. I’m happy that I own this book and will likely read it again in the future.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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