#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Last Necromancer’ by C. J. Archer #Audible #Amreading #Bookreviews

Today I’m reviewing The Last Necromancer by C. J. Archer, which is Book 1 of the The Ministry Of Curiosities.

It’s a historical novel set in Victorian London, but it’s more than that, as you’ll find out in my review.

Don’t you love the covers?

I love writing and reading historical fiction.

I’m always on the lookout for novels set in Victorian times. Recently I discovered a ten book series with the following blurb:

 A waif, her abductors and a twist you won’t see coming.

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.

****

I have recently read many intense family dramas and contemporary thrillers, most psychological, such as The Woman at the Window, Us, The Husband, Our House, The Good Girl, My Husband the Stranger, The Cellar, I Am Watching You, Silent Child, and A Stranger in the House, among others, so I felt I needed a break from the intensity. I was looking for a lighter read, and I found one, quite by chance!

The blurb of The Last Necromancer sounded interesting, but I must admit that the ten-book series put me off.

Do I have time to read a series of ten books?

Do I have the patience to read ten books by the same author?

I really didn’t think so, but I took a chance and downloaded book one to my kindle because it was free. I think this is a great idea to entice readers to try a new author, especially in such a long series. I then bought the audiobook for the reduced price of about $4 and listened to it in the space of two evenings (it was about eight hours long), and loved it! I’ll probably even read the following books in the series!

Read on for my review.

My Review

The Last Necromancer is a wonderful escapist read.

There’s a bit of everything I enjoy. It’s historical, set in the  Victorian era, there’s action, mystery, suspense and a hint of romance.

The lead character is Charlie, an 18-year-old girl who has been living on the streets of London disguised as a boy for the last 5 years. She also has special powers (she can summon and speak to the dead) so she is being sought by unscrupulous villains. Charlie is a wonderful character. She’s clever, tough, resourceful, street-wise, caring, and sensitive.

The male lead, Lincoln Fitzroy is enigmatic and apparently heartless, and the rest of the ‘real’ villains, his enemies, are cruel and ruthless.

There are many references to other Victorian authors such as Mary Shelly and Conan Doyle. The novel includes secret societies, plots against the Queen, some supernatural, gothic elements, such as Charlie’s paranormal abilities, and some fantasy elements, such as Frankenstein-like monsters and other characters with special powers and knowledge.   

The Last Necromancer is a well written and entertaining read, with plot twists, action, mystery, suspense and a slow burn, romance, which promises to bloom in future installments. 

It is especially for lovers of the Victorian era, fantasy, paranormal, and entertaining fiction.

There are plenty of reasons why I’m looking forward to reading the following books in the series, as an antidote to the draining intensity of contemporary psychological and literary fiction, and the occasionally tedious reality of daily life.

In fact I’ve just downloaded the box set which includes the first three books in the series on Audible.

US Buy Link to the series

UK Buy link to the series 

****

Follow Luccia Gray on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Check out Luccia Gray’s Books on Amazon 

#3linethursday: Mary’s Monster

This post was written in response to this weeks’ Three Line Thursday prompt.

Week-3-Bruce

Picture by Bruce

 

Mary’s Monster 

 

A spark gave life to the monster in her mind,

The twisted ink from her quill ignited the blaze,

Her fingers drew the blood which spilled onto the parchment.

 

On 31 October 1831, the first revised edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus, was published. This version, which was revised by the author, is the one mostly published and read version of this classic horror story, which also has gothic, romantic, fantasy and even science fiction elements.

FrankensteinDraft

Draft of “Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1797-1851)

 

We have all heard versions of the story of Frankenstien’s birth. It goes something like this:

During the rainy summer of 1816, there was a long, cold, volcanic winter caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora. Mary Shelley, aged 18 at the time, and her lover, and later husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, were visiting Lord Byron at his villa by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Sitting around a log fire during the unusually cold and rainy summer, they amused themselves by reading ghost stories. Byron then suggested they each write a ghost story.

800px-RothwellMaryShelley

Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell – Scan of a print. Original housed at the National Portrait Gallery.

 

The short story Mary Shelley started that chilly summer evening became Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, which was first published in three volumes, anonymously, on 11 March 1818 by a small London publishing house.

It has become one of my favourite novels, and one of the most well-known 19th century literary creations. Frankenstein’s influence on modern culture and psyche is easily recognisable and understandable.

800px-Frankenstein's_monster_(Boris_Karloff)

Frankenstein’s monster by actor Boris Karloff (Universal Studios)

Our rebellion against the inevitability of death and loss, and the need, albeit the futility, of rebellion, is a recurrent theme in life and literature.

Shakespeare knew literature was our only hope of influencing, and perhaps even living, beyond our short mortal lives:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

(From Sonnet 18)

I’m currently reading, and enjoying,  as part of Rosie’s Book Review TeamAlmost Invincible a biographical novel about the life of of Mary Shelley, which I’ll be reviewing shortly.

Almost Invincible.1