Finn Fancy Necromancy flips between humour, which is sometimes slightly immature, like magic eating Pac-man butt tattoos and rather dark subjects like family tragedy and mental health.
The opening premise is very strong. Finn Gramarayre is returning to our world after a 25 year long exile to the Other Realm. He was exiled when he was just 15 for a crime he did not commit. Finn’s a necromancer but someone framed him for dark necromancy.
In his absence a changeling has been looking after his body. The Other Realm is nothing but the energy of the fae. His transfer home goes wrong. His memories get messed up and someone is trying to frame him for dark necromancy again – this time; murder by dark necromancy.
The gamer in me absorbed the world author Randy Henderson created. We’ve five types of magic users in the mortal world. We have the fae in the Other Realm and a post-war uneasy truce between them. The interaction between the two magical sides have created all sorts of beings like waers (were-creatures) and fantasy creatures. There’s a ruling council, complete with Enforcers, on the magic-using side and an inter-realm committee as well.
The action kicks off swiftly. Finn has to pick up the pieces without the memory the changeling should have past to him. He has to try and wriggle out of the frame and discover what’s going on at home.
It’s not a pleasant situation at home. His parents are dead or mad. His brother might be responsible for framing him? He needs to explain to his non-magical neighbour where he’s been for the last 25 years and then there’s the matter of the alchemist he had a crush on back when he was 15. It turns out she’s a son of her own now.
On top of that Finn is a fish out of water. He’s not aware of technologies like the internet or smartphones. It’s not often you read a book in which the main character is introduced to “the Google”.
Despite these dark elements Finn Fancy Necromancy is an easy read. Finn’s discoveries are wrapped up with the murder of a magical Enforcer that marred his return to Earth and there’s humour too. There’s a magical explosion that introduces his mad dad. There’s the brother who thinks he is a waer-wolf.
The momentum of the plot and Henderson’s writing style helps the pages turn. You won’t really hit a slow patch. You’ll just encounter another intriguing magical piece to the puzzle.
My only slight concern is the humour. I wish this had been slightly more straight laced or, at least, one notch higher on the humour tone. I think Henderson has created a great world but it’s hard to reconcile evil blood witches and the importance of not leaving a hair to curse behind and scenes were a waer-Elvis kicks in the door.
I really enjoyed the book. There’s resolution at the end and all the mysteries explained. There are hints of a sequel, though, and I’d welcome one.
My copy of Finn Fancy Necromancy was provided for review. The book is available in the UK from February the 13th and is published by Titan Books.