Author: Elliot Cooper
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Teresa’s Rating: 3.25 of 5 Stars
Karen’s Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 10/10/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Gay Romance, Horror, Urban Fantasy
After losing both of his parents, Academy of Magecraft student Steven Durant doesn’t want to see anyone else lose a loved one before their time. Traditional resurrection methods, however, only create mindless, flesh-hungry zombies; they’re no cure for death. He’s certain his unique brand of necromancy—using alchemy and blood magic—is the only answer.
When his boyfriend, Dax Everhart, has a fatal accident, Steven sees no choice but to use his experimental Lazarus Elixir. Dax comes back wrong, but the more humans he consumes, the more human he becomes.
With the help of his best friends, his ghostly aunt, and her living doll homunculus, Steven fights to regain normalcy and repair his shattered relationship with Dax. But with Dax openly embracing his monstrous nature, Steven shoulders the guilt of assisting in a murder spree that could lead the mundane and magical police right to their door.
So Karen and I decided to do a buddy read on this book, and instead of a traditional review, decided to ask each other three questions about the book. Here are my answers to Karen’s questions:
Q1. How did you feel about the magical elements in the book?
A: I thought it echoed Harry Potter in that they had Transmography, Divination, and Charms classes. Though they didn’t seem to use wands, and Potions was more accurately named Alchemy, with them going to Mage School it definitely felt like a grown up version of the other book. They even used human repelling charms on their homes.
Q2. What was the strongest part of the book for you?
A: This is a hard question. I think the strongest part of the book was the magic. They used it in practical ways and it centered the book in the fantasy genre.
Q3.Would you read other books set in this world?
A: I think I would. My issues with the book weren’t due to world building but character building. Even though I felt that certain aspects ripped off Harry Potter, I loved Harry Potter and so like stories set in that kind of world.
Q1. What did you think of Steven’s reaction to Dax’s accident? Do you think you would have reacted the same way in the same situation?
A: Because the accident happens relatively early in the book I didn’t have a particularly strong feel for Steven’s character, so I have to say initially it seemed a little odd how he reacted, once I’d read more and understood more about him it started to make more sense. Having said that, once you know what type of magic Steven is drawn to I don’t think he could have reacted in any other way. if I had been in Steven’s shoes would I have reacted in the same way, yes I think I would .
Q2. What did you think about the romance aspect of the book?
A: The romance was interesting, as we read this together it was really good to have someone to bounce questions and thoughts with – it felt like they were in their late teens, but that it was definitely love. I felt that they were used to existing more as part of a group as opposed to being alone as a couple which fit into the age group I had them in. I liked that they kind of had to start again after Dax’s accident as well, which added another dimension. I didn’t think that the romance was necessarily at the core of the book though.
Q3. How did you feel about the ending? Satisfactory, too easy, perfect?
A: For me the issue the direction the book took was going to be a neat ending. And so I did have issues with ending, personally I don’t mind loose ends and a bit of uncertainty. So the way it ended was a little too neat for me.
Bonus question: do you think the book was supposed to be funny?
A: I also do think that the book was at times funny, and in quite a macabre way, which I actually like a lot
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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