Necromancer Awakening by Nat Russo

Posted: July 14, 2015 in Uncategorized
Necromancer Awakening
By Nat Russo
Published by Erindor Press

NECROMANCER AWAKENING is a world-class effort in world-building. It is obvious from the amount of narrative detail Nat Russo includes in his novel, that he has devoted an immense amount of time in developing his novel. A good amount of text is devoted to the political landscape, the development of alien (in the sense of other) races, and the mystical trappings surrounding the practice of magic. Even little throw away details (like turkeys having four legs) help give the sense of the alien and otherness the main character is confronted with.

Sadly, all of the narrative detail in the world doesn’t help when the story itself comes off as contrived, tired, and perhaps worst of all, clichéd. Mr. Russo’s primary protagonist, Nicholas, is an archaeology student from out world (and one who is, perhaps surprisingly, discomfited by the presence of dead people. Because whoever heard of an archaeologist needing to deal with dead things, hmmm?). One magic vacuum portal later, he finds himself in a strange, unsettling world that is close to, but quite unlike, our own world. And yes, magic happens to work in this strange, other world, and Nicholas has the potential to tap into this other power. Gods are real too, and take a very active role in the world. Or at least, they used to.

The book is devoted to Nicholas learning about his potential, and a good deal of the narrative is devoted to his training and the missteps he makes along the way. Mr. Russo does use the innovation of making necromancy the “good magic” of his series, while life magic is the “evil magic” with an interesting twist on where practitioners draw their magic. Wizards (for lack of a better term) are a cross between sorcerer and priest, channeling life and death energy, while holding religious significance.

Perhaps the most damning thing I can say about the book is that, in spite of the fact that he leaves a decent hook to drag you into the sequel, there is nothing compelling about NECROMANCER AWAKENING that made me invested in the characters and compels me to keep reading. The writing was solid, the world-building inventive, but the action and the character development failed to overwhelm.

I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a highly detailed fantasy world, but where they won’t be much bothered by overused plot devices and poor character development.

3 out of 5 five stars.

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