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The Necromancer's House Paperback – September 2, 2014
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A Russian man&'s drowning launches this rambunctious magical melee. Buehlman (Those Across the River) pits Andrew Blankenship and Anneke Zautke, companions in witchcraft and Alcoholics Anonymous, against Russian ogress Baba Yaga, whose son, Misha, falls prey to mischievous water sprite Nadia, a friend (of sorts) of Andrew&'s. Contrasting with exotic magical escapades, real-world losses haunt both Anneke and Andrew. As the threat from Baba Yaga mounts and bad things happen to Andrew&'s sidekicks, the eponymous house no longer provides a certain refuge. The logic of the plot is eclipsed by the eruption of characters who evoke Dickensian whimsy and range from the merely unusual to the bizarrely imaginative. Within this magical universe, rivalries, revenge, and self-seeking contend with the willingness to sacrifice. The final confrontation, evolving in part from Andrew&'s prior service to Baba Yaga and her daughter Marina&'s defiance, wreaks an ambiguous ending in an explosion of enthralling fantasy. The vibrant, bracing atmosphere easily overpowers any niggling concerns about a few incongruous incidents. (Oct.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Praise for The Necromancer’s House
“[An] eruption of characters who evoke Dickensian whimsy and range from the merely unusual to the bizarrely imaginative...an explosion of enthralling fantasy. [A] vibrant, bracing atmosphere.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“You find yourself believing the unbelievable and fearing what you thought belonged only in those Old World, pre-sanitized fairytales."—Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist
Praise for Between Two Fires
"Cormac McCarthy's The Road meets Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in this frightful medieval epic...Buehlman...doesn't scrimp on earthy horror and lyrical writing in the face of unspeakable horrors...an author to watch."—Kirkus Reviews
“I was spellbound from the moment I opened the front cover…Intense and chilling…The ultimate good-versus-evil battle.”—Night Owl Reviews
“Fans of historical fantasy and horror will find this epic darkly rewarding.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Those Across the River
One of Publishers Weekly’s Top-Ten SF, Fantasy & Horror Novels
A World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel
“One of the best first novels I’ve ever read.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“What a treat. As much F. Scott Fitzgerald as Dean Koontz. A graceful, horrific read.”—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Beautifully written…with a cast of Southern characters so real you can almost see the sweat roll down the page. The ending is exceedingly clever.”—Boston Herald
“Wonderfully eerie from start to finish—a novel sure to enthrall readers of all stripes.”—Grant Blackwood, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“An unsettling brew of growing menace spiked with flashes of genuine terror—do not miss this chilling debut. Christopher Buehlman is a writer to watch. I look forward to hearing from him again. And soon.”—F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author
“Seduces you with eloquent prose and sensual period details, then clamps down on your jugular…An outstanding debut.”—Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Diabolical
“Buehlman’s lyrical prose vividly captures a landscape made familiar by William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. A delightfully genre-bending juxtaposition of supernatural horror and gothic drama.”—California Literary Review
“A horror story that manages just the right balance between building dread and suspense and delivering action.”—The A.V. Club
“Sublimely crafted...It is clear that Mr. Buehlman brings his poetic background to bear in creating the rhythm and meter of the story…A well-crafted novel that is a pleasure to read.”—The New York Journal of Books
“Masterful debut novel…moody and lush…[a] spellbinding tale of terror…filled with cowardice and bravery, foolishness and wisdom, grief and grace, and, alas, helplessness and beauty. Buehlman has written one of the best books of the year.”—Shelf Awareness
“Creepy, suspenseful...Recommended for horror fans and those willing to be scared enough to want to stay out of the woods.”—Library Journal
“In its unnerving depiction of small-town creepiness and heathen savagery, this surefooted debut resembles nothing more than Thomas Tryon’s Harvest Home…Viscerally upsetting…This is lusty, snappy writing, and horror fans will eat it up (or vice versa).”—Booklist
“Buehlman packs suspense and secrets into his debut novel…keep[s] readers on their toes right up until the big reveal.”—Publishers Weekly
“Fans of novels like Salems’ Lot or classic radio dramas will find this story impossible to put down…[It] feels completely fantastical by our rational minds but believable by our deepest fears.”—Suspense Magazine
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Top customer reviews
P.S. Readers, read this book. It's excellent. Just not if you want some Wiccy-ho, sparkle-fairy, crystal-waving fluff. This ain't fluff. But it is damn good.
Andrew Blankenship is a recovering alcoholic and warlock immersed in a world melding magic and technology. Most of his closest friends have a specialty in some magic field or another. He is very protective of his home and keeps himself hidden as much as possible. He is hiding for a reason. That is about as much of the plot as I want to give away. I believe the description above posted by Amazon doesn't spoil everything, but still gives away too much.
The writing style of this novel comes off a bit chaotic. That's a compliment though, not a complaint. Reading through the majority of the book style wise, reminding me a lot of the book Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk. The way magic works and combines with technology in the world created by Buehlman is fantastic. Some reviews have complained about not being able to understand the characters in the story. I would argue that they aren't paying attention. You are able to really get into the head of Andrew Blankenship and see from his crazy, messed up, perspective.
This book is more of a suspense story than horror compared to his first two novels. But, if you buy into the world he created there is still quite a bit of stuff that you will find downright terrifying in The Necromancer's House.
I highly recommend it to anyone looking into the horror/supernatural/scifi genres. I would also recommend picking up his first two books, Those Across the River and Between Two Fires.
I love the concept of a modern-day set of wizards who use materials at hand -- like Skype and videotapes -- to talk to the dead, and who have to wrestle with modern problems to be a fascinating new approach to wizardry and magic. I also love the way Buehlman plays with stereotypes and refuses to let standard "romantic" situations constrain his story. He also has a knack for just the right amount of withholding.
The book is also very well written, and I learned a lot watching Buehlman's expert hand at work. The story is about Baba Yaga, but he approaches her "reality" from such a fresh perspective he makes her truly horrifying. Bravo!
However, I didn't find the story as compelling as I'd like, because the characters were all very broken in not very appealing ways. And the character's motivations are less clear than I'd like -- they just stumble from one thing to another without a clear direction, it seemed to me.
I did find the characters very well-written and quite believable, but an AA-attending wizard whose dark past activities aren't well illuminated (and not in a suspenseful way) is not a character I want to live with for a long time. I do like that he is self-deceiving and this is his fatal flaw. That part is perfectly done.
A fantasy / horror writer to watch. Great ideas... modern insight, a real grasp of mythology and terror.
Most recent customer reviews
I thought BETWEEN TWO FIRES was crazy, but The Necromancer's House has that one beat. By a mile!Read more