Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review:The Necromancer's Grimoire by Annemarie Banks

Following the recovery of the Hermetica Nadira and her companions journey with a group of Templar knights to Istanbul. The knights seek to recover a lost treasure and plan on going to Istanbul and stealing a grimoire from a necromancer who works for the sultan. The knights want to Nadira to use the book to contact a dead member of their order, in return she can use it to contact Lord Montrose’s dead brother and hopefully give him the peace that he seeks, though the necromancer may not take kindly to their plans.

Nadira remains the stand out character and I enjoyed watching her grow. As her powers develop so does her self-confidence and she begins to take on more of a leadership role rather letting other people shape her life. Both Lord Motrose and William are also well fleshed out as support characters. However I did not feel that the rest of the support characters were fleshed out enough, especially the Templar knights. When things happen to them later in the book it is hard to care as we don't really know much about them.

Pacing is a very real issue in this one with everything feeling far too rushed and as a result the really big moments felt hollow. I don't know if this in reaction to a perceived slow pace in the first novel and if so I would be flabbergasted as Banks debut was well-controlled in this area. Some areas of the plot also did not make a great deal of sense, for example it is decided that Nadira will attempt to steal the grimoire when the necromancer is at the height of his sexual pleasure as for some reason he won't be able to sense Nadira taking control of it. This knowledge comes from one of the Templars but how he came by it is never revealed.

The passage of time is not something kept clear in the narrative and would like to see Banks address this in future instalments.

One improvement from her debut was the insertion of a very clear ending in this instalment.

Overall I think this book suffers from 'second book syndrome'. The lead character is well portrayed but many of the support characters can be likened to stick figures. Pacing is an area that needs some work. 6.5/10.

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