The Last Necromancer (The Ministry of Curiosities #1) by C.J. Archer
Read: 3rd – 6th November 2018
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So what’s this book about?
The Last Necromancer is the first book in C.J. Archer’s 10 book series – The Ministry of Curiosities – which is set in Victorian London and would sit happily on the paranormal fantasy or steampunk shelf as well as on the YA shelf, indeed, Ms Archer states that the series is also “appropriate for teens”.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.
People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.
Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust?
Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.
So, what did I like about it?
I have come across Ms Archer’s work before in a box set I read a few years ago and although I don’t usually choose YA or books in historical genres – this book is both – I really loved this story.
I felt that the plot was well balanced; there was some grittiness, horror and lots of tension but we also had some heart-warming scenes and humour as well as the mystery leading us on many unexpected twists and turns.
I found myself engaging with all of the characters because Ms Archer wrote them with depth of personality; they were complex, multifaceted people and like us, they live in the grey area between evil and goodness being capable of both.
But what I liked the most about this Victorian tale, was that Charlie Holloway has amazing strength of character, is intelligent, very resourceful, has a wonderful sense of humour, doesn’t look to anyone else to “save her” and has plenty of gumption, which, as my regular followers will know, is exactly what I need from my fictional heroines.
Ms Archer has again won me over with her intelligent but easy to read writing style, gripping plotline and engaging characters. I was hooked from the first page to the last and will be adding all of the books in The Ministry Of Curiosities to my Amazon wish list.
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
No, I gave this book 5 stars because there wasn’t anything in the story that niggled, bothered or frustrated me and there is no life or death cliffhanger ending – woohoo! – you know how I hate those!
Having said that, as the first book in a series, I was prepared for the story to have some cliffhangers, especially regarding where Charlie’s power of necromancy comes from and the details about who is involved with the Ministry of Curiosities and its history, however, hand on heart I can say that I am satisfied with how this book ended.
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I really loved this book. It has everything that I look for in a 5 star story; I was on the edge of my seat (I was even actually scared at times), I cried but I also chuckled, in short, I was gripped!
Although some of the scenes and historical references get a bit gritty in this story, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys steampunk or paranormal fantasy stories set in the 1800s including those who like to read teen or Young Adult fiction.
So, has my review of THE LAST NECROMANCER (THE MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES #1) encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See THE LAST NECROMANCER on Goodreads.com
Buy THE LAST NECROMANCER in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including Amazon UK or Amazon US, or through Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo or Google Books (At the time of posting this review the eBook is free on all the above retailers)
Oh, before I go, I just wanted to let you know that I am part of the Amazon UK Associates program. I don’t work for Amazon, I’m just a woman who loves to blog and share stuff but Amazon (and I) want make sure that you understand that the Amazon UK link that I’ve included in this post is “commercial” in nature (I get a (very) small commission if you buy the book after clicking on the Amazon UK link I posted above).