Audiobook Review: The Necromancer's Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1) by S.J. Himes

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset by enemies, both old and new.

Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother's boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again drawn back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family's death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues as to who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire's attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead? Death stalks the streets of Boston's historic Beacon Hill...and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

Narrator: Joel Leslie
Listening Length: 8 hours and 8 minutes

Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*

Wow. I admit I didn’t have very high expectations going into this, but I have to say that this was pretty darn good urban/paranormal fantasy. Full of rich world building, great characters, and incorporating many elements we’ve all read before - sorcery and vampires and demons abound, as well as the lovely obtuse politics and power plays that are often prominent among such supernaturals. Just color me impressed.

Angelus is a necromancer and a very powerful one at that. Revered and feared among both magical and vampire alike, he decimated over a 100 vamps who were bespelled to kill his entire family, leaving him and his brother the lone survivors of the devastating attack. It’s years later, and he just wants to be left in peace, but there’s many who won’t let things go. As Angelus tries to figure out who is behind the multiple attempts on his life, his acquaintance with the local elder vampire, Simeon, develops into something much more than he ever anticipated. These two are an unlikely pair, but once Simeon makes his feelings known, their relationship progresses quickly but not too implausibly. Of course, things are never that easy.

This definitely brought me back to the days when I gobbled up M/F urban and paranormal fantasy (just slightly reminiscent of Anita Blake, minus the multiple bed partners so far), and it was refreshing to get it from a male protagonist’s point of view, as is my reaction with all M/M that I read. I wasn’t bored once, and this was surprisingly quite smexy!! Bonus points!!

As an aside, I listened to the narration of this book, and it was the first for me by Joel Leslie. This narrator has a ton of books under his belt (over 50) and obviously, probably, is quite popular. However, it took me a long time to acclimate to his voice and to me, his over the top Bostonian and Irish accents. Though I will definitely read the sequel to this series, my foray into this narrator will take a little more consideration.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for an honest review.

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  1. Replies
    1. I really enjoyed it obviously ;)
      I'm really looking forward to Danny's story!