A huge thank you to BookSirens for providing me a copy. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
The females in Amy’s family are all necromancers. And while they all work with the dead, only Amy can bring the dead back. The Itch trickles in when her mind is at rest, most often in the middle of the night. And with her gut instinct, Amy mixes soil and water to create clay bodies for the departed souls reaching out to her. Every single time she brings back an animal, until one night a little girl rises from the mud. Startled, Amy begins to dig into the circumstances surrounding the girl’s death. And she will find a heartbreaking truth that threatens to tear apart a family.
Amy of the Necromancers is the first book I’ve read to dive into the mental wellness of necromancers. Amy suffers from depression which causes her to dissociate. While she sees a therapist, it’s a little hard to tell them your emotions are tied to bringing the dead back to life. Amy’s family is comfortable talking about death and their abilities, but Amy holds reservations over what she can do. She constantly questions if she is doing the right thing. When she brings back the little girl, she puts even more pressure on herself to make sure she is helping the restless spirit. But it certainly puts a strain on her mental health. This story shows the value of opening up and talking to your loved ones. Allowing them to shoulder some of your burdens to enable your mind to find peace.
I also loved the focus on making people who feel like outsiders feel more welcome and accepted. When a girl named Toni is introduced into the story, she is seen as an outlier. Gossip is rampant around the school as everyone builds their own stories surrounding Toni’s appearance. But Amy makes a point of telling her friends to stop their gossip because it’s rude. Amy even goes out of her way to help Toni not feel so alone as she builds a bit of confidence in herself. Sure Amy stumbles on her words at first, but she takes the first few steps into what may prove to be a great new friendship.
Not only does this story pack powerful messages, but it is so original and creative. I loved the new twist on necromancy. Instead of grasping the horror aspects of Amy’s ability, Jimena I. Novaro focuses on the impact Amy’s ability has on herself and others. And she couples it with an enticing mystery that keeps you guessing as the story progresses. Not to mention the tension Amy feels as she tries to navigate high school and her friendships. I can’t praise this book enough. I really hope to see another Amy tale in the future. This is by far my favorite indie book of the year.
All or part of this book review may be used in marketing, I only ask that you reference Behind the Pages if you choose to do so.