Review: How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards

Posted June 23, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 14 Comments

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Review: How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards
How to Save an Undead Life

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Series: The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on August 19, 2017
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Free Book
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The Delight

A necromancer underdog heroine starting over sounded like an intriguing story not to mention several book pals really enjoy this series so I was glad to pick this one up and dive in.

Review

How to Save an Undead Life is the first book in a series, but I felt like it dove into the middle of a story arc. Grier is recently out of the magic world’s version of prison for murdering her aunt and the horrors of her imprisonment are still with her. The sentient house, Woolly, where she grew up with her powerful necromancer Aunt Maud, is her home once again and she is eeking out a living as a ghost tour guide through haunted old town, Savannah. Her best friend, Amelie, from a lower level witch cast than Grier’s necromancer family lives next door still while she finishes up college. Amelie works the ghost tour gig and is happy to have even this fragile version of Grier back.

Then, her put-back-together life is invaded, first by Amelie’s older brother and Grier’s crush, Boaz, who just returned from the army and vampires from two different groups. Grier is leery of the vamps who both want something though one tries to smooze it and the other threaten for it. Meanwhile, her aunt’s sister has now become the most powerful necromancer in their Society and she wants Grier present the night of her installation. Grier isn’t sure she’s up for one more surprise especially since most seem to be of the really bad kind.

How to Save an Undead Life felt topsy turvy to me much of the time because of jumping in with both feet like that. It can never be accused of info dumps because, in fact, the info is delivered slowly and is part of the heightened suspense of the story. There are so many questions about Grier, her situation, the world of the story, the motives of everyone around her. It built slowly with a few exciting moments.

Grier was a heroine that I liked, but hesitated over because so much was in the air. I wasn’t sure about her behavior with Boaz which felt unsettled like she couldn’t make up her mind what he was to her and, later in the story, when she should have known better, she pulled a stupid and got into some deep trouble. It did add some suspense as to how she’d get herself out of the trouble which I did enjoy so I guess I got over that easily enough.

The end closed out the main conflict in this book while leaving a lot left for the rest of the series. That late introduction character has me the most intrigued.

All in all, this book gave me a taste that I think I need more of the series to determine more about my feelings. Right now, I am curious and want to see where things go. The worldbuilding of the series got my attention as did the mystery behind her aunt’s death, the vampires, and Grier’s necromancer magic which I think is something interesting after all the hints. So, not dazzling, but definitely tantalizing. One I would recommend to Urban Fantasy fans.

Challenges Met

COYER Community #43 Buddy Read with Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anne - Books of My Heart

Aww you didn’t love it? I really enjoyed this series. It is convoluted but eventually gets there. I’m glad you plan to read more to check it out.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

LOL, I wanted to, but we’ll see. Yes, I look forward to reading more since they are in KU.

Jen
Jen
1 month ago

Great review, Sophia. I have listened to the first three (I think) in the series, but quit it. I just didn’t love it like so many of our counterparts. I’m interested to see what you think of the next one.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Jen

Yes, I want to give it another chance to see how it goes now that we’re past the set up of the series. Three books is definitely giving it a good shot, Jen.

Nadene
1 month ago

I felt the same way too. Let us see if it gets better.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Nadene

Yes, the next book should be a good litmus test to see if we’d like the series or need to let it go.

Carole Rae
1 month ago

Curious to see how book 2 goes!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Yeah, I need to give the series one more try because there is a lot I liked about the book even though there was stuff I didn’t.

Shatonda
Shatonda
1 month ago

Oh! This sounds good, even if the heroine is a little iffy. Lols. Great review Sophia

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Shatonda

The urban fantasy world and mystery feeling were great. I need to try book two to make up my mind about her. 🙂

Lorna
Lorna
1 month ago

I have read a book by her I know and I think I liked it. It wasn’t this one. I have a few more in my tbr. I’ll have look to see if this is there. Sorry it wasn’t the best for you.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Lorna

It was so-so. I need to keep going so I can make up my mind. Her series all look good. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
1 month ago

I’m not as much into the Urban Fantasy but it sounds ok.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

The world of necromancy and the paranormals is really cool. I’ll have to see how it goes in the next book.