RELEASED: September 18, 2018
PUBLISHER: Charlesbridge Teen
GENRE: YA Fantasy
GOODREADS RATING: 3.1
Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She’s struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.
But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she’s become an abomination–a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She’s been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue.
She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder. Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray.
You know me. Reading anything horror-related rarely happens, although I do have my weird moods once in a while. Twice Dead definitely doesn’t count as horror, but necromancy does make me think of horror in a way – can’t help it! So when I saw this is a YA fantasy, I was even more intrigued. No to horror, yes to necromancy and then a young adult to top it off? Curiosity peaked! But how did it go?
Well. There are two things that went well. First off, I liked our main character, Naya. Somehow, I also loved the uniqueness of her name and that helped things? I think? I’m so weird about names lately – blaming the pregnancy. She obviously struggles a lot with the things that happened to her at the start of the book and that made her feel human – which was.. important to me since she’s not that human anymore?
Connected to that, I also liked how her friendship with Corten evolved. There definitely wasn’t any insta-love present. Not exactly slow-burn either, though. It was just right! Do have to admit: I’m a bigger sucker for the real slow-burn romances.
The second thing I liked, was the writing style. Twice Dead was a pretty fast read with a good pace. Not too slow, not too fast. Just right!
But there were definitely some things I didn’t agree with in the slightest.
What happened to the plot?! I felt like, at times, it was all over the place. I didn’t understand most of the politics throughout the entire novel. Granted, I’ve been a bit distracted lately and it might’ve caused me not entirely losing myself in Twice Dead but.. that never caused me to not understand the history or politics in a story? I feel the world-building should’ve been done better. Either I don’t remember why everything in this novel was the way it was, or it was glossed over too quickly.
Earlier, I said how I liked Naya. But there’s also some issues there for sure. She never makes up her mind. I wish she would’ve ended up a kick-ass wraith who knows what to do and solves things but.. She doesn’t? Not really? Every time things get out of hand, she goes on intuition and makes things worse. Or she lets other people decide what she – a unique kind of wraith – should do instead of just kicking their asses already. I don’t know. She could’ve been way more bad-ass?
And I might contradict myself here, since I also said the pace was good and it was! But.. I think there are easily some scenes that could’ve been cut or done differently. Looking back on my reading experience, sometimes it did drag on a bit. Times where nothing interesting or important really happened. Although I didn’t notice when I was reading, I do feel like that afterwards so.. I thought I should mention that!
It was an okay read, all in all. But it definitely didn’t feel like anything special. The idea and concept are unique, but the execution was lacking. I do think Caitlin Seal has some good stories in her so we’ll have to see what she comes up with next.
Have you read books with necromancy? Which ones?
How did you like them?
Or is necromancy a subject you’d never read about? Why?