Book Review: Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells (Three Stars)


Book Review: Death of the Necromancer (Ile-Rien #2) by Martha Wells

(Three Stars)

“And that’s what he wants us to do, so that is what must be avoided at all cost.” That’s elementary, for God’s sake.”

An Arthur Conan Doyle take on Steampunk fantasy? Thinly disguised caricatures of Doyle’s sleuthing duo appear as supporting cast in this second novel set in the Ile-Rien universe, though a century after the first installation. What if Moriarty and Holmes teamed up against an even bigger threat to peace and goodness? Darker than most of Well’s stories; I didn’t like it as much. Your mileage will vary.

“I’m sure of one thing. That ‘safe’ is not a state of being any of us are going to experience again until all this is over.”

Slow start as Wells builds her characters and setting, but everything then accelerates. The first half of the book shows little affinity for the previous novel in the series, The Element of Fire.

“I’m trying to establish foundation for a hypothesis.” “You’re curious.” “That’s what I said.”

Sprinkled with humor, though the overall mood is closer to horror. I liked it, but not as much as Wells’ more recent science fiction.

“Are we anticipating trouble, or starting it?” “Both, I think.”