Study Guide

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer The Supernatural

By Lish McBride

The Supernatural

Ramon ripped off a piece of tape and handed the roll to Frank. "I didn't see anything, but he was moving fast. Real fast […] But if I didn't know better, I'd say you were attacked by an animal." (4.44)

Michael may look like a burly bully at first glance, but don't be fooled. Only animals can make those kinds of scratch marks, which pretty much proves Michael's status as a werewolf before Sam even becomes aware of his ex-pack's existence. Getting attacked in a darkened parking lot is bad enough without it being by someone with claws.

Once a severed head talks, life's possibilities seem endless. (4.91)

This pretty much sums up Sam's entire situation throughout the book. To him, the supernatural just gradually becomes, well, natural.

Brid grabbed his arm and bit down hard before pulling back with her head. A chunk came free, and Brid rolled to the center of the cage. She opened her eyes. She spit the chunk of flesh out of her mouth and onto the floor, and insult Michael was sure to get. Wolves did not waste food, not ever. (5.33)

You know you've just gotten served by a werewolf when she bites off a chunk of your flesh and spits it out. File that one under Supernatural Insults.

Vampires were more Douglas's domain than humans were, since they too were connected to death and, despite popular mythology, had souls. The idea that they didn't was ridiculous. Vampires were a lot of things, but truly dead wasn't one of them. (7.24)

Edward Cullen would undoubtedly thank Douglas for clearing up that little rumor about vampires being soulless bloodsuckers. Still, it's kind of humorous that McBride uses the Council meeting as a way of dispelling culturally accepted ideas about supernatural beings.

I began to wonder what he meant by politics. Zombies in the Senate and as heads of state actually cleared a lot of things up for me. In fact, if you told most people that the White House was being run by legions of the undead, they'd probably just say, "Figures." (8.102)

McBride's comic blending of the supernatural world with the real one is one thing that makes the whole thing almost seem believable. After all, who wouldn't believe that the government actually is composed of zombies?

At first she saw nothing. Perhaps she'd done the spell wrong? But then she felt it, that whisper of arctic chill. The cold died for a second, replaced by the green smells of early spring, the taste of sunshine and growing things. But the cold came back a second later. He would take after his uncle. (12.97)

Creepy descriptions of supernatural rituals are definitely one hallmark of McBride's writing style. These details here heighten the anxiety over whether Tia's spell will prove that Sam is a necromancer.

I handed her my towel so she could dry her hands. In the switch-off, my fingers met hers and I felt my vision open up like it had in the park. Now that Douglas had shown me how to do it, I couldn't help myself. It was automatic. The difference was that in the park I'd had to close my eyes and work at it. But this time it was much easier. (14.19)

Mindreading: a great standby for supernatural literature, and also, apparently a characteristic of necromancers.

Lilly looked me in the eye, her expression pleading. "The Shadow People aren't imaginary, are they?"

I could tell her they were. Maybe then she'd live a normal life [...] Then I thought about what Nick had said to Kevin, about how she needed a guide, how it might be dangerous. Teaching her to hide from what she was wouldn't keep her out of danger. I was proof of that. (16.72-73)

Lilly is one case where Sam is forced to accept that hiding from his supernatural past isn't going to get him—or her—anywhere. Not anymore, at least. In telling her the truth, Sam is, in a way, able to begin to embrace who he is.

"Most Americans picture Tinker Bell when they hear fairy. I am not Tinker Bell." She leveled a glare at me until I held my hands up in surrender. (19.77)

Admit it—when you hear the word fairy, you think of Tink. Apparently, this is highly offensive to Bridin. Again, McBride subverts our expectations by creating a version of the supernatural world that is highly unlike our stereotypical impressions.

Brid dove out of hiding. She let out a warrior scream mid-leap and changed. I'm not sure what I expected. Some amount of twisting limbs, maybe some mucus. I guess when she told me that the process was ast, I didn't really get what she meant. One minute, Brid was howling in mid-air, her arms extended, wearing my Batman shirt and my boxers, the next minute she was vapor. (25.85)

Seeing one of your friends (okay, especially someone you just had a very intimate relationship with) change into a werewolf wouldn't be something you'd easily forget. We're pretty sure it ranks as one of the weirdest things Sam's witnessed.

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