Study Guide

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer Summary

By Lish McBride

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer Summary

Working at a fast food joint isn't exactly most people's idea of living the dream, and so it goes for Sam LaCroix, a college dropout turned cashier and burger master. The job's not great, but it does have one major perk: He gets to work with his three best friends, Ramon, Brooke, and Frank. The quirky foursome makes life at Plumpy's bearable, especially thanks to games of Potato Hockey they play out back during their breaks.

It is during one such game that they accidentally smash the headlight of a very expensive car illegally parked in the Plumpy's lot. Oops. They laugh it off, though, and consider it no big deal… at least, until the owner, an extremely intimidating dude in a suit, comes into the restaurant holding the potato and demands an explanation. It's then that he takes a special interest in Sam, whom he berates for not making himself known to something called the Council and living in Seattle without their permission. Talk about a dissatisfied customer.

You run into all kinds of strange characters when working in customer service, so the gang figures this guy is just par for the course. Brooke goes home on her own, while the guys head to Sam's apartment to watch cult films. When they get to the parking lot, though, a guy with massive claws attacks Sam, mangles his back, and punches Frank's car as they attempt to escape. Sam feels a little uneasy about all this, but again, no one said working in the fast food industry was glamorous.

The next morning, a strange, bomb-shaped package arrives at Sam's apartment. It isn't a bomb—at least not literally—but it's definitely a bombshell plot-wise, since Brook's head is inside. And as if that isn't weird enough, the head is alive and still able to communicate, complete with Brooke's snarky personality. Inside the package is a note telling Sam to meet the sender at the Woodland Park Zoo… or else he'll send another message.

At the zoo, Sam has his first meeting with the notorious Douglas Montgomery, a local guy who makes a living as the most powerful necromancer in the northwestern United States. Maybe even in all of the United States. Douglas has won his power through some pretty sketchy maneuvers—mainly, killing other necromancers and stealing their abilities—and he plans to do the same thing to Sam. Why? Because Sam is a necromancer, too.

Having dispensed this news, Douglas gives Sam an ultimatum: Join Douglas for training in his powers, or have his family, friends, and eventually himself murdered. He has a week to decide.

Understandably, Sam's pretty freaked out. For one thing, he's a necromancer. For another, Douglas has already killed Brooke and plans to do the same to Sam's friends and family if he refuses to comply. Still, Sam keeps his cool and begins an investigation to find out if the necromancer rumor is actually true, and if so, why he's only now finding out about this.

Sam talks to his mother, who gives him the whole story: She and Sam's uncle, Nick, discovered his powers at birth and performed spells to bind them so he could hide from Douglas and the whole mess. Hmmm… That explains why Sam has never had knowledge of this. He's kind of ticked off at his mom for keeping something so huge from him, but Douglas's threat is looming, so Sam's investigation continues. He ends up contacting June Walker, a voodoo lady from New Orleans, who says she thinks she can help.

Meanwhile, exhausted from digging back into his family roots, Sam decides to go for a walk. While spending some quality time alone, Michael, the guy who attacked him in the parking lot, kidnaps Sam and takes him to Douglas's mansion.

Locked in the dungeon, Sam meets Bridin, a werewolf girl who is the daughter of Brannoc, the pack leader and the most powerful creature on the Council next to Douglas. Sam and Bridin are instantly attracted to each other and they end up engaging in adult human/werewolf activities. To each their own, we suppose.

Douglas has two purposes in mind in capturing Sam and Bridin. He wants to use Bridin as a subject for his scientific research on werewolf blood, as well as tick off her dad. His plans for Sam, though, are more sinister. Forcing Sam to begin his training, Douglas shows Sam the rudimentary elements of necromancy, but because of his binding, Sam kind of stinks at it. Douglas responds by throwing a tantrum and sending evil spirits to attack him.

Fortunately, that help June said she'd send makes an appearance in the form of Ashley, a harbinger who constantly texts on a Blackberry and is dressed like a Catholic schoolgirl. Ashley gives Sam a few tricks of the trade with raising the dead, then promises to use June to send messages to Sam and Bridin's families. In exchange, Sam agrees to give Ashley waffles every day for six months. Which is a lot of waffles.

Elsewhere, Ramon, Frank, and Brooke's head are panicking over Sam's absence. Ramon searches for clues on Sam's cellphone and discovers June's phone number. When he calls her, she informs him that Sam's binding needs to be broken and he has to have Sam's mom undo it. She also asks him to take a message to Bridin's pack and let Brannoc know Douglas captured her. Ramon fulfills both these requirements, and Sam's mom gets cracking on freeing his powers. Ramon also speaks with Brannoc and agrees to join the werewolves in attacking Douglas's mansion.

A massive battle ensues on Douglas's front lawn once word of Ramon and the werewolves' arrival reaches him, and in the midst of the chaos, a zombie attacks Ramon. By this time, Sam's mom has effectively unbound her son's powers, so Sam basically lets it rip, infuriating Douglas with this show of his abilities. Douglas decides to forgo the training and just kill Sam immediately, but as he begins to drain Sam's blood, Sam finds the strength to stab Douglas, killing him instantly.

Sam wakes up in the werewolves' private hospital, where he learns that because he killed Douglas, he's inherited both Douglas's property and his seat on the Council. He's also entitled to protection from the spirit world, which Ashley agrees to, along with Brooke (once Sam performs the ritual of reuniting her head with her body). Sam ends his adventure with a new sense of identity and embracing his rather bizarre history.