Book Review: The Necromancer

Trigger Warning:
Things are about to get spooky...
Okay, full disclosure time.  I have not, I repeat NOT, been paid for this review.  I am, however, good friends with the editor.  He asked me to take a look at his new magazine and let him know what I thought about it.  So this is me doing that.  If you want to know more about The Necromancer (or purchase the first issue) simply head on over to their website, www.necromancermagazine.com.

"These stories are not for those with a faint heart or that do not have the stomach for utter depravity."  That's how The Necromancer describes itself, and I have to say it does not disappoint.  The online magazine bills itself as a collection of horror and science-fiction short stories-the longest comes in at just about 12 pages.  Each one of the five stories contained within its pages gives you a little peak at a violent and depraved universe.  There's just enough there to give the reader a little taste, and then leave them wanting more.  That's a good thing, because the stories are obviously meant to be serials.  The closest thing I can think of to compare it to would be the old school pulp fiction magazines from the 1920s.

Rather than boring you by looking at every story within the first issue of The Necromancer, I figured I'd give you my impressions of two of the stories contained within.

The Ether Bunny

What does the evolution of a psychopath look like?  That's a question that "The Ether Bunny" seems to examine.  The story starts out by introducing us to Bill.  Bill seems like a nice guy; he spends time reading to and playing with sick kids, and genuinely enjoys the activity.  We quickly find out, however, that Bill has a much darker side to his soul.   "The Ether Bunny" takes us through the early stages of Bill's life, and explores just a little bit of that dark side.  How deep does Bill's darkness go?  How can someone potentially so evil do something so good?  These are two of the questions that I think "The Ether Bunny" will answer as it goes along.

The Beginning

A warrior trained since childhood to be the perfect killing machine.  A man imprisoned and about to be executed for heinous crimes against the crown.  "The Beginning" starts us at the beginning of the end of this man's life.  The warrior will tell us what his crime was, but only after we learn of the circumstances leading up to it.  What follows is a journey that begins with the early stages of this warrior's life.  I have to admit this is probably the story that intrigued me the most.  What crime would an apparently loyal servant of the crown commit?  Why would that necessitate his execution?  I definitely look forward to learning the answers behind these questions.

All in all I have to say I enjoyed reading the first issue of The Necromancer.  The stories were engaging while still being fairly short.  I was able to relax and get through the entire issue in about half an hour or so (I'm a fast reader, though, so take that as you will).  Each story had just enough meat to it to whet your appetite a little, and yet leave you wanting more.  That can be maddening to someone like me who wants to know EVERYTHING, but the fact that these are written as serials means there's definitely more to come.

The verdict?  If you want a quick little dose of some quality horror, pick up the first issue of The Necromancer.  Be warned, though, you might end up getting a subscription just so you can see what's going to happen next.

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