Book Review: Finn Fancy Necromancy

Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson

Finn Gramaraye was framed for the crime of dark necromancy at the age of 15, and exiled to the Other Realm for twenty five years.  But now that he’s free, someone—probably the same someone—is trying to get him sent back.  Finn has only a few days to discover who is so desperate to keep him out of the mortal world, and find evidence to prove it to the Arcane Enforcers.  They are going to be very hard to convince, since he’s already been convicted of trying to kill someone with dark magic.

But Finn has his family: His brother Mort who is running the family necrotorium business now, his brother Pete who believes he’s a werewolf, though he is not, and his sister Samantha who is, unfortunately, allergic to magic.  And he’s got Zeke, a fellow exile and former enforcer, who doesn’t really believe in Finn’s innocence but is willing to follow along in hopes of getting his old job back.

Sometimes I want to read a book just due to it's title. If you hear the title Finn Fancy Necromancy, it already should pull on you interest, it sound pretty cool in my opinion. Add the synopsis of the book and you should be totally taken! Finn Fancy Necromancy is Randy Henderson's debut, and to be honest, the with the level of skill in writing that he shows you wouldn't say that at all. Granted he has written several short fiction stories prior to Finn Fancy Necromancy, that still is different than a full length novel. There are a lot of books published withing the Urban Fantasy genre but I have to say that Finn Fancy (I am going to shorten it) is a truly unique addition to it, having many dark influences but also plenty of humorous additions keeping the storyline highly enjoyable to read, some of the scenes will definitely make you laugh out loud. 

Randy Henderson starts of the story of Finn Fancy in a most interesting way. It starts with Finn returning from his twenty five year long exile in the Other Realm, for a crime he didn't commit. He was exiled in person and not in-person. When you get exiled to the Other Realm, you concious gets exiled and a changeling takes over your body in real life. How COOL is that? So, Finn has aged, the changeling made memories for him. These memories get merged when Finn gets out of exile, however, when the transfer is made there is an interference, well more of an attack on Finn, and something goes wrong. Finn does manage to get back to his body but without the memories made by the changeling... Now being back in his actually body but in a completely different time zone Finn is presented with a terrible culture shock. Added to this comes the fact that this attack on him has raised Finn's own alarms. He was framed twenty five years ago and what could the coincidence be of an attack on him as soon as he sets foot once again in the mortal world? Luckily, even with his long exile, Finn isn't alone, he still has a big family to go to. Just as with Finn, his family also likes to dabble in the dark arts, all his family members has some relation to magic. His brother Mort for one kept up running the family necrotorium. Necromancy in the current world is considered a magical practice of less savory means, it's dabbling with the dead. Finn is the only living person of the Gramaraye family who still has one legal gift, that of being a Talker. Yes Finn is able to communicate with the dead. Could this gift have brought him in trouble? From Finn's return to the current world it is one heck of a wild goosechase for Finn to find out precisely who is out to get him. He has to avoid Fae, changelings, gnomes and Sasquatches on the go. Very eventful!

All that I mention here does point into a dark direction, do trust me when I say that there is enough humor added to it. Somehow it reminds me a bit of the dark humor that Steven Erikson has in his Bauchelain books, though in a more contemporary setting though. As I already mentioned there are a lot of humorous moments in this book, most are owed to the unique world in which this book takes place but also due to the main protagonist, Finn. He has a unique view on the world and lets not forget the culture shock of being imprisoned twenty five years in the Fae world. Somethings do not change though like g-mail. Now don't go thinking of the popular Google mail, no, in the olden days mail was sent via gnomes. (Do you get it Gnome mail = g-mail. there are a lot more of these jokes riddled throughout the book. Come to think of it there is funny moment on every page of the book.  

Now as for the characters. Finn is a terrific character, I loved the guy! He casual approach to certain problems, the issues that he has with women, like the first situation with Dawn and Heather and the follow, it was funny to read but the way that Finn reacted was most manly. Finn also has a lot on his plate. A dysfunctional family, he is hunted by someone or something he doesn't know (which he collectively called "Legion" you have to give it a name don't you?), and a BIG cultural shock, he only knows stuff from the 80's and tries to relate to it, like the Commodore and how he played games on it when he was 15. Next to FInn there is also a nice highlight on several family members of him. Like Pete for example. Pete thinks he is a waerwolf, well he believes it more because his family made him, it goes wayback, but boils down to that Pete still takes a potion to suppress his waer rages. Mort, Finn's brother is also an interesting addition, they have a very brotherly relation, Mort also gave Finn his nickname Finn Fancy Necromancy Pants, so you can see that there is some rapscallion behavior between the two I could clearly see them wrestling on the ground. However Finn doesn't really trust Morts motives at the moment, which adds a nice layer to their relation. Next up there are two women in Finn's live Dawn and Heather. If you met both of them you will seriously stick to that women only bring trouble... All in all a very lively character cast that completely finishes the whole story. 

As I mentioned above Randy Henderson's debut is cool, it's more than cool! It's unique, though provoking and a whole lot of fun to read. I read some humorous fiction before by Christopher Moore and Tom Holt, who play into a contemporary setting with fantasy elements and I am happy to add Finn Fancy to the succeeded list. Finn Fancy has everything you could have wished for in such a book. But compared with the others it does has a bit of a darker setting, owing to the necromancy influence. The world that Randy Henderson managed to create is always in motion and luckily Finn never runs out of breath. There are a lot of big and bold ideas hidden within the storyline that for me all worked out. You could clearly see the enthusiasm of Randy Henderson dripping of the pages, though I can imagine that for some it might be to much. My opinion does remain unchanged: Finn Fancy Necromancy is a terrific read, it's dark and gritty and funny at the same time, I had a blast reading it. And I am still smirking about some of the jokes made by Finn!


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