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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Second Opinion Book Review: The Necromancer Candle by Randy McCharles

Necromancer Candle, The: And Two Additional Tales of Contemporary Fantasy
by Randy McCharles
Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
ASIN: B00MC1SATS ISBN: 9781770530669
July 31, 2014
A collection of three new novellas by Canadian Speculative Fiction author Randy McCharles.
The collection includes:

The Necromancer Candle
Cassidy’s family has a secret. An ancient, ugly candle passed down through the generations until it is has been all but forgotten. But now someone is looking for it, or so Cassidy thinks. A victim of terminal brain cancer, Cassidy no longer trusts what she sees. But real or imagined, the upheaval of Cassidy’s life is moving quickly toward an end where Cassidy’ greatest wish is to die on her own terms. But is that long enough to solve the mystery of the necromancer candle?

Full House
When Jonas loses his job on the same day a neighbor is murdered, he finds his days at home more challenging yet rewarding than he ever imagined. Against a backdrop of healing family relationships and expounding upon life with his poker buddies, Jonas finds himself pressured to solve the murder. But the more he learns, the more Jonas sees that this is no simple murder, but a mystery that has spanned centuries.

Merlin’s Silver
Joan gets more than she bargained for when she buys an expensive tea service at auction to shake up a lackluster marriage. It seems the tea service is sought by black magicians who will stop at nothing to get it, with only a peculiar little man named Odds Bodkins standing in their way. But who can Joan trust? The mysterious voice on the phone offering to buy the tea service? Her best friend Sally who offers to take it off her hands? Or Odds Bodkins, whose designs grow more unfathomable by the hour?

Necromancer Candle
An old ancient candle was made centuries prior. How it was made is actually morbid to say the least from a very evil man who had used the candle for his own use for many years. Cassidy a child who has terminal brain cancer has possession of the ancient candle that belonged to her family. Cassidy wants to die on her own terms, but authorities are making it very hard, she should be in a hospital waiting for her final days. She just lost her mother who was murdered and her father shows up a year later to take care of her, but will he leave again? Strange things have been happening but she is not sure if it is real or not. Is her cancer tricking her brain? There is a mystery around the old ugly smelly candle. Will a mere child who is already facing her own death live long enough to stop pure evil and the mystery it holds?

I absolutely thought the plot was brilliant, morbid yes but still brilliant and new. There was no romance for those romance lovers out there, something that I typically want, but with the dynamic of the story between the ancient times and the new it just simply was not needed. That is credit to McCharles who wrote a story that really just hooked me in on its own terms.

Full House
Do we really know our neighbors? Does it take losing your job leaving nothing to do but paint your house open your eyes to what is going on around you? It did for Jonas, a boy was murdered, break in’s and fires all on one street, his. Ok one of the break in’s was his doing, but still his crazy sister in law seemed to think he could solve the murder. Only the boy who was killed belonged to the mysterious house that no one sees or knows and they have lived there for many years. As Jonas uncovers the truth what he finds is way beyond anything he could have even imagined or even believed.

Very entertaining, was not sure where the story was going at first. It was slow getting there, it took a lot of poker playing to get the story out but when it did, I was very entertained.

Merlin’s Silver
Tea anyone? Not if it came with black magicians who wanted it, a burnt down house, a creepy phone call from a man wanting to buy it and finally a quirky little man named Odds Bodkins who seems set to protect her while he himself tries to buy it. If Joan knew any of this in the first place I think she definitely would have thought twice on auctioning for it or would she have?

Another entertaining story and fast paced from beginning to end. I liked McCharles concept of taking old legends and stories and mixing it with the current times. Especially the secrets that these stories hold that have lasted through centuries and could possibly be living with us today. It definitely kept it interesting and had you wondering what if it was true. The 3 novellas all in all were fun and enjoyable and recommended for you to read.

Pamela Kinney's review of The Necromancer Candle

4.5 Legendary sheep

Tammy K

About the Author:
Randy McCharles is active in Calgary, Alberta’s writing community with a focus on speculative fiction, usually of the wickedly humorous variety. He is the recipient of several Aurora Awards (Canada’s most prestigious award for speculative fiction), for works including the novella Ringing in the Changes in Okotoks, Alberta which appeared in Tesseracts 12 (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and was also reprinted in Year’s Best Fantasy 9 (David Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, ed). Additional short stories and novellas are available in various publications from Edge Press, Anansi Press, and Reality Skimming Press, including the 2014 Aurora Award shortlisted titles: The Puzzle Box and Urban Green Man. Randy’s first full length novel, Capone’s Chicago, will be available in May 2014.

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