The Necromancer’s Prison by Alec Whitesell and Craig Bonacorsi

The new girl,Emily, rushes to make it to the SAT before it begins. Sweating through the exam and mind drifting, she and her classmates are scared by lightning strikes and an apparent earthquake. The proctor calls for quiet and checks the door only to be struck down dead. Emily rushes to see three spine-chilling magic-user goons searching for one special girl.

The head cheerleader and most vain student in school, Quinn, is taken, and Emily runs to help her. Mason, the humble and loyal football star, chases after them too… a fight and a leap through an unseen portal and the entire crew end up in a futuristic world where Quinn has been taken. They find a monarchy in turmoil, a crafty teleporter named Kas, and princess who wants nothing to do with her betrothed.

The Necromancer’s Prison is an all-ages portal fantasy that is fast-paced and fun. I hold back on explaining too much of the plot above, but just know that the characters have to fit many different roles as their conflicts change and evolve during the course of the novel. They are tested and being teens who are naive and maybe a bit self-centered it isn’t an easy challenge. The authors definitely make the most of the portal leap. One thing in particular that I found inventive was the inclusion of a field game (like croquet or bocce) that the two of the characters play. It is expertly described and was cool to envision.

My criticisms in this one are twofold… Parts of the plot are dropped at times. Things that are sources of great tension just two pages before are now lost for a new problem. I also found a part of the storytelling to be a little redundant. At certain times in the novel, each characters spends time hashing out their experience of certain scenes. The beginning of the scene is repeated over again in each explanation.

The Necromancer’s Prison is a book that tries at some unique elements, some work and so may not. But, it is a good story, and you can pick it up for that.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to the authors for providing a copy for review.

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