As a teenager, Emma has already been touched by death, first losing her father and more recently, her boyfriend Nathan died in an accident. These deaths led Emma to the realization that in the end, nothing really matters. Friends at prep school are concerned as Emma goes through the motions of daily life, maintaining that she’s “fine” yet nothing seems to affect her one way or the other. With nightfall, Emma frequented the graveyard where Nathan was buried simply because it was the only place that brought her peace, at least until the night a mysterious woman dressed in rags pressed a strange lamp into her hand.
Now Emma is able to see and interact with the dead, an ability she struggles to adjust to with the aid of Eric, a hunky new student at school who knows much more about being a Necromancer then he lets on. Eric was sent to kill the new Necromancer expected to arise in Toronto but having watched how sincerely concerned Emma was for her friends, cannot bring himself to do it. Not only that, Emma is determined to aid the ghost of a little boy forever trapped in a house fire, even if it means her death. As real Necromancers descend upon Toronto to fight Eric, his partner Chase and Emma, she engages in an even more important quest to open the closed portal that will allow the dead to pass on. Emma’s survival will come down to the support of her circle of friends and assistance from some powerful dead who realize her powers are quite different from Necromancers.
First of The Queen of the Dead trilogy, this young adult book offers a refreshingly different paranormal plot line. Though Eric and Chase are lovely eye-candy, this doesn’t dissolve into a confused teen romance. Emma’s character shines through with genuine consideration while her steadfast friends and aging rottweiler, Petal provide plenty of background and warmth. Necromancers and the magic they wield are given a different treatment which will figure strongly in the next installment where it can be hoped that Sagara will reveal more about the antagonist who now has Emma in her sights.