Finn Fancy Necromancy
Release Date: 13 February
400 pages | Paperback Author: Randy Henderson Publisher: Titan Books
Eighties nostalgia is
big lately, with books like Ready Player One giving SF fans in their thirties and forties the chance to relive their childhood in imaginative ways. In order for this nostalgia to work, however, it needs to be linked with sharp and engaging storytelling. That’s where new fantasy comedy Finn Fancy Necromancy trips itself up.
The offbeat plot follows Finn Gramaraye, who was an up- andcoming teenage necromancer in 1985 before he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit and exiled from the mortal world for 25 years. Now he’s returned to our reality having missed a big chunk of history, but almost immediately walks straight into another magical crime. Whoever framed him in 1985 may have been a member of his family, and Finn’s troubles are soon getting progressively worse…
Author Randy Henderson has fun with the book’s plentiful ’ 80s pop culture references, but at heart this is an ultra- traditional urban fantasy tale that covers material we’ve seen many times before. The mystery starts well but quickly runs out of steam, while Henderson fails to make much of Finn’s fish- out- ofwater status, instead concentrating on over- familiar fantasy worldbuilding. By the time the mystery has been solved, most of the comedy has fallen flat, the ’ 80s references have gotten repetitive, and this self- consciously quirky fantasy has worn out its welcome. Saxon Bullock Henderson was binge- watching Arrested Development when he started the book; it may have influenced Finn’s crazy family.