Finn Fancy Necromancy

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Books -

Fan­tasy flash­back

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.

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