Sagara’s thought-provoking follow-up to the first book in her Queen of the Dead series pushes reluctant necromancer Emma deeper into the world of the dead. In this second novel, Emma’s deceased love Nathan returns, his ghostly presence delivering both muted joy and emotional torment. Sagara’s lyrical storytelling skillfully encapsulates the roller coaster of teenage emotions.
In her short life, Emma has lost both her father and her boyfriend Nathan but, unlike most people, as a newly activated necromancer Emma can see and speak with the dead. Through new frenemies Eric and Chase, who hunt and kill necromancers, Emma learns there is a human Queen of the Dead who has trapped all souls from moving on. When Nathan returns, Emma’s heart doesn’t want to let go. (DAW, Jan., 384 pp., $17.99)