Book Review: Necromancer for Hire

Amazon Cover

Necromancer for Hire: The April Sullivan Chronicles by Darin Kennedy


April Sullivan is a young woman with a special gift. She can raise the dead.

This collection of stories introduces you to the April’s world, the world of a professional necromancer. Her days and nights populated with vampires, werewolves, and demons as well others of her stock in trade, April must use all the tools at her disposal, mystical and otherwise, not only to ply her trade, but to stay alive. This first collection gathers the initial seven April stories, from their homes in various anthologies, into one volume for the first time.

“Necrodance” – April teaches a serial killer a lesson on the difference between being the hunter and being the hunted.

“Bonds of Blood” – Sibling rivalry takes a new spin as April and her vampire brother meet to “discuss” the affairs of their ailing mother.

“Solstice” – April must combat the necromancer who taught her everything she knows before he can raise an army. And the army he intends to raise: Arlington National Cemetery.

“Class Reunion” – April attends the funeral of the first boy she ever loved, but dark events converge to ensure he doesn’t rest in peace.

“Solomon” – April plays a dangerous game of chance with a demon with her immortal soul as collateral.

“Symphony of Wolves” – April’s boyfriend takes her to the symphony on the night of the full moon. What could go wrong?

“The Fall and Rise of Julian LaMorte” – An origin story of sorts for April’s once mentor now nemesis.

This book clocks in at just over 150 pages and is perfect if you’re looking for a quick, fun read in the urban fantasy genre. And in case you really like, never fear, for more April is on the way!



A collection of short stories on a reoccurring character, April Sullivan — Necromancer, by Darin Kennedy. Some of the collection are amazing, most are good, and all hit the mark. Seven stories in all published over a period of three years, four of the seven were published in other anthologies before the rights reverted to Dr. Kennedy.

“Necrodance” introduces us to April Sullivan in a creepy story where you are never certain who is the hunter. (4 stars)

“Bonds of Blood” give us a bit of insight into April’s family life and her full abilities. (4 stars)

“Solstice” has switching POVs between April and a cop who pulled her over for a routine speeding ticket and gets far more than he expected. There is reasons cops are worried during every pullover – the danger is real. Though usually not involving a century-old necromancer raising entire graveyards of soldiers during a lunar eclipse. (Story has to take place December 22, 2010 – the only time since 1638 for a lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice. – Yep, this fact in the story wasn’t just made up because it was cool. Mr. Kennedy chose an actual event.) (4 stars – plus a bonus star for getting the eclipse right)

“Class Reunion” is the best of the story stories because the emotions of everyone involved. Each and every character has agency, personality, and impact to the outcome of the story. Everyone changes because of the story, even April a little. This story is unique to the collection and hadn’t been published before. (5 stars)

“Solomon” – I first read in the Big Bad anthology, and I think it works better in the mix of that anthology then in this collection. When I read it as part of the anthology, I was jamming on the Big Bad of the story – when I read it as part of the collection, I focused on our necromancer anti-hero. Interesting how you can read the story and have two completely different take-aways based on what other stories surround it. (3 stars in this collection; 4 stars in the anthology)

The final two stories – “Symphony of Wolves” and “The Fall and Rise of Julian LaMorte” – were written for this collection. Symphony is as action packed as Solstice, while Fall and Rise is perhaps the weakest of the lot because it’s more a prologue for the upcoming novelette than a stand-alone story. (4 stars and 2 stars respectively)

Average 4 stars. As Goodreads rating states “I really liked it.”


If you are interested in the technical side of writing, each short story of the collection has a different point of view (POV) style. “Necrodance” is first-person POV (not April!). “Bonds of Blood” is third-person POV. “Solstice” is alternating first person POV (April and the cop). “Class Reunion” finally has the typical urban fantasy first-person POV on the main character. “Solomon”‘s first person POV again returns to the adversary of April we saw in “Necrodance”. “Symphony of Wolves” is third-person, and “The Rise and Fall…” is first-person adversary.

Hmmm – I liked “Class Reunion” the best, could it be because it follows the traditional formula the closest? Again, if you are interested in the technical side of writing looking over this collection written by the same author and same character with the same “voice” but with different POVs can help give you a feel of how POV can change things.