Monday, October 10, 2016

ARC Review: My Boyfriend's Back by Elliot Cooper


Blurb:
After losing both of his parents, Academy of Magecraft student Steven Durant doesn't want to see anyone else lose a loved one before their time. Traditional resurrection methods, however, only create mindless, flesh-hungry zombies; they're no cure for death. He's certain his unique brand of necromancy—using alchemy and blood magic—is the only answer.

When his boyfriend, Dax Everhart, has a fatal accident, Steven sees no choice but to use his experimental Lazarus Elixir. Dax comes back wrong, but the more humans he consumes, the more human he becomes.
With the help of his best friends, his ghostly aunt, and her living doll homunculus, Steven fights to regain normalcy and repair his shattered relationship with Dax. But with Dax openly embracing his monstrous nature, Steven shoulders the guilt of assisting in a murder spree that could lead the mundane and magical police right to their door.


Jewel's rating:




Zombies, children!!

What's a would-be necromancer to do, when his boyfriend dies, but use all the magic he shouldn't to bring him back?

My Boyfriend's Back is exactly what I needed. It's weird and magical and morbid and funny and I found myself laughing at really inappropriate things. Like when Dax referred to the human he just killed and feasted on as "leftovers". I know, that shouldn't be funny. But it really really was.

Steven Durant is a mage from a family of mages. Ever since his father died, a couple years ago, he's been obsessed with necromancy -- he doesn't want anyone to have to say goodbye too soon again. But, all of his attempts on road kill have been unsuccessful, so he's losing hope! Until his boyfriend takes an unfortunate tumble and dies. But when Dax is brought back, he's not all there. At first, anyway. And Dax doesn't know how to handle the new version of his boyfriend, or his new dietary needs.


Dax Everhart is also a mage and the boyfriend of one would-be necromancer. Dax had kind of an off color sense of humor and that carried over to his personality after Steven brings him back from the dead. Dax took to being a zombie pretty well, and didn't see much wrong with eating humans (they smell so delicious!). He's Dax, but without the emotional memory element of his personality.

Things just get weirder, from there. And as Steven learns more and more about his family history, some things come to make a lot of sense. But the question is, will any of that information help him when the authorities come sniffing around? Hmmm...

Though there was no steam whatsoever, I really enjoyed this story. It was more fun than a zombie novel should be, and it really makes me want to check out other stories by this author.

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ARC of My Boyfriend's Back was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Author Bio

Elliot Cooper is a creativity addict who enjoys writing stories that embody adventure, a hint of the taboo, and shadows that are deeper than they appear at first glance. He also enjoys video games and knitting, and lives in the southern US with his human and feline family.

Favorite my Smashwords author page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/elliotcooper


Excerpt

Elliot Cooper © 2016
All Rights Reserved.

Catrina skipped through the garden, her bangs fluttering below the neat braid pinned across the top of her head. Her hair was darker than the rest of her unearthly blue-green form, the yard partially visible through her translucent skin and clothes. She flopped down on the ground in a way that made her appear to have mass and then poked at the fetid opossum corpse until she managed to flip it to its belly.

“Told you so,” she said matter-of-factly. “You didn’t use enough.”

Steven ignored her and kept digging. She didn’t have any idea what she was talking about. Catrina had admitted to him multiple times that she’d never dabbled in necromancy in life; she’d been too young to get much further than simple charms and potions. Back in her day, they hadn’t even had the local campus of the Academy of Magecraft, which meant she’d been homeschooled by his great-great-grandmother.

“Did you run it over yourself?”

Steven huffed in annoyance and jammed his shovel into the earth. He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose with one gloved hand and glared at the little ghost.

“No. I found it. I’m a necromancer, not a murderer.” He looked down into the hole he’d made, judged it to be deep enough for the poor animal, and then gently lowered the opossum body into the ground.

The potion hadn’t been potent enough, which wasn’t entirely his fault. Several of the ingredients were out of season and expensive. His little herb garden was already done for the year with the cooler fall weather turning the trees in his yard gold and umber. Steven didn’t like to waste any of his potion supplies and didn’t think it was a fault to be conservative with his elixirs.

Only maybe he’d been overly cautious. Maybe he needed to take a cue from his boyfriend, Dax, and get overzealous with his potion making and application rituals.

Steven’s mouth screwed into a sour frown at the thought as he shoveled the pile of dirt back into the hole.

“Is it really smelly?” Catrina peered up at Steven from her seat on the grass. She plucked at the hem of her dress and pulled it down over her knees.

“It’s not too bad.” Steven shrugged one shoulder as he tamped down the loose dirt with the flat side of the shovel. “I can’t even smell it now.”

“So that’s your ‘I just thought of something that offends my Stevie senses’ face.” Catrina pursed her lips at him and then skipped off toward the house.

“Don’t call me that!” Steven called after her. Catrina was the only one who called him that, and she’d done so since he was little enough to want to play games with her. But he’d outgrown the nickname a long time ago. It was a child’s name, not the name of a future world-renowned mage.

He heard Dax’s car pull into the driveway as he put the shovel and gloves back in the shed with the rest of his gardening equipment. At least Dax wouldn’t get all holier than thou about his failed attempt to raise roadkill from the dead. Again.

“Hey, babe!” Dax called to Steven as he walked around to the front of the house. “You wanna help me with these groceries? I got you a little something special.” He waggled his dark brows and grinned but then noticed his jovial expression wasn’t catching. “Everything all right?”


“Opossum number three was not, in fact, the charm,” Steven said with a shake of his head. He let out a sigh and sidestepped Dax to reach into the car for the bags.

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