This was one of my review requests but I had been waiting for the audiobook to come out, and then it did! The title of this clearly suggests a comedy which, I feel like a broken record — I’m always down for a comedy.
The title doesn’t mislead you, this is a story about a lich. A lich that wakes up at the start of the story without any idea of what or who she is. All she knows is that she’s undead and skeletal like as she examines herself. This is one of the only times where it’s appropriate to have a character describe themselves to the reader, it’s usually a huge peeve but here it makes sense.
She finds out she was kind of an accident, a necromancer came to her old village and slaughtered everyone, including herself. She was a woods witch, a green witch, a peaceful healer in her first life and she managed to take down the necromancer, but not without sacrificing herself in the process. Well, she ends up with a phylactery instead of the necromancer and that’s how everything kicks off. She’s very barely human looking, she’s a walking skeleton more or less. With baggy clothes and a hook she can pass as a person, but no one can take any close look without her cover being blown. Well, all she wants to do is be left alone and live out her life, but people keep coming to kill her.
Boy did I really like the first chapter. I really love the idea of an unintentional lich and she’s gone full villain. Given her previous life, it’s likely that upon becoming undead and her soul being ripped from her body, all her morals and values and ethics fled as well. She makes piles of bodies to experiment on as she learns how to use her powers. She’s got piles of “keep”, “parts” and “trash”, lol. She also inherits a drauger from the last necromancer, a sort of pathetic guy named Roland IIRC. He’s bound to her as he was bound to his last master, but she’s actually an upgrade as she says, thank you, good job. As she re-animates things she creates minions and she starts to “nest” down and build a new life for herself. But the damn peasants keep trying to kill her. Very annoying.
This is written in a lighter tone, but there’s still a lot of violence, I would call this a black comedy. The tone of the audiobook performer kept throwing me, thought. I felt like it just didn’t match the story. I would have been expecting someone with a voice like Pat Carrol /Ursula from Little Mermaid something deep and rasping, but she’s super high pitch and proper. I would have maybe been able to get over it and just say, well this lich has a high voice, but it specifically said in the narrative description that she could easily pass for a man’s voice because of the depth and tone of her voice. It referenced it a few times, lol. This is a me thing, the performer herself did do a great job I just kept thinking about how chipper she sounds.
So as far as did I enjoy her character, I can’t say I liked her as a person, but she was entertaining at times and very interesting. She was just so brutal, lol. And carelessly brutal, remorselessly brutal, so this is definitely going to be for people who enjoy grey or villain main POVs. For me, I usually need some other character I can root for to truly invest in a story, but again this is personal taste.
I think my favorite part of the book was a death scene… via undead goose. Honk honk. There is a lot of absurdity type humor, situational humor, and black humor/gallows humor.
This wasn’t a big stakes kind of book, either. I think my biggest drawback was that there there wasn’t a huge amount of tension in the story for me. It’s almost like a slice of life story of a lich being born, testing out her abilities, and building a life for herself with little to no impact on the world at large. Things were going a little too easily, honestly. She runs up against a problem and then just bulldozes through it. Knights, angry mages, other warriors sent to kill her just pose no issue at all for most of the book. Like, even just personal tension within herself, like if she was struggling with her darker needs, or longing for her past life, or some kind of personal tension could also have given me a little more to latch on to, it doesn’t have to be big stakes tension. She just barreled through everything both morally and physically. I was starting to get a little bored when the issue of her phylactery came up, her first real hurdle and I got more interested. LOL it came like 65% through the book, though, so the pace was kind of slower for me.
It’s a very easy breezy writing style, very straight forward prose which makes this a very fast read. There isn’t a terrible amount of plot, but that’s all right, smaller scale stories tend to be more character focused, and the way this book is written character development is often tied directly into the world building, what magic can and cant do, how souls work, her abilities etc.
Overall this was a fun book and I’d recommend it to people who like villain povs and a lot of magic and action.
- Plot: 10/15
- Characters: 10/15
- World Building: 11/15
- Writing: 12/15
- Pacing: 10/15
- Originality: 11/15
- Enjoyment: 6/10
Final Score: 70/100