Book Review: The Necromancer's Apprentice by R.M. Prioleau

The Necromancer's Apprentice is a young adult novella by R.M. Prioleau. Jasmine Na’Darod has always considered herself a little different, and has trouble feeling emotions like others. She lived a simple life with her parents and older sister on the family’s farm until the ill-fated Blood Moon arose, basking the country of Caristan with a drought. Her superstitious father decides that the girls' mother is too ill to stay home any longer and the family leaves in an attempt to bring her to aid. Jasmine thinks it is a bad idea, but cannot dissuade the family. However, horrors on the journey bring Jasmine to a new life granted by the most unlikely of strangers. Jasmine is drawn into a life of experiments and practicing the dark arts surrounding life and death with her master only to discover things are even stranger than she imagined.

The Necromancer's Apprentice is a fairly short book with a Gothic fantasy feel. I am not sure how I feel about it quite yet. As a whole I liked the story and it certainly kept me reading, but it felt a little incomplete, almost like this was the outline and the author meant to go back in fill in more back-story, world building, and character development later. There was so much potential, but I felt like I was missing something or had inadvertently skipped something somewhere.The synopsis was more of a set up for the story as a whole rather than and actually synopsis. I liked the idea that Jasmine was different, but that kind of faded away. The mysteries about Master Dagg including his experiments and his very nature seem to come into play despite Jasmine's presence rather than because of her curiosity or even caring. I know there is not a whole lot of room for exploring and exposition in a novella- but if you need that room to make your story complete then keep writing and make it a full length novel instead.

The Necromancer's Apprentice would be a good quick read if you want to think about the darkness and beauty that can be found in both life and death. The story  has a definite Gothic feel, but is lacking in character development and substance. There is a lot of potential here and I would be interested in seeing this novella fleshed out more into a full length novel.
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