Reviewed by Jessica Jesinghaus for Readers' Favorite
Ready for a rollicking adventure filled with magic and danger? Look no further than William Wilde and the Necrosed by Davis Ashura. The story opens with a tragic car crash involving a family of four. Only one boy will emerge from the wreckage. Sadly, however, this is not a “normal” accident. It has been brought about by a strange being named Kohl Obsidian. Who or what Kohl is remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: he’s evil and he is not human. Fast forward several months and we meet high school senior William Wilde and his cadre of best friends: Jason, Daniel and Lien. It’s the first day of school and William is tasked with orienting a new student, the lovely Serena Paradiso, to life at St. Francis Academy. The beautiful new student seems to fit into their group with surprising ease, but Serena has secrets of her own and an important mission to fulfill. When William learns there is a hidden group of people called asrasins for whom magic is real, he is both skeptical and excited, but when he’s told he has the potential to become an asrasin himself his world is rocked! William, Serena and Jason must fight for their lives against the brutal and seemingly invincible Kohl Obsidian while simultaneously making decisions about their futures. With secrets still rampant amongst the friends, can they somehow manage to band together and defeat Kohl’s evil or will the secrets be their undoing?
Aside from the sinister prologue chapter, William Wilde and the Necrosed starts out in familiar young adult territory as we watch William navigate the oft-treacherous pathways of high school life. Contending with bullies, boring teachers, school sports, and weekends with his friends, the first half of the book feels safe and familiar. Set in the late 1980s, some of the pop culture references might be lost on younger readers, but the book manages to maintain a timeless feel. Despite the familiarity, Davis Ashura continues to plant little seeds of disquiet throughout, leaving the reader on edge and waiting for the other shoe to drop. And when it does drop? Hold onto your hat! The adventure goes from zero to sixty in record time and holds on tight until the story’s satisfying conclusion. Filled with new lore and mythology, daring escapes, magic and heart-racing action, William Wilde and the Necrosed sets the stage for a wonderful series. Adults (young and otherwise) are sure to be entertained.