Review: How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

It can’t be easy to keep coming up with a fresh new take on urban fantasy. I read a lot in the genre and so many of the books carry similar threads or a common tone. I am finding, though, with Hailey Edwards that each one of her series has a unique flavor. This one is no exception. It is really, really good.

The heroine is Grier, a weak necromancer who has only recently been released from a supernatural prison where she spent the last five years for a crime she did not commit. This is a woman who has endured a lot. She was caged, drugged, and tortured all those years and is suffering now from a mighty case of PTSD. Add to that, she has no idea how or why she was released. She barely has two cents to rub together, but she does have the home where she grew up, a haunted house she calls Woolly, which feels like its own character in the story.

Grier makes ends meet giving haunted tours in Savannah with her best friend and neighbor, Amelie. Things start to unravel as she continues to be approached by vampires who seem to want something from her, and she is eventually summoned by her aunt, the leader of high necromancer society, for reasons unknown.

I’ve read a lot of reviews that say this is essentially a set up book, and it is. But that didn’t bother me one bit. There were so many great threads happening here and underlying it all was this deep wrong done to the main character. She is trying desperately to climb out of the hole she was put in and there are so many forces who are still trying to take advantage of her. But she’s a fighter and I love that about her.

The world building is great. The necromancers and the way vampires operate in this series are different from so many other books, and while things were often dark, they were also very engaging. I cared what happened to Grier. I loved her huge crush on Amelie’s brother, Boaz. I wasn’t 100% on board with the approach he took to winning her, but I couldn’t help but root for him when he was so firmly in her corner.

There are great secondary characters, not only those who I have already mentioned, but also Neely, the sweet friend who does her make up. And the villains who are just so awful, I loved to hate them.

I have so many questions. Like what really happened to Maud, the guardian Grier is accused of killing? What is the deal with Grier’s father? I assume he was behind the awful events in the last act of the story. What is the Grande Dame’s long-game? Could Grier be more powerful than anyone imagined? (That last question is rhetorical.)

I can’t wait to find out all the answers. I’m jumping in to book two right away.

Rating: A-

Click to purchase: Amazon

How to Save an Undead Life
by Hailey Edwards
Release Date: August 19, 2017


  1. I’ve been listening to this series on audio which is recently released. I have finished the second book and posted my review this past week. The 3rd audio is out in September and I’m not sure about the 4th which just came out in ebook this week. They are on Kindle Unlimited so I’m tempted to “read ahead” but I’m waiting for the audio for now.

    I’m more into the mystery / the action and the answers to your questions than I am the romance aspect. Book 2 does not yet answer your questions. But they may be left until later or the end of the series?

    I hope you enjoy the next one as much as I did. I can’t wait to see what you think.

    Anne – Books of My Heart

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