Book Review: Dead Rockstar by Lillah Lawson

There’s something about reading urban fantasy, whether contained of romance or not, that fascinates me. I think it’s to do with the intersection of magic and real life. The world is full of stories, full of live to be lived, and adding magic—be that in the form of witchcraft, shifters, dragons, vampires, whatever—just makes things a little more wonderful. So when I got the chance to read Lillah Lawson’s Dead Rockstar, a dark, paranormal romance set in Georgia, I was thrilled. 

1. Thoughts on the plot

The premise of this plot is that Stormy Spooner performs a spell to bring back her favourite rockstar, Phillip Deville, some twenty-odd years after his death. She doesn’t actually expect it to work, and when it does, she has to deal with an undead rockstar coming to terms with life again, people following after them, and trying not to get into trouble now she’s a necromancer.

This plot started off relatively simple, with a character whose life was falling to pieces, and a late night summoning that only the main character and her friend didn’t believe would work. So far, I’m enjoying myself quite a bit. But when things become real, with real problems, real emotional conflict, as well as magical, that’s when this story really kicked into gear. I think the plot was fascinating, and it definitely did not follow the road that I expected, which was a bonus. This book, for all its magic and mayhem, though, is really about the characters.

2. Thoughts on the characters

Stormy Spooner is an absolutely fantastic main character. She’s capable, snarky, and is dealing with situations that feel very real to me, even if I haven’t personally experienced them. Her relationship with her best friend Sloan seems a little strange at first, but it really works for them and for the story. Stormy isn’t presented as someone who has a perfect life, or will have a perfect life as soon as other people get out of her way and stop holding her back. She is real, has real flaws, and is an absolutely wonderful narrator. Not to mention she takes all this necromancer stuff in stride, considering she doesn’t believe in any of it.

Phillip Deville, too, feels real, which is impressive considering he’s an undead rockstar. He has struggles with coming back to life and dealing with his old life. He would be a really difficult character to like if he weren’t such a teddy bear when it comes to Stormy, actually acting as her friend rather than just a potential romantic interest. It is fun to witness his journey into his new life alongside Stormy, especially when things go a bit wonky.

3. Favourite part

It’s hard to choose one favourite, since this novel has so many nuggets of interest sprinkled throughout. I think the tiny details really make this book what it is. The bit with Phillip and tea, the discussion of songs, the conversations about and over food. All of these things come together to create an immersive world that is more than just story. 

Basically, I can’t choose a favourite, I like it all.

4. Critique

My only critique is the ending. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the ending. But I want more! (I read that there will be a sequel, so this point may be moot.)

Overall, Dead Rockstar exceeded my expectations in every way. The characters are great, the story is quirky and unexpected and fun to read, the drama is perfect, and I liked all the little details. If you’re interested in paranormal romance with undead rockstars, amateur necromancers and the potential for huge amounts of trouble, then this is an excellent book to read.