unclean spirits: book one of the black sun’s daughter by m.l.n hanover

Posted on September 27, 2009

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In the first chapter, the man who has all the secrets and mysterious plans is murdered…. and all because he took things for granted.

unclean spiritsJayne Heller is a 22 year old college dropout who inherits her murdered uncle’s vast estates, and unfinished business. A ruthless cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for power and world domination. A realist, Jayne found it difficult to believe in the cabal’s existence. Unfortunately,  it doesn’t share her reluctance, and is quite convinced she is a threat to their goals.

Collecting an assortment of allies—cursed chef, ex priest, Buddhist mystic, and attractive scientist, she sets out to continue her uncle’s legacy, and to survive the attacks against her. Unlike most urban fantasy heroines, she has to operate in a totally clueless-about-the-monsters-within-us society, meaning she has to work around or break some rules not just to survive but also succeed. An unexpected ability to dodge magical spells and kick ass makes the job easier, but piles up more unanswered questions.

Throughout the book, there were references as to how smart, resourceful, but secretive her uncle Eric was. Irritated, I would think, “but he was offed so easily in the first chapter!” He doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence from me, and yet Jayne’s present and future survival depends on the empire of properties, information, and secrets the uncle collected over the years.

But, there is hope, mine, that nothing is what it seems. The death of Randolph Coin, demon leader of the bad guys, bothered me. He was in despair, over dying or over the death of something he also is fighting for.  This book may not be as exciting to read as others in the genre (the romance elements sucked, it dragged sometimes, the heroine is courageous but a cry baby…) but it has complexities that will certainly bring me back to the sequel, Darker Angels.

Now, if only her group of unlikely companions had more personality beyond the labels we conveniently set them apart with, this book would rise above the crush of urban fantasies in bookstore shelves.

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Posted in: fantastic