October Releases

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review: Unclean Spirits (Black Sun's Daughter #1) by M. L. N. Hanover

In a world where magic walks and demons ride, you can't always play by the rules.

Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn't quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it's all hers -- and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College.

Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric's heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means -- magical or mundane -- so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life.

Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions -- Aubrey, Eric's devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities -- Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she'll have to learn the new rules fast -- or break them completely....
     I was walking around in my local Books-A-Million store so overwhelmed, as always, trying to figure out a book to get. Then I came across an author I never heard of, M . L. N. Havover. What got me? The cover of course. But I did read the summary on the back and it sounded pretty cool. So I immediately picked up Unclean Spirits and Darker Angels (book 2) all at once. I am happy I did because I need to get to Darker Angels quick because I need more action.
     Unclean Spirits starts very mysteriously. Technically a main character, Eric, (the story would not have taken place without it happening), is killed. We don't know why, we just know his killers aren't human. With his death, comes his niece Jayne (pronounced Zha-nay) who arrives at the airport to get Eric's things situated. While there she meets Aubrey, a cute guy who worked with Eric and who Jayne actually thought he was lovers with (funny little mix up). He becomes her love interest. Well I am not sure love is the right word, but it is something. Anyway soon after this little meeting, Jayne finds out that the uncle that may have saved her out of plenty of jams with her family, but she didn't know all that well, has left everything to her. His ridiculous load of money, his numerous houses around the world and unfortunately the life-or-death situation he died for. 
    Jayne is, of course, overwhelmed by it all. One day she is a regular college dropout that doesn't really know where her life is going and now she is loaded with more money than she can count. Through all of this, Jayne ends up at one of Eric's many, many places of residence. It is here, she meets Midian. A hilarious and witty smart ass who has been cursed by the very man they are trying to hunt down. He is basically a working corpse. Through a fight the ensues after there run in, we the meet the rest of the gang, Ex and Choygi Jake. This is where my problem comes in because I can't give you much of a clear picture of them. 
    Ex is supposed to be a religious nut who is good with guns and Choygi Jake seems supernatural, but I can't really say more than that because I am not sure. He is good with wards apparently. Anyway, they all get together and try to find out how to kill Randolph Coin, a man who is possessed by a demon and runs the Invisible College. A group of people who have been recruited to help Coin gain power and destroy everything around him. That is why Jayne needs Aubrey, Midian, Choygi Jake, and Ex. They knew how Eric operated and they are the only ones that can help Jayne destroy Coin before his next huge recruitment takes place.
     I love the story. I love the plot. I am just not that crazy about the characters. I love Jayne as a heroine, but I don't understand how she can do the things she does. When she is in her first fight, she was able to kick so much ass and no one, not even herself, can explain why. The gang says it might be due to a protective ward Eric put on her, but I think there is more to it then that. So I am hoping to find out a little more about her in the next couple of books. Then there is her "relationship" with Aubrey. I liked Aubrey, he was adorable and smart. But what went down between them, Jayne shouldn't have been all crazy about it because she only knew Aubrey for a few days and then sleeps with him. It is her fault for not asking the right questions. Just saying, she was a tad bit selfish. I don't want to spoil what the problem was, just know, she could have asked a question or two. Actually find out more about Aubrey.
    I liked Ex and Choygi Jake. But like I said, we don't know a lot about them other than they helped Eric and are good at their jobs. They both interest me, but we don't know much about them. Also Ex does something later on in the book that he doesn't really give any explanation for. I believe he does it to take care of the situation (Coin) himself, but we see that he obviously still needs her. It was strange.
    My favorite character in this book was Midian. He had the most depth compared to everyone, that and some of the things he says make you crack up. He has a very dark sense of humor that lightens up the book. He also brings a bit of a twist in the book which was nice.
    Finally there is the villain himself who doesn't interest me in the least. I mean as in why should I care sort of way. He doesn't really even come off scary, just mean. Maybe it is just me, but I expect my villains to be interesting. Maybe it had a lot to do with the fact that all his scare tactics were done from a far. The man was a coward with powers, that was it.
    All in all, this book was good and I am loving the author so far. I want to read more of her work, but I needed more. Characters are a big drive in books and we don't get to know much about them in this book. By the way, I like getting a description of the characters right off the back as well. I hate not getting one quick because I end up creating my own and then it is not how I imagined once we find out how they look like. Just saying, it is weird.


*This book belongs to the following challlenge:
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenege 2011


  1. Fabulous and honest review Diana! I am glad that for just randomly seeing the book you picked it up and for the most part are enjoying them. I'm glad that you are going to continue reading the series and maybe in the next few books you will grow to love it! I know when it came to the Fever Series I did not enjoy the series at first...I felt like there was something missing but as I continued it I just grew to really love it! I am looking forward to seeing the next reviews for this series to see if I should check it out. :-D

  2. Thanks so much hon :) I really did love it and I will continue because there were things that I enjoyed. I am just not the sort of person to put a series down without looking at the rest, doesn't make sense. I truly loved the Fever series from beginning to end even though Mac was a little annoying in the beginning LOL! I am looking forward to catching up on this as well. There is a third that came out a couple of months ago, so I will be sure to add it. Thanks again hon :)


Due to the daily spam comments I have been getting lately and to avoid the annoying word verification, Anonymous comments are no more. I do not want bargains on bags, watches, jerseys, boots and other crap. Geez, they could at least spam me with book and movie stuff, I would be somewhat interested LOL! Thank you :D