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....
About the Author
M.L.N. Hanover is an International Horror Guild Award-winning author living in the American southwest.
Read an Excerpt
I flew into Denver on the second of August, three days before my twenty-third birthday. I had an overnight bag packed with three changes of clothes, the leather backpack I used for a purse, the jacket my last boyfriend hadn't had the guts to come pick up from my apartment (it still smelled like him), my three-year-old laptop wrapped in a blanket, and a phone number for Uncle Eric's lawyer. The area around the baggage carousel was thick with families and friends hugging one another and saying how long it had been and how much everyone had grown or shrunk or whatever. The wide metal blades weren't about to offer up anything of mine, so I was just looking through the crowd for my alleged ride and trying not to make eye contact.
It took me a while to find him at the back of the crowd, his head shifting from side to side, looking for me. He had a legal pad in his hand with my name in handwritten letters "JAYNE HELLER." He was younger than I'd expected, maybe midthirties, and cuter. I shouldered my way through the happy mass of people, mentally applauding Uncle Eric's taste.
"You'd be Aubrey?" I said.
"Jayné," he said, pronouncing it Jane. It's actually zha-nay, but that was a fight I'd given up. "Good. Great. I'm glad to meet you. Can I help you with your bags?"
"Pretty much covered on that one," I said. "Thanks, though."
He looked surprised, then shrugged it off.
"Right. I'm parked over on the first level. Let me at least get that one for you."
I surrendered my three changes of clothes and followed.
"You're going to be staying at Eric's place?" Aubrey asked over his shoulder. "I have the keys. The lawyer said it would be okay to give them to you."
"Keys to the kingdom," I said, then, "Yes. I thought I'd save the money on a hotel. Doesn't make sense not to, right?"
"Right," Aubrey said with a smile that wanted badly to be comfortable but wasn't.
I couldn't blame the guy for being nervous. Christ only knew what Eric had told him about the family. Even the broad stroke of "My brother and sister-in-law don't talk to me" would have been enough to make the guy tentative. Much less the full-on gay-hating, patriarch-in-the-house, know-your-place episode of Jerry Springer that had been my childhood. Calling Uncle Eric the black sheep of the family was like saying the surface of the sun was warmish. Or that I'd been a little tiny disappointment to them.
Aubrey drove a minivan, which was kind of cute. After he slung my lonely little bag into the back, we climbed in and drove out. The happy crowd of families and friends fell away behind us. I leaned against the window and looked up into the clear night sky. The moon was about halfway down from full. There weren't many stars.
"So," Aubrey said. "I'm sorry. About Eric. Were you two close?"
"Yeah," I said. "Or...maybe. I don't know. Not close like he called me up to tell me about his day. He'd check in on me, make sure things weren't too weird at home. He'd just show up sometimes, take me out to lunch or for ice cream or something cheesy like that. We always had to keep under my dad's radar, so I figure he'd have come by more often if he could."
Aubrey gunned the minivan, pulling us onto the highway.
"He protected me," I said, soft enough that I didn't think Aubrey would hear me, but he did.
"Myself," I said.
Here's the story. In the middle of high school, I spent about six months hanging out with the bad kids. On my sixteenth birthday, I got very, very drunk and woke up two days later in a hotel room with half a tattoo on my back and wearing someone else's clothes. Eric had been there for me. He told my dad that I'd gotten the flu and helped me figure out how to keep anyone from ever seeing the ink.
I realized I'd gone silent. Aubrey was looking over at me.
"Eric was always swooping in just when everything was about to get out of control," I said. "Putting in the cooling rods."
"Yeah," Aubrey said. "That sounds like him."
Aubrey smiled at the highway. It seemed he wasn't thinking about it, so the smile looked real. I could see why Eric would have gone for him. Short, curly hair the color of honey. Broad shoulders. What my mother would have called a kind mouth. I hoped that he'd made Eric happy.
"I just want you to know," I said, "it's okay with me that he was gay."
"He was gay?"
"Um," I said. "He wasn't?"
"He never told me."
"Oh," I said, mentally recalculating. "Maybe he wasn't. I assumed...I mean, I just thought since my dad wouldn't talk about him...my dad's kind of old-school. Where school means testament. He never really got into that love-thy-neighbor-as-thyself part."
"I know the type," he said. The smile was actually pointed at me now, and it seemed genuine.
"There was this big falling-out about three years ago," I said. "Uncle Eric had called the house, which he almost never did. Dad went out around dinnertime and came back looking deeply pissed off. After that...things were weird. I just assumed..."
I didn't tell Aubrey that Dad had gathered us all in the living room me, Mom, my older brother Jay, and Curtis the young one and said that we weren't to have anything to do with Uncle Eric anymore. Not any of us. Not ever. He was a pervert and an abomination before God.
Mom had gone sheet-white. The boys just nodded and looked grave. I'd wanted to stand up for him, to say that Uncle Eric was family, and that Dad was being totally unfair and hypocritical. I didn't, though. It wasn't a fight I could win.
But Aubrey knew him well enough to have a set of spare keys, and he didn't think Eric was gay. Maybe Dad had meant something else. I tried to think what exactly had made me think it was that, but I couldn't come up with anything solid.
Aubrey pulled his minivan off the highway, then through a maze of twisty little streets. One-story bungalows with neatly kept yards snuggled up against each other. About half the picture windows had open curtains; it was like driving past museum dioramas of the American Family. Here was one with an old couple sitting under a cut glass chandelier. One with the backs of two sofa-bound heads and a wall-size Bruce Willis looking troubled and heroic. One with two early-teenage boys, twins to look at them, chasing each other. And then we made a quick dogleg and pulled into a carport beside a brick house. Same lawn, same architecture. No lights, no one in the windows.
"Thanks," I said, reaching around in the seat to grab my bag.
"Do you want...I mean, I can show you around a little. If you want."
"I think I'm just going to grab a shower and order in a pizza or something," I said. "Decompress. You know."
"Okay," he said, fishing in his pocket. He came out with a leather fob with two keys and passed it over to me. I took it. The leather was soft and warm. "If you need anything, you have my number?"
"Yeah," I said. "Thanks for the lift."
"If there's anything I can do..."
I popped open the door. The dome light came on.
"I'll let you know," I said. "Promise."
"Your uncle," Aubrey said. Then, "Your uncle was a very special man."
"I know," I said.
He seemed like he wanted to say something else, but instead he just made me promise again that I'd call him if I needed help.
There wasn't much mail in the box ads and a water bill. I tucked it under my arm while I struggled with the lock. When I finally got the door open, I stumbled in, my bag bumping behind me.
A dim atrium. A darker living room before me. The kitchen door to my left, ajar. A hall to my right, heading back to bedrooms and bathrooms and closets.
"Hey," I said to nothing and no one. "I'm home."
I never would have said it to anyone, but my uncle had been killed at the perfect time. I hated myself for even thinking that, but it was true. If I hadn't gotten the call from his lawyer, if I hadn't been able to come here, I would have been reduced to couch surfing with people I knew peripherally from college. I wasn't welcome at home right now. I hadn't registered for the next semester at ASU, which technically made me a college dropout.
I didn't have a job or a boyfriend. I had a storage unit in Phoenix and a bag, and I didn't have the money to keep the storage unit for more than another month. With any luck at all, I'd be able to stay here in the house until Uncle Eric's estate was all squared away. There might even be enough money in his will that I could manage first and last on a place of my own. He was swooping in one last time to pull me out of the fire. The idea made me sad, and grateful, and a little bit ashamed.
They'd found him in an alley somewhere on the north side of the city. There was, the lawyer had told me, an open investigation. Apparently he'd been seen at a bar somewhere talking to someone. Or it might have just been a mugging that got out of hand. One way or another, his friend Aubrey had identified the body. Eric had left instructions in his will for funeral arrangements, already taken care of. It was all very neat. Very tidy.
The house was just as tidy. He hadn't owned very much, and it gave the place a simplicity. The bed was neatly made. Shirts, jackets, slacks all hung in the bedroom closet, some still in the plastic from the dry cleaner's. There were towels in the bathroom, a safety razor beside the sink with a little bit of soap scum and stubble still on the blade.
I found a closet with general household items, including a spare toothbrush. The food in the fridge was mostly spoiled, but I scrounged up a can of beef soup that I nuked in a plain black bowl, sopping up the last with bread that wasn't too stale. The television was in the living room, and I spooled through channels and channels of bright, shining crap. I didn't feel right putting my feet on the couch.
When I turned on the laptop, I found there was a wireless network. I guessed the encryption key on my third try. It was the landline phone number. I checked mail and had nothing waiting for me. I pulled up my messenger program. A few names appeared, including my most recent ex-boyfriend. The worst thing I could have done just then was talk with him. The last thing I needed was another reminder of how alone I was. I started typing.
JAYNEHELLER: Hey. You there?
A few seconds later, the icon showed he was on the other end, typing.
CARYONANDON: I'm not really here. About to go out.
JAYNEHELLER: OK. Is there a time we can talk?
CARYONANDON: Maybe. Not now.
His name vanished from the list. I played a freeware word search game while I conducted imaginary conversations with him in which I always came out on top, then went to bed feeling sick to my stomach.
I called the lawyer in the morning, and by noon, she was at the door. Midfifties, gray suit, floral perfume with something earthy under it, and a smile bright as a brand-new hatchet. I pulled my hair back when she came in and wished I'd put on something more formal than blue jeans and a Pink Martini T-shirt.
"Jayné," she said, as if we were old acquaintances. She pronounced it Jane too. I didn't correct her. "This must be so hard for you. I'm so sorry for your loss."
"Thanks," I said. "You want to come into the kitchen? I think there's some tea I could make."
"That would be lovely," she said.
I fired up the kettle and dug through the shelves. There wasn't any tea, but I found some fresh peppermint and one of those little metal balls, so I brewed that. The lawyer sat at the kitchen table, her briefcase open, small piles of paper falling into ranks like soldiers on parade. I brought over two plain black mugs, careful not to spill on anything.
"Thank you, dear," she said, taking the hot mug from my hands. "And your trip was all right? You have everything you need?"
"Everything's fine," I said, sitting.
"Good, then we can get to business. I have a copy of the will itself here. You'll want to keep that for your files. There is, I'm afraid, going to be a lot of paperwork to get through. Some of the foreign properties are complex, but don't worry, we'll make it."
"Okay," I said, wondering what she was talking about.
"This is an inventory of the most difficult transfers. The good news is that Eric arranged most of the liquid assets as pay-on-death, so the tax situation is fairly straightforward, and we get to avoid probate. The rest of the estate is more complicated. I've also brought keys to the other Denver properties. I have a copy of the death certificate, so you only need to fill out a signature card at the bank before you can do anything with the funds. Do you have enough to see you through for a day or two?"
She handed me a typewritten sheet of paper. I ran my finger down the list. Addresses in London, Paris, Bombay, Athens...
"I'm sorry," I said. "I don't want to be a pain in the ass, but I don't understand. What is all this?"
"The inventory of the difficult transfers," she said, slowing down the words a little bit, like maybe I hadn't understood them before. "Some of the foreign properties are going to require more paperwork."
"These are all Uncle Eric's?" I said. "He has a house in London?"
"He has property all over the world, dear. Didn't you know?"
"No," I said. "I didn't. What am I...I mean, what am I supposed to do with this stuff?"
The lawyer put down her pen. A crease had appeared between her brows. I sipped the peppermint tea and it scalded my tongue.
"You and your uncle didn't discuss any of this?" she said.
I shook my head. I could feel my eyes growing abnormally wide. "I thought he was gay," I said. It occurred to me just how stunningly underqualified I was to execute anybody's will, much less something complex with a lot of paperwork.
The lawyer sat back in her seat, considering me like I had just appeared and she was maybe not so impressed with what she saw.
"Your uncle was a very rich man," she said. "He left all his assets specifically and exclusively to you. And you had no idea that was his intention?"
"We didn't talk much," I said. "He left it to me? Are you sure? I mean, thanks, but are you sure?"
"The majority of his titles are already jointly in your names. And you're certain he never mentioned this?"
The lawyer sighed.
"Ms. Heller," she said. "You are a very rich young woman."
"Um," I said. "Okay. What scale are we talking about here?"
She told me: total worth, liquid assets, property.
"Well," I said, putting the mug down. "Holy shit."
I think lottery winners must feel the same way. I followed everything the lawyer said, but about half of it washed right back out of my mind. The world and everything in it had taken on a kind of unreality. I wanted to laugh or cry or curl up in a ball and hug myself. I didn't did not want to wake up and find out it had all been a dream.
We talked for about two hours. We made a list of things I needed to do, and she loaned me six hundred dollars "to keep me in shoes" until I could get to the bank and jump through the hoops that would give me access to enough money to do pretty much anything I wanted. She left a listing of Eric's assets about a half inch thick, and keys to the other Denver properties: two storage facilities and an apartment in what she told me was a hip and happening neighborhood.
I closed the door behind her when she left and sank down to the floor. The atrium tiles were cold against my palms. Eric Alexander Heller, my guardian uncle, left me more than I'd dreamed of. Money, security, any number of places that I could live in if I wanted to.
Everything, in fact, but an explanation.
I took myself back to the kitchen table and read the will. Legal jargon wasn't my strong suit, but from what I could tell, it was just what the lawyer had said. Everything he had owned was mine. No one else's. No discussion. Now that I was alone and starting to get my bearings, about a thousand questions presented themselves. Why leave everything to me? Why hadn't he told me about any of it? How had he made all this money?
And, top of the list, what was someone worth as much as a small nation doing in a bar in the shitty part of Denver, and did all the money that had just dropped into my lap have anything to do with why he'd been killed?
I took out the keys she'd left me. A single house key shared a ring with a green plastic tag with an address on Inca Street. Two storage keys for two different companies.
If I'd had anyone to talk to, I'd have called them. My parents, a friend, a boyfriend, anyone. A year ago, I would have had a list half as long as my arm. The world changes a lot in a year. Sometimes it changes a lot in a day.
I walked back to the bedroom and looked at my clothes, the ghost of my discomfort with the lawyer still haunting me. If I was going to go face Christ only knew what, I wasn't going in a T-shirt. I took one of the white shirts out of the closet, held it close to my face, and breathed in. It didn't smell like anything at all. I stripped off my shirt, found a simple white tee in Eric's dresser, and put myself together in a good white men's button-down. It classed up the jeans, and if it was a little too big, I could roll up the sleeves and still look more confident than I did in my own clothes. More confident than I felt.
I felt a little weird, wearing a dead man's shirt. But it was mine now. He'd given it to me. I had the ultimate hand-me-down life. The thought brought a lump to my throat.
"Come on, little tomato," I told the key ring. "You and me against the world."
I called a taxi service, went out to the curb to wait, and inside forty-five minutes I was on Inca Street, standing in front of the mysterious apartment.
Copyright © 2008 by M. L. N. Hanover
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Main character is compelling, a misfit raised in a religious family who finds she has powers she didn't know she had. I really enjoyed this book because it allowed for her growth as a person and a team member to fight evil. You also come away from the reading wanting to find out more about her and the other characters. I've grown VERY tired of Laurell Hamilton's obsession with sex and this was a refreshing alternative. I'm looking forward to more books in this series.
I thought that the plot was very well thought out. The book was written well and the characters were developed very well. The characters were all developed very well. Each which there own story behind the story. The idea behind the plot was not completely original but had a new twist added. This made the book very interesting and hard to put down. I would not recommend this for young readers due to language and some adult content scenes. I am interested to see how the story progresses in the next book.
It only took me three days to read this. It's fine if you're into a light summer read, but if you like to get lost in the story and care about the characters then this isn't the book for you. It seemed as though everything was glossed over. There was little character development and I found myself imagining the characters in a much different and interesting way than the author. I bought it at a used bookstore and I'm glad I didn't pay more than $3 for it.
I liked the main character well enough, and the secondary characters were okay. The storyline felt uneven, with too much focus on romance and relationships and not enough on the plot. The supernatural elements were imaginative and very different from the usual, and I would have enjoyed learning more about the underlying magical structure and creatures of this universe. It's an okay start, and I hope for better from the second book.
Jayne is an interesting character, but she forms the backbone of this novel. She is a loner, not particularly social and does not have close ties to family. When her uncle dies, she is surprised to learn she inherited a fortune. However, not everything can go right for poor Jayne as she discovers that she inherited far more than money from her dearly departed uncle. Jayne will have her hands full with wizards among other paranormals. The author places a new spin on just what paranormals truly are. The reader will enjoy this latest explanation, complete with details. Although Jayne is certainly the focus of the novel, there are many other secondary characters that take a fairly large part of the book. The reader will enjoy the humor of Midian and the wit of Aaron. This book is fast-paced and action-packed, recommended to young adult/teen readers.
Good first book in what I hope is a series. Jayné inherits her uncle's estate, but with vast wealth comes responsibility. She learns of a hidden world of demons who 'ride' unsuspecting humans. She attempts to track down the man who killed her uncle whilst discovering things about herself. A little clichéd in places, but easy to read.
I liked the story line but the characters were very under developed and it felt like I was having potatoes without the meat. Jayne is too shallow for me to take serious as the risk taker, dare devil, jump in sack with a guy I just met and call it love, maybe, the next day.
I really enjoyed this book. I'd like to read the latest one (the 2nd) and, if it's just as good, I'd like to continue it as a series. I really felt this was very "hip" in the way that I like my urban fantasy to be. Google is all over the place without feeling like a selling tool. Hanover regards Carrie Vaughn (of the Kitty Norville series) as one of her "auxiliary" supporters for the book and I see it, I really do. For those of us who heart the Kitty series, this is a good one to go to. I'm not so sure about the touchy "rider" stuff...it's not what I'd call traditional as an approach to this kind of mumbo jumbo, but it's got a strong narrative and character behind it. I'd tell you to give it a try, if you liked this kind of stuff (like I do).
Jayne's uncle Eric dies unexpectedly and Jayne inherits more than she expected. Turns out here uncle was some sort of shaman/demon killer and he was in the middle of a job when he died. Jayne and a bunch of guys that Eric knew team together to finish the job. Actually, the book was better than that cliched description, I liked that Jayne was the daughter of extremely conservative Bible thumpers and how her parents beliefs tripped her occassionally. (though I did think it odd that they would call their daughter, exotically, Jayne. And then call their son Jay? Clearly overlooked in editing!) I liked the unliked crew that forms, esp Midian and Chogyi Jake. I didn't mind the world building, though it wasn't anything especially clever or new. It was familiar but well written enough that it was fun to spend time with these characters and I'll quite likely look for them in the next book that comes out.
M.L.N. Hanover is an alias for Daniel Abraham. And I was surprised by that it was a guy, but I'm not sure why. This year (as many years) DH and I gave each other books for Christmas. They all looked good, and covered the wide gambit of my tastes. This one I was really unsure about though, but he was so excited about it, I agree to read it first. After all, not so long ago he picked me a book that got me out of a reading funk, so maybe he did know my tastes pretty well. So, I finished the pile of reviews I had to catch-up on from last year, and dove in. It was exciting. Then it was confusing. Then it was intriguing. Then it kept me from sleeping because I was a little scared. Then I couldn't sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about it. And I just plain just couldn't stop turning pages. Jaynes character is the underdog. And pretty much has the maturity and mentality of a college student. And she takes you from her old life to her new one in a believable manner. The money, and the responsibility. She starts to meet people from her uncle Eric's world. And they are all 'characters' to themselves. Aubrey, Ex, Jake and Midian, all bring something to the table she needs, both emotionally and fighting the Invisible College. There was one moment when I about threw the book across the room, with a scream to wake the dead in rage (and I probably would of if it wasn't 1 am, and I was up way to late reading. Again.). I felt tricked. But, the pull of the book at that point brought me back, and I found that it was justified and explained, even if I still didn't love it. With that said, I was 7 pages from being done when DH came home today. He was handed money and immediately sent out the door for the sequel, so I could start it right away. Will it hold up to the first? Time will tell, but right now, I am REALLY hoping so...
Summary from Goodreads:"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."My Thoughts:Unclean Spirits was a satisfactory beginning to this urban fantasy series with a unique and entertaining world. And although I thought that this book was a solid read, I did have a few issues with it. Let's start off with the positive first and what I enjoyed. The storyline and world building in this book were very unique which was one of the best things about this book. The author created an unusual world where vampires and demons used human bodies to live and were called "riders". Jayne is kinda thrown into this world which makes it interesting as we get to learn about the world (and all of these supernatural things) right along with her. She gets caught up in the struggle against the riders and their leader after her beloved uncle dies.Jayne was an interesting main character. She came across as very realistic as she struggled to come to terms with all of the changes in her life. And unfortunately she doesn't really have anyone that can give her all of the answers even though she does develop a group of allies that she works with. I really liked the different characters that made up Jayne's inner group. They were all unique and with their own stories...I hope that we get to continue to learn more about them in future books. And although I liked Jayne's character, I struggled with her indecisiveness at times as well as her lack of confidence in herself. There were times that I just wanted her to be more assertive and ready for whatever was going to thrown at her next. This could just be my preference when it comes to female urban fantasy heroines...I fully admit it. But her character did affect my enjoyment of the book at certain points. That being said, I am eager to continue on with the series. I feel like the ending of the book helped to show a stronger, more confident side to Jayne, and I'm hopeful that it will carry on as the books progress. Plus, I'm curious to see what will happen next!Overall, this wasn't my favorite beginning to an urban fantasy series but I did enjoy it. I really enjoyed the world that the author created as it was nice and dark while still being original. I will definitely be picking up book two in this series. Recommended.Bottom Line: An enjoyable read but with a few flaws.Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. My thoughts are my own :)
I don¿t read urban fantasy ¿ or so I thought. I tried a novel or two when the bookshelves started to fill up with covers depicting women scantily clad in black leather, all with tattoos on their lower backs and weapons of one sort or another in their hands, but they seemed rather generic and ¿ at least the ones I read ¿ not all that well-written.Then I heard about that M.L.N. Hanover was actually Daniel Abraham, the author of the Long Price Quartet. So far I¿ve only read the first in that series, A Shadow in Summer, but I admired it greatly, and am looking forward to reading the next three straight in a row when time allows. So much did I like Abraham¿s work that I was willing to take another chance on urban fantasy and try out the two novels in the series titled The Black Sun¿s Daughter, written by Abraham¿s alter ego.I¿m glad I did. The two novels published in the series to date, Unclean Spirits and Darker Angels, are a kick to read, just pure adrenaline-fueled fun. I haven¿t had this much pure entertainment since I rode the Screaming Eagle at Six Flags in Gurney, Illinois a million years ago. I wish there were more books in this series available right now, because I¿d swallow them whole right this minute.Unclean Spirits starts when Eric Heller dies and leaves his entire estate to his niece, Jayné Heller (her first name is pronounced zha-nay, but it¿s frequently mispronounced as plain old Jane). Jayné is just a few days shy of her twenty-third birthday when she learns that she has suddenly become wealthy ¿ the kind of wealthy that not only doesn¿t have to worry about where the next meal is coming from, but doesn¿t even have to worry about keeping a roof over her head, because she can always pay cash for a house if she needs one. She meets her uncle¿s lawyers and his assistant, Aubrey, all of whom seem normal. Although she¿s pretty dazed at her sudden good fortune ¿ especially given that she¿s just dropped out of college, has been disowned by her immediate family, and hadn¿t figured out what to do with herself when this news came out of the blue ¿ everything seems as normal as it can seem when you¿ve essentially won the lottery but lost the only relative you cared about.That is, it seems normal until Jayné goes to her uncle¿s apartment in Denver and finds a corpse in the bedroom. Things quickly get worse when the corpse opens its eyes and speaks to her. But everything¿s okay; Midian is simply very, very old. In fact, he was born the year they stormed the Bastille, he explains. And oh, by the way, it was a bunch of evil wizards who killed her uncle. Jayné is dubious until four figures break into the apartment and try to kill her, and she is able to fight with a great deal more ability than she ever imagined. Between the two of them, Midian and Jayné kill the four strangers ¿ and Jayné is now deeply into something about which she knows nothing.Unclean Spirits tells the tale of how Jayné begins to learn who her uncle was and what magic is, and a very little bit about who she is herself. She does this while attempting to destroy the magician who killed her uncle, working with his allies. There are a number of disasters along the way, including the near death of a young man Jayné finds herself beginning to love. Relationships with others begin for the sake of convenience and turn into strong bonds of friendship and sometimes enmity. As the book ends, Jayné is still alive and has accomplished what she set out to do, but she is still almost completely ignorant about her inheritance ¿ both in terms of what material things are out there, and in terms of what she has gained by learning of the magical world she lives in. Jayné is strong, sexy and smart, but she isn¿t too much of any of these; she is far more real and vulnerable than your average heroine.Darker Angels opens six months later. During the interim, Jayné has had her staff ¿ her uncle¿s former assistant and two men who had helped him out from time to time, one an ex-priest kn
I enjoyed it, it was a fun read - dark and gritty without being gruesome. Good characters with room for growth and a story that is worth following up on.
Strong female protagonist and interesting side characters, including (finally!) an unsexy vampire. Surprisingly hopeful ending. I loved it.
Disappointing. The characters were hard to like or keep one's interest and the plot was formulaic and derivative. Not recommended.
This author writes in the same league as Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher. Here's hoping I've stumbled onto another solid urban fantasy series.
With any UF series, or any book series in general, I either heard of the series or heard nothing about but it. But what draws me in is either the story and cover. Or vice versa. This was a nice surprise. Throughout while reading, I was getting invested with what was going on, wanted to read more about these characters that I grew to like. And by the end of it, I liked the book. What I like more is it took me by surprise here and there. Just when I think its going in what direction, it goes another. It's kind of refreshing. This was a really good start to this series that I already want to read more from. Looking forward to reading about Janey and co again.
@ 'wsf' res. The parts are a bit jumbled.
Fun easy read.