Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Unclean Spirits (The Black Sun's Daughter, #1) by M.L.N. Hanover

"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?" 

When Jayné (pronounced Zha-nay) Heller's uncle, Eric, died she thought the reason he'd fallen out with her overly religious family was that he was gay. Her father had called his brother "a pervert and an abominations before God." She'd just assumed he must be gay. In reality, the truth was something entirely different. Her uncle was not who she thought he was, and she was just finding out she really didn't know the man she depended on to get her out of jams when she was younger.

"The generic term's riders. They get inside a person, and they change them. Make them do things, make them want to do things. Give them freaky powers. Normal people who've got a feel for it and the right training--call 'em wizards or witches or cunning men or whatever--they can do some pretty weird sh*t, but nothing compared to what riders are capable of."

He'd never told her anything about his life. She hadn't known what he did. Her uncle, she was finding out, had been a self appointed vigilante on a mission to rid the world of unclean spirits (aka riders). Little did she know when she stepped off the plane in Denver, she had just walked into Eric's world, and her life would never be the same...

This was a really fun story. I loved the mystery of who Eric was and that we didn't get the full picture in this book, just a taste. I enjoyed finding things out as Jayné did. I think having Jayné go in clueless was a brilliant way to introduce us to the world Hanover created--a world which is dangerous and intriguing. It reminds me a touch of 'Invasion of the Body Snatcher', only the snatchers aren't aliens but rather spirits, demons if you will, instead. The invasion of these creatures explains how werewolves, vampires, and other such creatures came to be.

Jayné is a strong and smart young woman who is almost as mysterious as her Uncle Eric. Everyone believes that her uncle must have put some sort of ward on her for protection, but I'm not sure about that. An incident which Jayné recounts having happened when she was 16 makes me wonder if there isn't more to the story than you take note of at first glance. When Jayné finds herself in dangerous situations she goes from untrained young woman to a kick@ss heroine. It's almost like a switch has been flipped.

The secondary characters are as interesting a Jayné. They all knew her uncle and help her fill in some of the blanks about him. There's Aubrey, who is a research biologist whose expertise is in parasitology. Ex is an ex-priest who can perform exorcisms. Chogyi Jake, whose background I'm unsure of, reminds me a bit of a young version of Mr. Miyagi from from the Karate kid. He tends to guide Jayné and make her work things out. There is also a character named Midian who introduces Jayné to the world of the riders. He's a vampire who her uncle had formed an alliance with.

Besides inheriting her uncle's assets, it appears she's also inherited his enemies. While checking out one of her newly inherited properties, she comes across Midian. While the two are chatting, they are attacked by the people who Midian believes killed Jayné's uncle and that's when she realizes she herself is in danger.

The story flows at a good pace. It's filled with lots of action and keeps your attention. Definitely a series I'd recommend and I'm already hooked on. I can't believe I hadn't heard of this series before. I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses.

Order of series:

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