Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review: Unclean Spirits

This is the first book in the Black Sun's Daughter series by M L N Hanover.

Book Blurb:

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....

This is another one of those books that I have been eagerly anticipating. And another one of those books that let me down.

I just could not get excited about this book. The characters were not engaging. The plot was slow and dragging and - well, boring.

With the first book in a series we usually have a great many things that need to be set up. Characters have to be introduced and back stories set down. And I am okay with that - I really like that. I want to know why someone is doing what they are doing - what motivates them and such.

But I just didn't care enough with this book. It took me 5 days to read this book and that was because I just didn't want to pick it up.

I see potential in the characters - they just need that little extra 'oomph'. That certain something that makes a reader go "okay, what's he/she gonna do now".

I guess I'm more of an action girl than I thought - because I was ready for something to happen long before anything did. It seemed like 3/4 of the book was planning to do this or planning to do that - instead of just doing it.

The sequel is due out in September and it is called Darker Angels......maybe it will be a little better. But I have to say the covers for both books are awesome!! That is another reason why I was so eager to pick up Unclean Spirits - the cover art is great.

I give Unclean Spirits 1 out of 5 stars.

Black Sun's Daughter
1. Unclean Spirits (2008)
2. Darker Angels (2009)
Unclean SpiritsDarker Angels


Patti said...

I saw this in the store yesterday, picked it up and put it back. I'm so glad I did!

Mandi said...

Thanks for the review. I liked your honest opinion.

SciFiGuy said...

Hey Michelle a very forthright review. I read and reviewed this awhile ago and thought it suffered from some first novel in a series pacing issues too. Hanover is a pen name for the major league fantasy writer Daniel Abraham. It is interesting to see the results when a writer expands outside their traditional genre. Hadn't seen the cover for the sequel. Thanks for featuring that!

Blodeuedd said...

Sorry to hear that :( My an honest review is great.Truth to be told I was put off by the cover, she looks so thin, I am so weird, lol

VampFanGirl said...

Wow, I'm so bummed that you didn't care for this book. When I saw the cover my jaw dropped. It's gorgeous! But to read that it kinda sucks just well sucks... I'll pass.

Thanks for the great review!

;) VFG

Michelle G said...


:) I hate to agree with you - but I surely do.


You are welcome. Thank you for stopping by. :)


I feel like authors are pushed into trying new genres - sometimes it works out and other times, not so much. I've not read anything by Daniel Abraham so I can't compare this work to any of his other work. I would be interested in reading something - just so I can see the differences. :) And I love the cover for the new book.


You are not weird. :) I always try to be honest when I review. But you know, everyone is different. Someone else may read this book and love it. :)


I know exactly what you mean. I hate it when I'm so looking forward to a book just to be disappointed in it. :) But it happens. I have to say though that my ratio of 'good' to 'bad' reads has the 'good' reads way ahead of the bad. :)

Thank you all for stopping by and taking the time to comment. :)


Anna said...

I almost picked this one up today.

Lea said...

Hey Michelle!

I would have picked up this book as well and been very disappointed. As you indicated, the cover art is lovely and the synopsis very intriguing. Too bad it didn't live up to expectations.

Sorry I'm a little late coming by, it's been a hectic day.. lol


Rachel said...

It sort of sounds like the YA series the Mortal Instruments. That sucks that it wasn't good though.

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle G said...


I think you got some great books today. I hope you enjoy them all. :)


I'm sorry you've had a hectic's hoping tomorrow is easier for you. :) Enjoy your evening.


I have the first 2 books in the Mortal Instruments on the shelf..but I haven't had a chance to get to them yet - I hope they are better reads than this one was. :)

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)


Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

Yikes! I picked this book up about a month or so ago but haven't read it. The is what caught my attention at the bookstore but the story also looked interesting. Thanks for the honest review.

Anonymous said...

Sorry this one wasn't for you Michelle. Good, honest review.

Michelle G said...


I can't wait to read your thoughts on Unclean Spirits - you may find something in it that I missed. :) I look forward to your review.


Thank you and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. :)


Daniel Abraham / MLN Hanover said...

Sorry this one didn't work for you. I hope you'll consider trying the ext one even so, in case they grow on you. :)

Regardless, thanks for giving it a try.

Daniel Abraham / MLN Hanover said...


For "ext" read "next."

Yet another reason they don't hire me as a copyeditor.

Michelle G said...


Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I am sure that I will read Darker Angels - just to see if it grows on me. :) And I am sure I will post a review about it as well. :)

Best to you.