I feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record when I say that I have found another awesome author to add to my A-List, but I have to say it again with M.L.N. Hanover’s Unclean Spirits. Perhaps I am getting lucky in the review books Jackie is sending me (*grins*), but either way I am so glad to be finding so many new authors to add to my constantly growing A-List!
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….
Unclean Spirits starts off with a couple pages of Uncle Eric’s last moments. Although, now that I think about it, that really didn’t need to be there as those last moments really were not that significant or even relevant really to the story (well other than the fact that he is now dead lol). After Uncle Eric’s last moments, we are introduced to Jayné (Eric’s niece) – who has been left Eric’s entire estate. This comes as a surprise to Jayné as they were not as close as she would have liked them to be. So she gets there and is thrust into this new life, with money and properties all over the world, and hasn’t the slightest clue what she is in store for. And boy from this point on the story, it is non stop action and excitement, what with Jayné learning exactly what Uncle Eric left her.
I have to say that I thought this was going to be another one of those *instantly learns how to kick ass and know it all* type heroines – and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. I really like how Jayné continued to learn to cope with everything that fell into her lap; and the conflicts she comes across are not just with the supernatural but within her own *team*.
The main character wasn’t as lovable as I thought she would be, but that isn’t really a bad thing, as I hate the cookie cutter type stories. She is one that takes a long time to really get to like and understand. The side characters are each very interesting in their own way, and sometimes you love to hate them, but all in all Hanover does a great job with her character building.
The world Hanover has created is very interesting and he has put a unique and wonderful twist on demonic possession that keeps you flipping pages to find out more.
Unclean Spirits is an exceptional starter to a fantastic series that has great potential, and if you are an urban fantasy fan this is right down your alley!