Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover

The Black Sun’s Daughter, Book 1

Synopsis: 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….

Review: I was really curious about this series. I saw some nice reviews on the latest volumes released but I also have read many mixed reviews about this first volume… I was not sure what to expect about it.

Jayne Heller is a young woman like any other who is however somewhat distant from her family for personal reasons. She finds herself now dealing with the estate of her uncle murdered in a strange way. She is however very surprised by what he has left behind him. Money more than she could ever spend, and some dangerous problems she couldn’t have expected.

So the big question is… What did I think about the book? Well I must say that I also had a mixed feeling. The ideas are very interesting, it’s true. Indeed, it’s always nice to discover new creatures and MLN Hanover has created some new villains who are feared from the beginning. They are part of a kind of sect: the invisible college, targeting humans without any reasons. We know a little bit about the topic, but we discover the details with our heroine Jayne, I however finally think that we still do not know much about them at the end. Which is quite a shame because I would have liked to understand the origins of these creatures, I’ll perhaps know it in the second volume.

In terms of characters, I must say that I struggled to hold on to Jayne. I do not really know why, but I could not put myself in her place or really understand her. And then what I do not understand at all is the reason why she is attracted to Aubrey. He is the softest and boring guy in the book … So you can understand now my feelings. Ex and Chogyi Jake were so much better, the two of them are mysterious and intriguing. This is perhaps their bad boy attitude which rather makes me want to know more about them while Aubrey would rather be the nice guy of the band.

In terms of the story I also struggled to hang out with all that was going on. It’s pretty long actually. Nothing happens (or not so much) for more than half the book. That’s right, it takes some time for get our heroine to settle down and to understand what is happening. It may be interesting to see the history and know the context, but I must say that it was a little too much, or at least for me. So I did not have as much enthusiasm as I would have thought at first.

You will think that I did not like the book now, but this is not the case, however, it is a good start to the series but I think I will have to read the second to really get an idea about the following events.



18 thoughts on “Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover

  1. Bummer, between the softy boy she is attracted to and you being unable to connect I am skeptic about this. Having said that sometimes the first book of a series is meh, and as the character and world develop I end up liking the series. I think this is one I will keep an eye on to see how the next book fairs with readers. Wonderful, helpful review 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed this book which I read about a year or two ago and I gave it 5 stars coz I zoomed through it. I liked the characters in the group and it was nice for a change to have our heroine fall for a guy that doesn’t smack her around or rape her or mentally torture her. I have the rest of the series still to read and I hope to get to them soon.

  3. I very rarely LOVE book 1 in any series; no matter the author, there’s usually a few growing pains that take at least one installment to iron out. I almost always give the second novel a try, no matter what my thoughts were on the first one. And, like you said, 3 stars is still a decent rating.

  4. I read the first two books of this series, and would one day like to get back to reading the rest. I have two or three books here in the series too. But it’s just a mediocre series for me. Nothing seems to be out of the ballpark, per se for me. It’s good but nothing that stands out extremely for me. And I remember wanting to know more about the characters too, that’s why I read the second book. 🙂

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