Unclean Spirits puts a new twist on the standard urban fantasy fare. Yes, it’s got vampires, lycans, and demons of a fashion, but the ideology is different. Here, otherworldly spirits can transcend out of their own world into ours and latch on a human. They become “riders” –taking over their host’s body and wreaking havoc.
Jayné knows nothing about riders or magic. But when her Uncle Eric dies, she inherits his home and his money; his secret life is an unexpected part of the deal. Eric fought the riders. When he died, he was trying to take down the leader of a powerful group of the creatures, Randolph Coin. Jayné gets a crash course in reality as she begins to meet Eric’s associates. And it’s only a matter of time before she takes up her uncle’s mantle and seeks revenge on his killer.
Jayné may not know everything about her uncle’s world, but she is not totally naive. She manages to take a lot of shocking information in stride. She has to let go of her old life and embrace her new one, which takes strength. And while the whole shtick about the pronunciation of her name (zha-NAY) got a little old, I found that I liked her. She grows a lot over the course of the book.
I also enjoyed the secondary cast of characters. While Jayné makes a little love-connection with one man, I get the feeling that her true intended is going to be someone else entirely (yes, Ex, I am talking about you.) There is a tiny bit of sex – enough that it wasn’t left out entirely, but I probably would have enjoyed a bit more. And speaking of supporting characters… I really ended up kind of fascinated with the vampire Midian and I wonder what the future holds for him.
I liked this book. And I liked the ending. There is good resolution, but the door is opened wide for future installments. I still don’t get the series title “Black Sun’s Daughter,” but maybe that will be explained in the coming books. A little more than 4 stars.
*Review copy provided by Pocket Books
Unclean Spiritsby MLN Hanover (Daniel Abraham)Release Date: December 2, 2008Publisher: Pocket Books