[Horror/Urban Fantasy] Review: UNCLEAN SPIRITS

22 04 2010

A guest review for you, Gentle Readers, while I try to thrash some of my to-do list into submission. This one is again written by Crystal L. Woods, my intern at Mike’s Comics, who has done her own time in the bookselling trenches.

Take it away, Crystal.

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Title: Unclean Spirits – Book 1 of The Black Sun’s Daughter
Author: M.L.N. Hanover
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Pocket Books, 2008
$7.99 U.S./$9.99 Canada
ISBN: 978-1-4391-4305-6

The strengths of this book lie in its dedication in attention to character personalities and creativity by the author in constructing a unique world and taking a different perspective on the subjects of spirits, monsters, and magic.

I found this book to be particularly interesting as it has taken the time to create a world and system of magic all its own. The world runs by its own rules and has deep intrigue on multiple levels. Nothing is without cost, everything has a price – usually high – and consequences will follow whatever actions are taken. It was interesting to watch the heroine of this series begin coming into her own. She is uncertain, frequently bewildered, but not only does she learn – like most of us through mistakes – but when she finally decides to step up and become the heir to her Uncle Eric Heller’s legacy, she does it for her own, very human and personal reasons.

This isn’t a typical, ‘I’m the hero and I know it’ story. She is disbelieving, reluctant to accept what she is told, and still needs time – as many people in life do – to make up her own mind and figure out exactly what she believes and why.

It is a definite plus that she has relatability. Family difficulties on top of being thrust into the metaphorical ‘rabbit hole’ into a world she has never even known existed, but now that it knows about her, isn’t going to simply leave her to her own devices, regardless of her own initial wishes.

The cast of characters accompanying the heroine is certainly an eclectic group, each with their own personalities, excentricies, and ideas about what is right and wrong. Of course, this complicates matters at the most inconvenient times, but it keeps the reader guessing and waiting to see what happens next and I eventually grew to like all of them for just those reasons.

My only major drawback was in finding the amount of expletives being used.

That may have been understandable in some sense with trying to keep character and believability, but I personally found it to be mildly excessive and a bit of a put-off at its heavier moments and thus wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone under age 15.

Other than that, the story kept a great pace and I am looking forward to seeing the next book ‘Darker Angels’ and where this ongoing adventure takes the young Ms. Jayne Heller and her companions next.

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Feedback for Crystal can be e-mailed to clwoods at mikescomics dot com.

Thanks for reading!

—pmc2

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