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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic start to a series
'Unclean Spirits' follows Jayné Heller as she travels to Denver to settle the estate of her murdered uncle. Upon arrival she learns not only that his remaining possessions are left solely to her, but his capital is vaster than she could have ever imagined. Along with his fortune, Eric also left her a legacy of a different kind... his unfinished business with a...
Published on 26 Dec 2009 by Persephone

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much waiting around...
Will I've read A LOT of urban fantasy and I must admit I was very excited to read this. I was already set to buy the entire series. However...well..it started with such promise but it didn't live up to expectations. The characterisation is good - and that's the plus side. On the negative side of things - well, the story is shallow, no real depth, no real intrigue. She...
Published on 19 April 2010 by Beetle


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic start to a series, 26 Dec 2009
This review is from: Unclean Spirits: Book One of the Black Sun's Daughter (Mass Market Paperback)
'Unclean Spirits' follows Jayné Heller as she travels to Denver to settle the estate of her murdered uncle. Upon arrival she learns not only that his remaining possessions are left solely to her, but his capital is vaster than she could have ever imagined. Along with his fortune, Eric also left her a legacy of a different kind... his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the 'Invisible College'. Jayné learns that Eric was some sort of demon hunter, and now has little choice but to follow in his footsteps because whether she believes in demonic riders or not, the leader of the Invisible College Randolph Coin, sees her as a threat to be eliminated by any means. I did not expect to love this book as much as I did -- it was a refreshing read with original worldbuilding and an interesting take on demons. There was a great sense of energy to the book and I could feel the tension pressing on the story all the way through. I rooted for the characters to take out Coin, cheered Jayné on when she figured something out, felt terrible for her when things fell apart and was at the edge of my seat until the final moments.

Jayné is an intelligent if slightly innocent and sceptical protagonist. She finds it incredibly difficult to believe in the existence of magic and demons -- her own childhood having been ruled by a conservative Christian father who she lost faith in. Her reaction to the revelation of the supernatural world was one of realistic horror and fear. It was nice to have a heroine who was down to earth rather than butt-kicking -- there was no posturing with Jayné, if she didn't understand something she didn't let it phase her. She cared about those around her and was deeply appreciative of the help she received. I loved the development of her character. One of the best things being that she learns from her mistakes and doesn't make them again.

The strongest thing about 'Unclean Spirits' is the characterisation. The varied secondary cast that supports Jayné's endeavour soon turns into a family of sorts: there's Aubrey, a biology expert and a nice guy who isn't dull; Ex, a young former Jesuit priest who's austere and mentally self flagellating; Midian, a sharp tongued two-hundred-year-old man under a curse; and Chogyi Jake, a calm and wise voice of reason. I loved all the characters but Ex and Midian were my favourites by far, aside from Jayné herself of course! All the characters were multi-layered and had complex motivations, their relationships with each other getting messier as time went on. Ex interested me a lot, with his deep religious guilt and his straightforward manner. Hanover's characterisations reminded me of something you would get in Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series -- heart, grit, and just deeply flawed people. Hanover adheres to that much abused rule of good writing 'show don't tell'. With the secondary characters there's very little telling. Jayné doesn't spend pages analysing them, the other characters layers are instead displayed through their behaviour, and it's left to the reader to understand the hints shown.

I'm hideously fussy when it comes to romance and usually hate how it's handled in novels. However, the romance is deftly handled here. There is more than one guy interested in Jayné which becomes apparent to the reader, but not to Jayné herself. Even though the book is written in first person Jayné is an unreliable narrator -- she doesn't necessarily interpret everything the reader does the same way. Despite all the vivid detail, you get the impression that you're only just scratching the surface of this dark original world and its complicated characters. It's brilliant! I love discovering a book that has such unexpected depth and realistic complications. I seriously suggest buying this together with the sequel: Darker Angels: Black Sun's Daughter which is even better.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Urban Fantasy, 8 Feb 2010
By 
Stephanie Beeson (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unclean Spirits: Book One of the Black Sun's Daughter (Mass Market Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book, pretty much reading it in one sitting. It has a good plot and believable characters with some depth to them. The world background is interesting and the take on the supernatural different enough to feel new. I like the way the 'magic' system works, there are some sections that obviously tie into folklore and others that are new but still blend in nicely. There's a dash of romance in the mix, just enough for spice not enough to take over the book. The main plot is resolved however there are still mysteries unexplained at the end of the book, in such a way that I'm looking forward to reading the next one.

If you're looking for a good urban fantasy story I'd recommend you buy this book.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting new urban fantasy series, 7 Dec 2008
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....

Fans of Carrie Vaughn, Lilith Saintcrow and Kim Harrison will enjoy this book. It moves at quite a pace although Jayne's quick acceptance of the paranormal world is a little too pat. A good first book in what should be an exciting new series.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much waiting around..., 19 April 2010
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This review is from: Unclean Spirits: Book One of the Black Sun's Daughter (Mass Market Paperback)
Will I've read A LOT of urban fantasy and I must admit I was very excited to read this. I was already set to buy the entire series. However...well..it started with such promise but it didn't live up to expectations. The characterisation is good - and that's the plus side. On the negative side of things - well, the story is shallow, no real depth, no real intrigue. She could have done so much more with it. I can see from other reviews that people liked the main character. However, I felt her 'journey' was not realistic and lacked any real insight into human behaviour. Finally, there was so much waiting around. Waiting for the big battle - waiting and introspection..waiting and introspection. It got to the point where if I realy yet another line about how she felt prior to the battle I would start tearing my hair out. So no.. i don't really recommend this
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 28 Jun 2011
By 
J. L. Rice (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unclean Spirits: Book One of the Black Sun's Daughter (Mass Market Paperback)
When I read another customers review I thought, this book sounds really good, but I must admit I was alittle disappointed.
The book wasn't what I was expecting and i think that was the disappointing thing, however the story itself was good and kept you reading and I thoroughly enjoyed all the characters, although a little selfishly i think I wanted our heroine to get with the other guy!
Still its worth a read and an excellent and unique take on a topic that is normally so straight forward you never think it could be different.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland, 14 May 2010
This review is from: Unclean Spirits: Book One of the Black Sun's Daughter (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought the story had a potential that wasn't achieved. Maybe the second book (if there will be one) would have a lot more to say then this one. Throughout the whole of this book I kept thinking that something was going to happen but...
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Unclean Spirits: Book One of the Black Sun's Daughter
Unclean Spirits: Book One of the Black Sun's Daughter by M. L. N. Hanover (Mass Market Paperback - 28 July 2009)
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