Publisher: UK –Orbit
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewJayné 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 is the first in a new (to the UK) Urban Fantasy series which has a different take on the supernatural world. All vampires, werewolves and other creatures are caused by ‘riders’, demon spirits from another dimension who possess people. This was a nice twist on the typical UF set up. Jayné, our young heroine is a naive and slightly lost young woman who suddenly finds out that she has inherited her Uncle Eric estate – several million pounds, a number of properties around the world and a fight against evil.
Jayné is an easy character to like – she is young and struggles at first to accept these supernatural happenings and certainly in the first half of the book she tags along with others, leaving them to make the decisions. However, she soon starts to come into her own, taking charge and organising others. She isn’t afraid to question both others and herself and struggles with the blinkered upbringing. She lacks the snark that so many lead characters have and this makes for a refreshing and less defensive character. In addition, Jayné is surrounded by a large cast of colourful characters who spend a lot of time explaining the nature of the threat and helping her. I enjoyed the way they interact together as a proto-family, although Jayné still feels like she has yet to find herself – but as she is only in her early twenties that’s understandable!
There is a lot of potential with this series – a likeable heroine who isn’t afraid to make the first move, a solid cast of support characters, an intriguing mythology, exciting fight scenes and hints of ongoing mysteries. There are a lot of unanswered questions, not least of which is why this series is called The Black Sun’s Daughter! Jayné’s fighting skills, what the riders really want and who Jayne’s uncle really was, are hopefully areas that will be explained more in future books – all of which I am looking to picking up soon!
Recommended for fans of Jennifer Estep and Kelley Armstrong. 7.5 out of 10.