Somehow I skipped a couple of months of the book reviews for Moonlight Gleam’s Women of the Otherworld reading challenge. I’m still not quite sure how that happened. At any rate, it worked out okay because HAUNTED and BROKEN aren’t my favorite of the stories. (They aren’t my least favorites either, but I’ve read them more than once, which was enough to know that they’re middle of the road in the series for me.) And, in addition to accidentally skipping stories that I know well enough, I returned to the reading challenge for one of my favorites in the series.
NO HUMANS INVOLVED features Jamie Vegas and her relationship with my favorite of the werewolves, Jeremy Danvers. These are both characters I’d enjoyed reading about for some time before they got their own book I think this is why I liked them:
Unlike most of the other supernaturals in this series, Jamie seems almost normal. She’s the first of the supernaturals we really meet who doesn’t have kick-ass powers. She can’t change into a wolf. She can’t cast spells. She can’t burn things with a touch or even use simpler half-demon tricks like Troy does to keep from getting wet in the rain. She can contact the dead, but based on our interactions with her up to this point, that seems frankly like a curse rather than a blessing. This makes my impressions of Jamie based on not what she can do, but how she does it – and I certainly like her personality. She’s just a lot of fun, in my book.
And Jeremy… the thing I like best about him, have ALWAYS liked best about him, is his reserve. Many of my friends go for the bad guy, either in real life or “just” in fiction. I’ve always liked the nice guy. The respectful guy, the one who will hold doors and just generally treat a girl “right”. So Jeremy, for me, was a perfect fit. (Lucas too, but he’s not in this story much.) I do like the fact that we get to see beyond that very basic feeling of “Jeremy’s a good guy” and see the wolf underneath. But I also like that he’s true to his nature, and is written in an utterly believable way (once you get past the whole changes-into-a-wolf thing).
The two of them as a couple? Works. And is sweet in a very grown-up way. There’s nothing else I really want to say about it… it just seemed very natural. It works.
Now, about the story itself… (I am going to jump to the end here. There will be a little in the way of spoilers, so you are fore-warned.) My biggest complaint is that we didn’t get enough in the way of actual answers. Most of our answers are inferred based on what the protagonists discover in their investigation.
But… was May part supernatural? We can assume so. The question is which kind? The comment about dried bits of body parts makes necromancer seem likely, but then why could she do magic and not see the dead? Also, in this world necromancy – as with the spellcasters – runs in families. I don’t remember hearing that you had to occasionally cross two lines of necromancers (or spellcasters) to keep the powers strong. This implies that May had some other kind of supernatural blood. Maybe half-demon? That would be my guess, but it’s just a guess.
Also, what happened to the children? What kind of rite was it that was being performed which prevented them from crossing over into the ghost world? There are guesses we can make, but it’s left unconfirmed.
Now, these unanswered questions could annoy me. The story is written well enough, though, that they don’t. I get the definite impression that Kelley knew what the answers to these questions were when she wrote it, but the answers don’t need to come out for the story to be finished. In fact, leaving them as unanswered questions makes perfect sense when you realize we’re also dealing with the Fates here… they tend to leave as many questions unanswered as possible.
All told, I really like this book. I think it’s my third favorite of the series (behind only the two books Paige narrates). Granted, I haven’t read THIRTEEN yet, but we’ll see. I have read other books narrated by Savannah, and I prefer Jamie’s voice to Savannah’s so far.