Saturday, 6 February 2010

Book Review: No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus Superbus!

Goodreads appetizer:

Readers around the world have fallen for Kelley Armstrong’s intoxicating, sensual and wicked tales of the paranormal, in which demons and witches, werewolves and vampires collide – often hilariously, sometimes violently – with everyday life. In Armstrong’s first six novels, Elena, Paige and Eve have had their way with us. Now get ready for Jaime Vegas, the luscious, lovelorn and haunted necromancer. . .

Jaime, who knows a thing or two about showbiz, is on a television shoot in Los Angeles when weird things start to happen. As a woman whose special talent is raising the dead, her threshold for weirdness is pretty high: she’s used to not only seeing dead people but hearing them speak to her in very emphatic terms. But for the first time in her life – as invisible hands brush her skin, unintelligible fragments of words are whispered into her ears, and beings move just at the corner of her eye–she knows what humans mean when they talk about being haunted.

She is determined to get to the bottom of these manifestations, but as she sets out to solve the mystery she has no idea how scary her investigation will get, or to what depths ordinary humans will sink in their attempts to gain supernatural powers. As she digs into the dark underside of Los Angeles, she’ll need as much Otherworld help as she can get in order to survive, calling on her personal angel, Eve, and Hope, the well-meaning chaos demon. Jeremy, the alpha werewolf, is also by her side offering protection. And, Jaime hopes, maybe a little more than that.

My thoughts: I wasn't looking forward to reading the 7th book in the series, as its narrator was Jaime and I wasn't particularly fond of her in the previous novels, but I have to admit this book was a very nice surprise. Jaime is a nice and cute character, and reading the story through her eyes she didn't come off as incapable and affected, we could see how much it bothers her that all the other supernaturals see her as a weaker being in need of being protected. In the previous novels she sounded glamourous, always dressed and made up like some model, a bit fake with all the show business life, but here we got to see her vulnerablem human side and how hard it affects her that she has to ignore ghosts and not be able to help them. Kelley Armstrong gave us again a 3D character, a character the reader got to like because of her complexity.

I also loved that while the previous books were sizzling with sensuality (especially the Elena narrated ones), Kelley Armstrong stayed true to her characters and didn't force something quite uncharacteristic on them (I'm especially thinking of Jeremy) just to entertain the readers.

But what I love most about Armstrong's writing is that she makes you experience that childlike enthusiasm and excitement when reading her novels: you just want to gobble up her stories in one sitting, living and breathing in her universe while the story lasts. Unfortunately not too many authors are this gifted.

Verdict: The 7th book in the Otherworld series was much much better than the 6th (I'm saying this while having a partiality to Elena): in No Humans Involved, besides Armstrong's brilliant writing style, the plot was exciting and kept you interested until the end. You are in for a ride!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

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