Luna Masterson can see demons. Unfortunately most other folks can’t, so she’s concerned that everyone thinks she’s crazy. Like her brother, Seth, who is patiently skeptical. She lives with him and her one-year-old niece so she can help out after his wife abandons them. Luna does her best to not shake things up so she can be there for her family.
Until she meets Reed Taylor, who talks to something that people can’t see… only it’s not a demon (yep, it turns out that angels do exist!). Luna and Reed’s mutual interest is apparent from the start, and he asks her out. But in true Luna style she messes up their first date; of course, she can blame the demons for that one.
The fight with the demon turns out to be game changing because it “marks” her, which is like sticking a homing beacon on her, only she can’t get rid of it. Now every demon she happens across has it out for her, and she begins to realize that there’s a reason the stakes have changed, and she knows she needs to find out why or else her very soul is at risk.
NAMELESS (Amazon) is the first book in a new Urban Fantasy series called The Bone Angel Trilogy by Mercedes M. Yardley. The story is told from Luna’s funny (seriously, I lol’d) and witty first-person PoV. It’s her narrative that carries the story as she tries to figure out not only what’s going on, but also her place in a world where demons influence people, but 99.9% of the population doesn’t see any of it or even believe it’s happening. She hasn’t quite figured out her role in all of this–it doesn’t help that she’s inherited this ability from a father who never really understood his purpose, either.
And therein lies the rub. She doesn’t know why she sees demons. She can do some sort of thing that protects a house from them, but we never learn how. Does this mean she has magic? Or is it as simple as pouring salt around the foundation? She can beat up the demons, but I’m not sure how she can (she uses her fists, knives, and general cat-like fury), or even what happens to them when she’s successful. Demons talk to her, and most want to possess her, while others sort of float around, and yet others want to “help”–which pretty much only involves warning her that bad things are going to happen. She doesn’t seem much interested in solving her lack of education in all things demon. There are the beginnings of world-building–demon hierarchy, demons can only come in a house when invited, etc–but it falls flat because so much is left unexplained. The concept for the book is there, but the story still felt full of holes, like it’s a glorified outline without the detail to give it depth and interest.
The plot is a simple one that moves forward in a straightforward and predictable fashion clear up to the end. The pacing and flow suffers from the occasional hiccup in scene movement and jumps in time–the short, choppy chapters don’t help this problem. The novel reads more like an introduction to Luna and her relationship with Reed than a set-up to a trilogy. I’m not clear what Yardley was trying to accomplish with this first book, but since the book read fast and I enjoyed Luna’s voice, I’m willing to try book two and see where the story goes.
- Recommended Age: 14+
- Language: A handful
- Violence: A fair amount of blood and other unpleasant imagery
- Sex: A reference to an affair but without detail