Series: The Never Veil Series #1
Published by Patchwork Press on 09/21/2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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In a village of masked men, each man is compelled to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. A man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.
Seventeen-year-old Noll’s childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her. She is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him.
Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman and the magic of man. The stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled lord is willing to lose.
“Love is a curse.” — “Nobody’s Goddess” by Amy McNulty
The main character, Noll, is a strong-willed girl who goes against the grain. She would rather wear trousers than dresses, and she would rather not have a man fall in love with her because of some mysteriously ingrained compellent. There is one man for every woman and until he finds his one, his goddess, he remains masked because if a woman who does not love him looks at his unmasked face then he will die. Noll hates that this is their reality but it is what it is, until her best friend, Jurij, finds his goddess in Elfriede, Noll’s sister. As Jurij and Elfriede grow closer, Noll realizes her true feelings for Jurij and isn’t willing to give him up. She tries to find a way to stop the inevitable but instead inevitability finds her. The lord over their village is her match. And that just won’t do.
There were a handful of unique elements in this that drew me to this story. I was curious how the author would portray a world where men had to hide a part of themselves at risk of death. The author showed us a literal outlook on how “looks can kill.” Not only did men have to hide their faces, but women also had to take precautions because one glance in the wrong direction at the wrong time could prove fatal.
I was also intrigued by her outlook on finding love. Love would find them. A man knew when he’d found his match because something would just click inside, and everything else would fall to the wayside. How’s that for love at first sight?
Some of the magic was also pretty fun to read. For example, the lord’s castle was spelled so that any woman who looked at it would cause an earthquake. No big deal, right? Yikes! And I especially enjoyed all of the purple scenes. Lol. Don’t worry, that’ll make sense when you read it.
Unique elements aside, I do not recommend this book. I stuck through it to the end because I was hoping Noll, our antihero protagonist, would gain some redeeming qualities, and because there were so many directions this story could have gone. But sadly that was not the case, at least not from my perspective.
I hated the main character. That’s a pretty big deal for me. Noll became insufferable as soon as she realized her true feelings for Jurij, and I couldn’t get over the fact that she was content with aspiring to be the “other woman” and ruining the lives of everyone around her. She was selfish and narrow minded. So many people got hurt because of her. She became a villain for me.
I also hated the relationship between Noll and the lord, what little there was of it. We were well into the story before he even entered the picture and even then I felt that there were too many gaps. I was under the impression from the synopsis that he was to play a significant role in this story, but he fell flat. I alternated between feeling bad for him, not understanding him, and not liking him.
2 out of 5. The book had a few unique elements and there were some revealing elements at the very end that would have changed my outlook on the story had they been implemented earlier. But overall this story felt poorly executed, all over the place, and the main character was awful. I’m sorry but this first is my last.
“Nobody’s Goddess” is McNulty’s debut novel. McNulty enjoys a variety of genres, anywhere from business marketing to anime. Her villains and antiheroes are often fantastical and medieval. See her website for any number of fun facts and blogs about her book series and more.
Amazon / About the Author
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