Title: No Humans Involved
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #7
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘I’d had erotic fantasties about men right in front of their noses and never batted an eye.
It’s the most anticipated reality television event of the season: three spiritualists gathered together in one house to raise the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. For renowned medium Jaime Vegas there’s just one problem. Unlike her colleagues, Jaime is the real deal: and she knows that the house is truly haunted. Not by dead film stars, but by something even stranger and much more disturbing.
A tragic mystery lurks in the maze of gardens behind the house: trapped spirits that only Jaime can hear. As their whispers grow more frantic, Jaime – along with Alpha werewolf Jeremy Danvers – is forced to embark on an investigation into a shocking underworld of black magic and ritual sacrifice.
When there were first hints of Jamie’s crush on Jeremy in Industrial Magic, I really wasn’t sure what to think. The werewolf alpha and a woman that is flighty and enjoys numerous flings… it seemed like a bit of a weird combination of characters in a romantic entanglement. However, truly learning more about Jamie from her point of view in No Humans Involved completely removed these misgivings. Within the first two chapters, I went from wondering how they would work together to keeping my fingers crossed for such a relationship to develop.
Jamie is cast as someone who is necessary throughout other Women of the Otherworld tales, but she isn’t quite able to protect herself. Although this makes the whole series more accessible – there are literally supernatural women of every kind, it does make it a little hard to see how she can hold her own in a world that is, quite frankly, dangerous. I loved that this lead character didn’t have super strength, or super powers to defend herself, but often had to resort to her own ability to talk her way out of things. Her insecurities about this when surrounded by others who are able to, quite simply, blast their way out of any uncomfortable situation made her character all the more realistic, and likeable. Her eventual embracing of her powers and abilities not only lead to her saving herself (instead of just waiting to be rescued), but also an inner happiness and health that she hadn’t previously felt.
Where most of the women in the Women of the Otherworld series have jobs and careers that helps them to hide amongst the non-supernatural, Jamie’s chosen career path embraces the attention surrounding the desire for the paranormal. Her ability to twist her talents to not only enhance her career, but also to imply that they don’t exist, all in the same moment are phenomenal. I like that she uses an inherent talent in a way that most frown upon, however, it is something that she genuinely enjoys. Instead of simply being a charlatan who preys on the weak for their money, she truly hopes that by contacting (and pretending to contact) the dead gives closure to the grieving. And after all, who among us don’t hope that there is somewhere better for our lost loved ones, a place in which they are happy and all of their earthly problems have been forgiven and forgotten?