No Humans Involved (Women of the Otherworld, Book 7), by Kelley Armstrong

Don’t worry; we’re almost at the end of the series. This review and next Tuesday’s review of the latest book in the series are the last two. I won’t bore you with any more biographical information on Kelley Armstrong; interested readers can pore back through the other reviews to find out anything that might be useful.

We first met Jaime Vegas a few books ago; she’s a celebrity spiritualist (think John Edward) who can actually talk to the dead. She doesn’t usually bother, anaemia though; what’s the point, malady when a few well-placed guesses will do just as much work? Also, ed as you might guess, the dead don’t always have peaceful, TV-appropriate messages to give their loved ones. She’s got a huge crush on Jeremy Danvers, the Alpha of the werewolf pack. Nothing’s quite happened — he’s stone-faced, and she doesn’t have the guts just to ask him how he feels. That doesn’t quite explain why she invites him to LA with her, when she’s offered a position on a show with other spiritualists, to try to communicate with the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. There are two other spiritualists there, neither of whom can possibly communicate with the dead at all. However, Jaime finds some odd child ghosts in the backyard of the house they’re staying in. She needs to put them to rest, but she also needs to find out who killed them. With the help of Jeremy, Hope Adams (a half-demon who can sense chaos in a clairvoyant type of way), and Eve Levine from book 5, she starts to uncover a situation more dangerous than she thought.

One of my favorite scenes in the book is during a ‘practice’ seance, where the other two spiritualists attempt to contact the ghost of an actress named Tansy. Jaime fakes it just as well as they do, but Tansy comes to speak with her anyway. It turns out that a lot of the ghosts in the area have been watching the filming, and they sent Tansy over to talk to Jaime. This, of course, gives Jaime an edge, and makes the other spiritualists hate her. Fortunately, their hatred doesn’t run that deep, and she’s able to smooth it over.

Another line of tension that’s been running through, oh, say, the last three books, is the relationship (or lack thereof) between Jaime and Jeremy. She’s wanted him for four years, now. It would probably be stupid of me to assume that anyone reading this has NOT figured out that they’re going to get together during this book, but I won’t say how or when. It’s quite satisfying, though. Too much tension!

The murder and the connections between people involved in the murders is a little convoluted, I’ll admit. I didn’t think this was Armstrong’s most coherent work. Jaime’s ability to run off and fly to different cities — or to be away from the set for ten or twelve hours at a time — also didn’t make that much sense. I felt as if the timeline was getting stretched all over the place, in order to make all the threads of the mystery fall together properly. Jeremy’s presence is also, as I mentioned above, a bit inexplicable. I don’t think I could find a good reason to invite a man I would like to be involved with out to California to watch me be on a TV show. Obviously, given that Jeremy has at least a little bit of regard for her, the lame excuse goes over fairly well, but it’s a bit of a stretch.

That having been said, I enjoyed Armstrong’s look at Hollywood, show biz, and the backstabbing that goes on behind the scenes. I enjoyed Jaime as a narrator; her voice is much more mature than Paige, or even Elena. She has a bit of the been-there, done-that attitude; although a good deal of the murders shocked her, she’d definitely seen death and violence before. Despite its inconsistencies, I’ll rate it 3.5/5 stars.

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