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.
Amy McNulty is an editor and author of books that run the gamut from YA speculative fiction to contemporary romance. A lifelong fiction fanatic, she fangirls over books, anime, manga, comics, movies, games, and TV shows from her home state of Wisconsin. When not editing her clients’ novels, she’s busy fulfilling her dream by crafting fantastical worlds of her own.
This was one of the #SPFBO books I was more excited to try as the cover is stunning and I love the fact that it's not the 'usual' girl pictured, but rather a girl of colour. I was hoping that I would really end up enjoying the story to match with the lovely cover, but although I did like it at times, there were bits I wasn't a fan of.
This story reads like a YA to me. It focuses on a young girl and her best friend (who she is secretly in love with). They live is a world which has a curse placed over it so that all the women are goddesses and all the men have to find 'their' goddess and make them love them. Prior to finding their goddess the men must shield their faces with masks, but if their goddess 'returns' their love on their 17th birthday then the man is free to remove the mask and live safely. If they choose to reject them then they can either live with the man still wearing the mask, or send the man to a convent.
What I liked about this book was that it felt readable and fun, and the concept of a masked society was certainly a fascinating one. I do feel like there were many other directions and ways that the masked village could have gone, and these weren't really explored, but on the whole it was an intriguing concept.
The issues I had with this book revolve largely around three main problems. 1. The main character. 2. The love/romance. 3. The gender stuff For me, the main character was a bit of a bore and pretty whiney to boot. I do think that there were plenty of situations she got into which felt a little bit too silly for me and she probably should have been able to save herself more than she actually did... For the love, this is completely a personal thing, I just don't tend to enjoy insta-love and in this book we have a method of the men meeting their goddess suddenly and instantly being 'forced' to love them and make them love the men back. It just all felt too unbelievable for me. Finally, the gender stuff. What I mean by this is that although the world is designed in a way that the gender of the people affects the path of their life entirely, I just wish there had been more intricate commentary on the roles everyone was forced to play. At times we get glimpses of the unfair and imbalanced society, and I liked this, but I think there were many other opportunities to display more/go into more depth on a topic of gender and these weren't utilised.
This certainly had vibes of Beauty and the Beast. Personally it felt a little bit too much like a re-telling in the middle, but there were other things like the mirror worlds. Overall, it was a likeable story, but it had some issues and I don't think it's near to being the strongest of the books in my SPFBO batch sadly. 3*s
I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this story. How did this world come to be? What happens if a man didn't find "a goddess" in any woman. Did women find it in other woman? So many questions and ALL WERE ANSWERED. I really enjoyed this plot line even though i didn't have a connection with any of the characters. This might review might read as if i didn't like it but i assure you that wasn't the case.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Told: First Person (Noll), Past Tense Content Rating: Older Teen (mistreatment and abuse of women, violence) Format Read: Paperback (library)
In a Sentence: An engrossing and thought-provoking fantasy about choices and consequences with a unique premise but selfish main character.
This was an interesting tale that considered what would happen if one gender almost completely dominated the other. Its main focus was on woman over man - if a woman had control over one man, and could only be with one man, but could not choose that man. Here the man is struck by the magical equivalent of love at first sight, and then the woman is left with three choices: be with him and love him, be with him but don't love him, and don't be with him and be alone forever. Although a woman's order to her man must be followed, this seemed little consolation given the option she is forced to choose is sometimes the best of the worst. And what happens if you don't love a man, but another woman?
Men appear get the short end of the stick (especially since being turned away by your woman sends you to live a rather half-life in the commune), but the flip-side does come up as well: what would things be like if men had full power over women? Highly unsettling in this book, but the study in contrast was intriguing, especially from main character Noll's female-dominant perspective.
While Nol's perspective was interesting though, I did struggle with her personality. She was a bit too selfish for me, taking what she wanted and fighting against the happiness of others if it didn't coincide with her own. I also had a hard time following her reasoning, which made for some confusion at times. But her biggest sin for me was that she didn't even try to fall for her man. Since she couldn't have what she wanted (essentially another woman's man), she didn't even give her own a second thought, and that frustrated me. Not that falling for him would've necessarily been a good thing - while the romantic in me rooted for them to be together, I also felt a foreboding that if she fell for him it would mean the end of the world, or at least her relatively peaceful one. This made for a rather thrilling emotional struggle on my part, not knowing which side to take, but I would've liked Noll to have been at least a little tempted by him.
Overall this story was more thinker than entertainment for me, but that's not to say it wasn't entertaining. Once I picked up this book I didn't want to put it down, and found myself sneaking paragraphs whenever and wherever I could. I did struggle a bit in the middle, but stayed up very late to finish the last few chapters (an extremely rare occurrence for me). There is a lot more to the plot than the summary implies, involving multiple worlds and revolutions and lots of magic, but part of what made this book engrossing was the mystery of what lay beyond the summary, so I'll just leave it at that and you'll have to discover the rest for yourself.
Conclusion: While I did have some problems with the main character, overall this was a rather engrossing and interesting fantasy. Recommend for readers who like stories that make them think. I thought the end wrapped up the story rather well, but this is the first in the Never Veil trilogy. Without a summary to go on right now, I'm curious how the story will expand.
For Fans Of: possibly Beauty and the Beast
OMG this book. THIS BOOK. It's EXACTLY my kind of read. This is the kind of book I would journey to the ends of the earth for. *begins world travel preparations*
*I got this book through NetGalley for an honest review*
Okay this book is unlike any other. Which is saying something these days but... it does kind of take it to the weird side. If a guy looks upon the face of a girl, he will die. Like fall over dead and never breath again. That's why I have to dock a star. It was just a bit strange to me.
So for the writing, I love it, it's a great plot. I love Noll. Not scared to stand up for herself and she is very strong. I like the flow of this novel, nothing is ever too slowly paced to where it got bored. The world building is pretty good, more so close to the end. It's really kicks into high gear there.
Overall, this is a good start to a new series. I will for sure be reading the next one.
I was one of the very first readers of NOBODY'S GODDESS, and I'm beyond excited that in just a few months it will be available for everyone to read. You may think you have this book figured out, but I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. I can't tell you how many times my jaw dropped while reading this, as Amy surprised me again and again with unexpected plot twists. If you're a fan of fantasy novels looking for something different, make sure you pick this one up!
Why was this such a brilliantly written book that I’m ONLY NOW reading?!!
This book gave me EVERYTHING! An intense plot- I NEVER saw that bit of shocker coming. This is coming from a person who prides herself on predicting the plot of each book I read. Wow, was that a bloody fantastic twist! I loved every minute of it!
I know lots of people are hating Noll because they think she’s selfish- and I’m not going to lie. She irritated me too no end! She is also quite selfish. HOWEVER, she’s young! She’s supposed to be stupid and selfish and hung up on her first love! That’s what a lot of teenagers do. They make dumb choices, but they also learn and grow from these choices… Most times. So even though yes, she was selfish, irritating and stubborn, it fit perfect with her characters age. Remember, she isn’t even 17! Let her live!
Speaking on characters! Whew! I loved how each character felt different- even reading through Noll’s perspective. And I just want to detract a bit and talk a little about that. Usually, first-person narratives are the ABSOLUTE BANE of my existence! “Nobody’s Goddess” did the narrative so phenomenally, I forgot I was reading this entire book in that narrative. Well done author! Spectacular job! It was quite lovely! The suspense, the panic, the fear, the anger, the feeling of hopelessness and vengeance- were ALL captured BEAUTIFULLY! It felt as though I was right there in the story with Noll. I certainly experienced a lot of these emotions with her.
One thing I would have changed, or added, depending on how you look at it. I would like the POV from the lord as well. Noll couldn’t see his face to gauge his reactions or expressions/emotions, so we the readers, who learnt information the same time Noll did, were left in the dark about his motives. I enjoyed the bonus at the end with his perspective and it did endear me more to him (the backstory though 😭😭😭), so I would have loved if we had gore’s perspective throughout the book. It would have definitely made him less of an imposing asshat and fleshed him more as a character.
The mum and Elfriede and the dad can kick rocks for all I care. Never cared for the way they treated Noll. Despite the fact that the mum started softening towards her towards the end, it wasn’t enough for me to get over how she always made Noll feel like a second citizen. Did anybody else notice the colourism seemed to factor into play here? Noll, by all accounts, has her father’s deep mahogany complexion, though ‘not as dark as the men of the village’ and Elfriede had her mum’s golden blonde hair with wavy texture and very light skin. Also one of the reason the mum can kick rocks- she never took the time out to learn to properly comb abs care for Noll’s kinky curls. Opting to fawn over Elfriede’s ‘no hair out of place’ smooth bun. Noll had some envy towards her sister because she wished that she never had kinky hair. She can thank her awful parents for that self resentment. Her parents are rubbish!
Exhibit XYZ of her parents giving Elfriede preferential treatment- when Noll got the dress the colour of mud and vomit 😭🤣 I cackled at her description, but I was saddened for her because it was yet another time her mum showed she came second to Elfriede.
Say it with me! Ingrith deserved BETTER!!! First Noll’s rubbish mum give her that pitying ‘gift’ who does that? Then guilt trip Noll into being the one to deliver it (mind you, the rest of the villagers had received theirs months ago). Besides that, I wanted to hear more of Ingrith’s backstory. Sounds amazing. Plus, Ingrith is a bad ass! That’s it! That’s all! Hopefully e get more from her in the second book.
Oh wait, Gideon. Have I got anything to say about him? Yes, he was awful to Noll as well, but I hated him so bad, I was happy we didn’t get too much of him speaking. Otherwise I would have reached through the pages myself to wring his neck. Horrid, horrid man!
Besides Noll’s family, I loved all the other supporting characters and that they each had distinctive personalities. So it didn’t feel like I was reading about the same person, these people were individuals and I loved it. They could just be described and I would tell you who they are without their names being written. That’s how well done each supporting character was.
Alright, I’ve said a mouthful so I’ll cut it short. Loved the book. Loved the plot. See you in book 2 ✌🏾
I’m sorry. I really am. But, y’all, I just really, seriously don’t like the main character. At all. But, y’all that’s only one of the things about this book that don’t really float my boat. Oh yes. Did y’all know that I’ve never read a time travel book that I have liked? Never. Never ever ever. I didn’t know this was time travel. *le sigh* The writing and composition was really on point- don’t get me wrong. But the book as a whole just really wasn’t my cup of hot chocolate.
Okay. So in this futuristic society, women rule the men. If a man takes of his mask before his goddess returns his love he’s turned to dust. Poof. All gone. No one asks questions, they give thanks to the first goddess for mercy and kindness without a thought. Except for Noll. In the beginning of the novel I was like thank the heavens above that someone in this town want to know ‘why’ but as the tale progressed I grew annoyed by her antics. In all honesty, I found her to be selfish. I wanted to shake her a say girl, you can ask questions without destroying people. Because that whole ruining things and messing things up and NOT USING THE BRAINS THE GOOD LORD GAVE HER were are particular talents of hers that made me want to stab her. Only a little though.
The love interest was- I thought- was fairly obvious, (which is neither a good nor bad thing) but for spoiler reasons I’m just going to leave him out of the review. Not because I didn’t like him. I mean I liked him more than I liked Noll.
What did I like about this novel? I bet you think I’m going to say nothing. Well, you’d be wrong. I liked the whole ‘history repeats itself’ concept that was a pretty major theme in this novel. Yup, so there you have it.
So, no I can’t recommend this book. I think if you like time travel you’ll like it more than I did for sure. But I just found Noll to be rather unlikable.
Nobody's Goddess is set in a village in which all the men wear masks, and each serves only one woman, his goddess. If she returns his love, he can remove the mask. I really liked the way the author dealt with all the possible implications of the curse (men can only love one woman, while if the woman rejects him, she faces a lifetime alone). This is an imaginative and complex page-turner with ever-building mystery, and I couldn't wait to see how it all worked out. A must-read for anyone looking for a unique YA fantasy!
This is one of those times when a book sounds good in theory but…
WHAT I LIKED:
* Playing with the concept of love. In Noll’s village a man has no choice but to love one woman whole his life. That woman is his goddess. On the other hand, a woman is free to do what she wants, but if she decides to reject him, she is picking a childless and loveless existence.
* Thought provoking and stirs a lot of questions, about love especially. I think some good what-would-you-do discussions can be made. Nobody’s Goddess is a good pick for a book club.
* World building was to the point. Her village is surrounded by fog and mountains, so the world Noll knows is pretty small. But Amy McNulty fills it with legends, rich folklore, weird little customs and superstitions. She perfectly illustrated an atmosphere of a small, closed off village.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
* Love triangle. Is this a must have for ya novels these days or is it just my bad luck? Grown up Noll realizes that she is in love with her childhood friend. But, he ‘found the goddess’ in her sister.
* Noll is very selfish. Her family or her village is not something she cares about. The only thing she is obsessed with is her childhood sweetheart. She ignores welfare of everyone else in a selfish pursuit to get him back. I hate these kind of people in real life and reading a book featuring one of them was really annoying. I wish motives for Noll’s deeds were more noble.
* It’s all about love/romance. Even when something unrelated happens it turns out it was triggered by Noll’s love-life.
* Time travel had holes. I am not very picky and usually do not complain about time travel, but Nobody’s Goddess had obvious loopholes.
* I just had to accept some superstitions without explanation. This really irked me because I like to question everything. At the end of the book, the cause for these superstitions and customs will be clarified. And then I understood that it could not have been explained sooner without spoilers, but still… I wish there was at least some little explanation given. Not just: do not look at the castle or the earthquake happens. WTF?
IN THE END…
I liked the general idea and writing in Nobody’s Goddess, but I hated the main character and that really lessened my enjoyment. Sometimes there are secondary characters that charm me and save the day, but, sadly, not here.
I could not cheer for Noll because she was too selfish, but I liked the world and I am intrigued to find out how the changes will affect her little village. So, I’m looking forward to the sequel of The Never Veil series.
Recommended for: ya fantasy audience who want a book centered on romance but without explicit sexual descriptions and themes. Because it does not have complex world building, Nobody’s Goddess is also good as intro to fantasy genre.
Disclaimer: I received this ebook from Chapter by Chapter Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. This text is also posted on my blog Bookworm Dreams in a little bit more styled edition.
Nobody's Goddess interested me primarily because of the cover. How often are people of color featured on YA covers? Rarely ever. So I was down to read this book. However, if it wasn't for the cover, I would have had no idea that the main character, Noll, was black. Her descriptions were kept to a minimum and I struggled to understand what she even looked like.
Like the vague descriptions of much of the characters, the novel can be best described as foggy. I never really got a solid understanding of the world or the people who inhabit it. A lot of it has to do with the twists that occur several times throughout the story, but that's no excuse. The book felt shaky at best, and claustrophobic at its worst.
This is because the village that Noll inhabits is a small place. There's lots of exposition about the menial and mundane tasks that the villagers endure. And then there's lots of dialogue about things that don't really matter. Noll's life is boring as hell, along with everyone else's life in the novel. Everything just felt so small and insignificant. If this was what McNulty was going for, then she nailed it. If not, then well, I don't know.
The plot was confusing, but mostly interesting because of its strangeness. I was compelled to finish the book because I wanted to understand how all this goddess stuff came about and why Noll was "nobody's goddess". Unfortunately, the story really doesn't pick up until around the 65% mark and ran slow for several chapters until the end. Everything leading up to that point felt like the beginning of a novel, as opposed to over half of a book.
Overall, Nobody's Goddess had an interesting premise but it could have benefited greatly with more revision and editing of the narrative. It felt unfinished to me, like this was just a rough draft or something. Though the writing itself was practically flawless. The world and the characters could have been fleshed out better, allowing for a stronger connection by the reader.
I just feel really blah after reading this. It didn't move me, but left me mostly confused.
I really enjoyed this one. I am super glad that I joined in on the Waiting On 2016 Twitter Chat because without it I might not have heard about -- or read -- this book. It was something so unique and different that I found myself really enthralled with the story. To the point that I almost had to blink myself out of a daze when I finished.
One thing that was huge and well done was the world building. There could have been a bit more throughout the novel, instead of the majority of it in the last couple of chapters, but I still really enjoyed it. I thought it was extremely well done and I was so intrigued with the story and the world. At first I was ehh about the fact that women had so much power over men because while it is great I wasn't happy about the fact they literally died if they saw a woman's face.
I understood why things happened the way they did at the end and I did enjoy how it all came full circle. I just thought a bit of the alternate/past world was a little rushed and not as thoroughly developed as I would have liked. I thought for the amount of time that Noll spent in this world she too much happened too quickly without a real explanation or warranting it to actually occur.
That's my only real complaint, though. I thought the characters were all well developed and I liked that Noll really came to realize this, especially during her speech at the end. I thought it was a pretty perfect ending and I'm glad that it wasn't wrapped up with a neat little bow to make an actual "happy, perfect" ending, if you know what I mean. There are unresolved issues and tensions and I think it is exactly what this book needed. People need to realize that making a choice doesn't exempt you from the consequences.
Overall: 3.5/5 stars! I have some status updates but they are spoiler filled so don't read them. I thought it was really well written but some parts of it were jarring. I did like the conclusion though and I am excited to see where this story is heading.
I was kindly sent a copy of Nobody’s Goddess in exchange of an honest review
SUMMARY: Nobody’s Goddess is told through the point of view by Noll, who is a seventeen year old girl living in a world where men are masked and magic compels them to love only one woman whom they call their ‘Goddess”, woman are given the choice to reject or accept the only man that will ever love them. However a man will stay masked until their lover returns their love and the mask can then be removed in a special ceremony called The Returning. If a woman never returns a mans love, their mask will never be allowed to be removed. Noll is put into a tricky situation when her best friend Jurij finds the goddess in Noll’s own sister. We travel through Noll’s long journey to breaking this ancient bond. Noll instead discovers why no man has ever found the goddess in her.
MY THOUGHTS: Wow, this book took my breath away. The plot was very intriguing and it was unlike anything I had ever really read about before and it really pulls you in. I found myself getting no sleep from this book as just as I was about to put it down, something very interesting was about to come and made me keep on reading.
Noll was a very interesting character to read about, her courage and passion to do things made me connect with her a lot. Noll’s life was also very interesting to read about such as the way her family lives and how she spends her days.
Nobody’s Goddess was a very intriguing and addictive read. It kept me on my toes and had twists and turns around every corner. Just as you think it couldn't get anymore interesting, suddenly you loose another hour of sleep. Noll was a very interesting and strong lead character and I would recommend this to anyone that loves a little bit of a medieval setting and a very addicting mysterious read.
MY RATING: 4 out of 5 stars
Nobody’s Goddess is out April 21st, pre order now!
For all you Noll haters! The main character was incredibly selfish however she is 17. What 17 year old is not selfish? I was. I felt this made her more real. Full of questions after losing the first love of her life by no fault of her own just because that is the way of this world. Then everyone is trying to force her into something she is not ready for.
This book was unique I enjoyed it immensely. I found myself unable to put it down until I finished the story. I wanted to know why the men had to wear masks why only love one woman. The author actually answered all of these questions! Thank you Amy McNulty for not leaving us hanging until the last book of the series.
I received this copy from Chapter by Chapter in exchange for an honest review. Let's go :D
They say there is a man out there for every woman – in this case, quite literally.
Noll lives on a good sized village with a rather peculiar trait: men’s lives are dedicated to serve women. Or, more specifically, their respective goddess. Until they have their love returned for the women of their dreams, the men have to walk around in masks.
This is only the tip of the iceberg: women can choose to reject their men, but they will have to live alone and knowing no other men will ever love her. Also, if a woman without direct blood ties sees a man that has yet to have his love returned without a mask, the man will vanish within air.
Things have been like this forever, but Noll is sure it’s some kind of curse. She never quite fit in with the village girls, preferring to run wildly with the small boys, playing at wrestling and wars. One by one, the curse claimed her friends. As they found their goddesses, they abandoned Noll and everyone else. All her friends, except Jurij. Her beloved Jurij. Her sister’s man.
As things get out of control in Noll’s life with the approach of Jurij’s marriage, Noll accidentally falls into the waters of her favorite cavern… And finds herself at her own village, thousands of years ago. She finally has the chance to change her destiny, but at what cost?
The Analysis Just remembering those were my impressions and opinion as a reader :)
Can I just start by saying OMG? Because I think that’s an exact definition for Nobody’s Goddess from beginning to end, seriously. This book stole my breath away twice in all the right moments and the cliff hanger on the last chapter would have killed me both times if I didn’t have the next book on me as well, haha! I’m not a huge dystopian fan, but this book has brilliant dystopian touches mixed with a lot of fantasy and OMG Amy McNulty is just totally ingenious writing anything she wants to! I promise I’ll gather my shit together and start my analysis, but this was a high-five stars book! ;D did you see what I did there?
Ahem, now that I’m more controlled, let’s talk about narrative: first person from Noll’s perspective. I can sense some jaws dropping from people that follow me for a while, as I just gave five stars to a book in first person and be prepared to feel your jaws dropping lower: I fought with Noll almost all the time. Our love/hate relationship was epic and extreme, but still I loved the book. The story was just too good, even with all the rage in Noll’s head, haha! The pace of the story is also really good and very fluid.
The plot was brilliant. McNulty plays with her reader, dividing her twists in two categories: the ones you see coming and the ones that take advantage of your self-satisfaction at being right about the sequence of happenings in the story and push you to your knees in the ground until your face is touching the earth too. She understood so well my double personality about being able to guess and being unable to guess things, I just want to hug her. Tight. And never let go.
The fantasy/dystopian aspect of the story was marvelously developed and McNulty created an unique world, discussing at the whole time the genres wars. Are women better than men? Are men better than women? No, for both things. Each time one genre has too much control over Noll’s village, things go terribly wrong and I loved it. This whole series is a lesson in human equality of all kinds, but I’ll develop this argument better on my review for the third book, haha!
Now, characters. I hate Noll like, with a force. The teen angst present in this book was, in my opinion, her best moment, as it was allied with ignorance and made her bold besides stubborn. I also didn’t care for her family or Jurij – in fact, I hate Jurij too, more than Noll. The only characters I loved in this book were the lord, whose name will be kept in secret due spoilers, and Alvilda <3 I’m a difficult soul to bound, you see.
Also, I wanted to comment on the change of covers of the series right before the release of Nobody’s Pawn, the last volume. I particularly already loved the first cover, but the new version is so much more passionate! I loved the model and the art <3 In fact, I won’t shut up about it on Amy’s inbox, haha! She must have already blocked me at this point or started screaming just to see the word “cover” on texts, haha!
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that McNulty brought me something new when I got to read Nobody’s Goddess. It wasn’t about Noll’s teen angst, it wasn’t about the love, it wasn’t even about the gender equality. It all came down to what we decide to do with the choices we are given. No one ever thought they had a choice to fight the system, but Noll chose exactly that. No women had ever dared to confess their loves for other man that weren’t their own and Noll chose to do exactly that. No one ever questioned the way things were before and things only got to change when Noll set them into motion. Don’t get me wrong, she’s one of the most selfish people I have ever seen, but she is brave, she is daring and she changed her fate.
I honestly think that, in a time of so many uncertainties for the whole world, it’s important to remember we are still free to choose, even when everything points you to a “choiceless” path. If we think hard enough, we can always find the perfect solution for our sufferings – we just have to accept the consequences of our actions later. It’s easier to say you won’t take action because there isn’t anything you can do to make things better, but trust me when I say the only thing we can’t fix is death. Most of the time we are indeed powerless in our environments and it sucks on galaxies levels, but Noll shows us that, if we keep ourselves centered and keep trying to do the right thing, we will eventually have what we want. Not because life rewards us, but because we conquered it.
Wow, am I not incredibly deep those last few days? Haha! Sorry, I’ll end up making you guys wish I wasn’t back at all, haha! Maybe I just need to go back to therapy or to write a self-help book and win shitloads of money. Whichever comes first, haha!
I chose some quotes from the book to woo you into reading it, so let’s finish with them =) “It wasn’t much, but I controlled what the wood would be. And no one told me I didn’t really get to choose.” – Noll ~*~ “A few well-placed stabs from Elgar The Blade to his abdomen might ‘improve my temper’.” – Noll ~*~ “I was cursed by the gift of choice.” – Noll ~*~ “I could live without love. I’d accepted that by now. I wasn’t sure I could live without freedom.” – Noll ~*~ “I feel compelled to do anything I so much as think you want done. It is a battle within me not to slit my own throat at this very moment.” – The lord ~*~
And this winning lines between Noll and the lord of the castle: The Lord: You were born to torment me. Noll: I think the same of you.
Overall, if you like YA, Fantasy, Dystopian and heart gripping plots, you have to add Nobody’s Goddess to your bookshelves right now! <3
Thanks for bearing with the philosopher me once again and for reading yet another overly long review! George R. R. Martin rubbed off a little in me since the challenge, ugh. See you around and love you, guys!
If I were to rate Nobody's Goddess on the storyline alone, I would give it five stars. The concept is intriguing as all get-out, with the complexity of the story deepening with every turn of the page. McNulty creates so many wild threads that I was sure the whole thing would unravel by the end...such as: Why did the first goddess put this horrible curse on the village in the first place? Who is the lord and where did he come from? What/who are the "specters" that shadow the lord everywhere he goes? Why does the ground shake every time a woman looks up at the castle? Well, get this: ALL of these questions are answered. That is such a rare phenomenon in YA novels nowadays that this fact alone had me feeling nearly euphoric by the time I reached the end of the book.
The reason I feel compelled to downgrade my rating by a star is because the main character, Noll, is so unlikable. I'm all for anti-hero types, but there needs to be something redeemable about them to latch onto...some kind of adorable nuance or charm. Noll has none. She is selfish and miserable pretty much 100% of the time. I did understand her frustrations with her village, and I appreciated her rants about the mindless hollow men obsessed with their goddesses. In these instances, her sarcasm and resentment were warranted. But her constant cold treatment of her sister (who was simply trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation) and her downright cruel treatment of the lord were often too much to swallow. The final blow occurs when I understand that McNulty was trying to create a believable character in Noll, one complete with flaws, but it's never a good sign when your readers would rather see the protagonist fling herself off a cliff than keep hurting people. Thankfully, by the end, Noll does finally open herself up to change, but it's almost too little too late.
Also, I didn't understand Noll's obsession with Jurij. Why would such a strong-willed female be in love with this weak, passive male who's about as interesting as a limp noodle? Furthermore, why wasn't there more chemistry between Noll and the lord? Noll absolutely hates all of the empty, hollowed men in her village who do nothing but swoon over their goddesses, yet when she is finally confronted with a man who can think for himself, who is clever and stubborn like her, and who fights AGAINST being her slave, she hates him for it. There was simply no pleasing her.
Still you guys, I really, really loved this book. I know this seems hard to believe given my criticism, but even despite Noll's unlikability, I couldn't put it down. I love unique premises, and this one scratched just about every itch I've had for a truly original concept since The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Nobody's Goddess has a satisfying ending, with almost all questions answered and the sweet suggestion of Noll's future relationship lingering in the air. There's enough intrigue to warrant reading the second installment, but no big cliffhangers to drive you crazy waiting for it. I will definitely be on the lookout for book 2 of the Never Veil Series.
You seem to have rolled out of a muddy pond and caught your dress on a hundred branches. Perhaps you also bumped into a fair maiden, making off with her apron.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
So this was a book I added on impulse to my TBR about two years ago. I then received it from NetGalley last autumn and decided that now, June 2017, it was definitely time for me to read it.
This story follows Noll, a young woman who lives in a village where all men are forced to wear masks and are destined to fall in love with one woman - their goddess. Once the men have found their goddess they will do her bidding until the day she returns their love - at which point the man may remove his mask. Noll is a bit of a tomboy, running around with the boys playing with swords (wooden sticks) instead of learning a trade, but one by one her friends find their goddesses, with Noll's best friend and crush Jurij finds his goddess in Noll's sister. Noll decides to find out why the men are forced to fall in love as they do and goes in search for the mysterious Lord of the village, believing him to be able to break the curse. She soon finds out, however, that perhaps she has more to do with this curse than she had ever thought.
I found this novel simple and enjoyable. Bits and pieces of it were quite predictable, but the writing flowed really well and made it a good read anyhow. Noll was a bit annoying at times - I really did not feel at all attached to her or her quest, but at times I was able to look past that and instead look at the story and characters as a whole, which helped. I would have liked the story to be more detailed and further developed - it might actually have been possible to extend this into a trilogy alone, because the connection with the next book feels quite loose at the moment. At least that is how I would have done it.
I feel like I should also adress the fact that I saw someone on Goodreads comment, without having read the book, that it sounded like in this novel there are only heterosexual relationships. And yes, it certainly sounds like that. However, the men in this novel are cursed to "only love one woman". Those exact words. The women are not cursed in any way and there are women who are revealed to be gay, but cannot be together due to the men being cursed to love them. So it's not an "anti-lgbt-relationships" book - the curse has caused the relationships to be heterosexual only instead of mixed.
I will most likely pick up the next book at some point, but I cannot say when that will be.
What I liked: Imagine a world where every man is intended to love one woman, but the life of this man hinges on the balance that this one woman returns his love because if any woman sees his face before that one woman loves him, he dies. That's the basic premise of Nobody's Goddess, but it's not just that simple. It gets a lot more complex. While the beginning of the book starts out a bit slow, its paced that way to ease you into the world and how everything works. In this world, it is the women who have the power, unintentionally or not. Every man in the village must wear a mask so that no woman can look upon their face before the day the one woman who is supposed to love them, loves them in return. If not, they will never be unmasked and if they go to the Returning and take of their mask without this woman, this "goddess" to him, loving him. He will vanish. There's not a whole lot I can give away without making some form of a spoiler, but know that this book is much better than I ever expected it to be. Noll is a brave and daring character, but stubborn as all get out when it comes to certain things. Jurji is a character who I was back and forth with, and one of his reveals about himself was, honestly, a little shocking and I did not expect it. Noll's relationship with the different members of her family is easy to see with how her personality and priorities clash against theirs.
What I didn't like: Some of the characters were harder to connect to than others, and for me on occasion it was a little hard to connect with Noll and the choices that she makes.
Overall Review: This book is different from any fantasy book I've read before in its concept. It treads the path less traveled, and manages to make a great story that readers can enjoy and love. With its twists and turns in the story and how Noll goes about doing what she believes she needs to, this story is far different from what you would expect from the summary. It's fresh, entertaining, imaginative, and all together a book that I love! You can definitely bet I will be eagerly awaiting the second installment in this series!
Recommend?: Definitely! There's so much more to this book than I can tell you without some form of spoiler about what happens, but just know it is definitely worth your time to read!
At first I wasn't really sure what to expect but I'm all for a fun new world and a fantasy story, (plus a certain author I follow recommended it so I was all for it). Thus the adventure began.
While reading this book I was, I won't lie, more than confused but it was the type of confused that kept me enraptured in this mystical world of masked men and a rebelling main character. More than once I was unsure of where the book was taking me but I was stuck in the village with Noll drifting through, watching everything happen with my eyes wide open trying not to miss a thing, feeling like I was missing everything. Then the moment of explanation hit me all at once but kept coming and the world that was starting to become a giant knot in my head untangled itself. Not many books that I have read explain themselves and still leave holes the way this one does which made it much more fun. The type of confusion and satisfaction brought on by this book was pretty great.
Now the ending itself I am normally not a fan of its particular type, but that's just because I'm greedy and always want the stories to continue (and no it's not some giant cliffhanger that drags you into the next book, although I'm sure Ms. McNulty could have pulled it off). It ended in such a sweet way that even I couldn't ask for more because that was one of the best ends to such a roller coaster of a book.
All and all my mind was really forced pay attention to every little detail in this one and yet I still missed everything. It was, I'll say it again, mind blowing.
I can't quite make up mind on this book. I couldn't put it down because I found the premise quite refreshing. It felt like a quick popcorn book but it also touched on some interesting gender/sex issues. The world created seems like it would only work in a solely heterosexual world but you may be surprised.
I liked that Amy McNulty tried to express that the characters where POC but I wish there were better character descriptions because they felt a little flat and hard to imagine at times. I would have appreciated a more robust look at some of the main characters. I did like that overall McNulty tried to tackle/touch some gender issues regarding love and respect within relationships. And I liked how you can see the absurdity in the curse but how people can suffer when they're not given the ability to express their own free will (and the pain that comes with that).
Bottom Line: I was really surprised with this book and how much I enjoyed it because it isn't normally what I pick-up to read. I honestly saw this listed under "time-travel" and saw a WOC on the cover so I figured I'd give it a try; yes I realize that's random. So was there time travel? Yes, but...I think I was expecting something different from it. I think I liked this story because it tried to say something and I'm still wrestling with whether or not it was successful but I like any book that makes me ponder issues (big or small/silly or not). I'm not sure how this will be a series?
~I received a free copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review~
This book gets 5 stars for originality. The world is strange and fascinating, if hard to understand at the beginning. It also gets bonus points for diversity, having a matriarchal society, and a main character who is a POC. It does at first glance appear to be pro-heteronormative, but to avoid spoilers I will simply say that the topic is addressed.
The biggest problem with this book is the character of Noll. I found her to be quite selfish and self-involved which made it difficult to like her or sympathize with her plight at times. This combined with my mixed feelings about the ending, lowered the readability rating to only a 3.5.
Still, if you are looking for something different that explores gender roles and love in society, this is worth a read.
This book. I've been waiting for it to come out since February! And it was sooo worth it! It was all sorts of wonderful. Firstly, the cover is fabulous! The heroine is "chestnut coloured", which sadly is rare in this genre and was the first thing that caught my eye. Secondly, the description of the story was unlike anything I've ever read before which was awesome! I am very happy to report that this book did not disappoint! It even has a heck of a twist! And definitely has a place on my favorites shelf!
I loved this book. It was so much fun to read and had so many twists and turns that kept me wanting more. I fifnished the book in an entire day, it was that good, the very same day i got it. And the author was so nice to. I wrote a comment on her website to let her know how much I had enjoyed her book and wanting to know when the next book would come out and you know what she answered me and let me know that it might be out for next year around the same time. That was so cool, most authors don't take the time to answer questions for their fans or write generic answer that leave you very unsatisfied. I love this.
I have been in a reading slump for months unable to find the right book to get me out of it. The summary has intrigued me since last year, I couldn't wait until this book came out. I'm so glad I picked this up, I enjoyed it a lot. The story was unique and different from anything I ever read. There was mystery, adventure , mixed with a strong female heroine. The story kept me on my toes wondering what will happen next, I can't wait for the sequel. I hope the story continues about Noll, I have to know what happens next!