Nobody's Goddess

Amy McNulty
Nobody's Goddess
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Patchwork Press
Release Date
April 2015
Book 1 of The Never Veil Series
Fantasy Romance, MC Romance, Multi-cultural/Multi-racial Romance, Time Travel, Young Adult Romance

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.

Book Review by Victoria Lane (reviewer)
Feb 12, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
275 people found the following review helpful
NOBODY'S GODDESS by Amy McNulty is a fascinating coming of age story about choice, self-discovery, true love, time travel and the consequences thereof. I give it 4 stars.

In the novel, Noll lives in a world where all the boys and men must wear masks until they are deemed worthy of love by their "goddess," or the woman they fall hopelessly in love with. There is a castle in the east that no woman can look at lest the ground shake, and the Lord of the castle is "always watching." Legend says that the first goddess commanded the males to wear masks so that the women would have the choice whether to love or not, but she also indicated that there is a man for every woman and every woman will get her man.

Noll isn't too keen on the rule of law in her land and questions every precept set forth by the first goddess, especially when she keeps losing all her friends when they fall in love with another woman. In a moment of rebellion, Noll goes to visit the Lord in the castle, a sin punishable by death, but what she finds there changes her life forever.

I really liked this novel. It is clearly written for young adults, but it has great depth and thought-provoking aspects. The characters are well written, and the relationships are emotional. I definitely felt drawn in and even cried at one point. So while it may be geared towards young adults, I think any adult could enjoy the novel.

As I often do, I question the categorization of the novel. It is clearly a fantasy and young adult romance, but I did not detect any "MC Romance" or "Multi-cultural/Multi-racial Romance" aspects to the novel. There was the occasional comment about a person's appearance - someone being darker than another - but that's just a general description. There was no differentiation of races or cultures. Even if those descriptions were meant to indicate different races, that aspect of the novel was not central to the plot. So anyone who is looking for that specific kind of romance is not going to find it here.

I would have liked there to be more of a description in the beginning about the legend of the first goddess and why the boys wore masks. I was so confused a few sentences into the prologue that I had to go back and read the synopsis of the book again. Since the novel is told from Noll's perspective, it would have been easy for her to describe the world she lives in before delving into her life and other issues.

I would also have liked to find out where the people went who just disappeared. I understand this is a magical land, but an important aspect to world-building is that the reader understand the relevant parameters of the fantasy world. I assumed that the Lord's servants were the ghosts of dead until one sentence at the very end of the novel informed me differently. The clarification would have been helpful early on.

Overall, though, these issues did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel and I recommend it to all lovers of the fantasy and young adult genres.
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