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.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Title: Nobody’s Goddess
Series: The Never Veil #1
Author: Amy McNulty
Publisher: Patchwork Press
This is an amazingly, frustrating load of fucks that I did not want to give until the very end, where it was that I then did a total 180 and worshiped the hell out of this mildly morbid abundance of irony. Like, holy shitballs!
For the love of this surprise that managed to make my hate for this turn into near awe, I won’t spoil anything for you. Much. Spoilers are in red okay? Chill. Noll, the main character, doesn’t let it go unsaid that she despises the culture her village seems to embrace: a world where fate chooses the goddess for the men and two lives are forever tied together… or doomed in heartache in one way or another. At first it seemed like she was just bitter that her best friend’s attention was being taken away from her, but when she started calling this male-worship thing a curse, it then clicked in my head that hey, maybe this isn’t actually normal! So the story changed a little, turning and showing a new perspective every chapter or so until I was constantly kept on my toes. All the while I read this, I felt like I was missing a big and obvious thing but couldn’t figure it out until the end.
I liked the writing, the character development (that you don’t see until the fucking last chapters, Jesus Christ) and the big SURPRISE at the end. This whole thing totally deserves the five shuriken I want to fucking throw at Noll and her depressing family, because while the big picture blew my mind, it was not easy reading this.
Noll is a very strong-willed person, and while I was amused at her near stubbornness and seemingly selfish personality in the beginning, that quickly turned into annoyance. I’m just not used to being in the mind of someone who only thought of herself. I myself can’t even be that narrow-minded, thinking that just because something didn’t go my way, it’s automatically a goal to change. Like, fuck. I admired her determination, but at the same time, it was very unpleasant. So many people had to go through horrid drama and near heartache just for her to learn a lesson.
So yes, I had a severely hard time with Noll when things got too serious, but the ending, actually reading to the very end, saved this fucking book from a 2.5-star rating. The -.5 on this comes from her being unpleasant for a majority of the book, but also because of these points:
- If she was born in this culture of enslaved men, where’d she get the rebellious thought to challenge it? Was it born of her own jealousy? Please tell me it wasn’t.
- There were a lot of points that weren’t cleared or explained until later, and they can’t be explained beforehand, because the explanation themselves are the ‘big surprise’ as the story unfolds. So you’re left in the dark wondering what the fuck is up her ass.
- She was exhausting for most of the story, and there were no positive combats to balance out this feeling for me as a reader. I can’t imagine any other being okay with this unless they were
shitting rainbows and glitter on a daily basisa very positive person… Relating to the previous point, her entitlement of freeing herself (and the men indirectly) in the name of legit love for her BFF was a little hypocritical for me because her whole point of breaking the curse was to be with Jurij, but he doesn’t return her feelings. She’s taking an awful big risk of him ‘maybe’ being influenced by the curse.
points in red are spoilers so skip if you want
- When she curses the men to find their goddesses, what is she prodding them to find in the women to worship? It’s one thing for fate to have the men be enslaved by a certain woman, but when she says it, WHAT is she using for them to choose? How are the men choosing?? Are they just choosing by random or a specific thing that no one else can see??? I need an explanation!
- As the end nears, it starts to turn into men being the bad guys and I get that they were total dicks, but when she sprouts her inspiring speech of empowering the women, she brings up her village women having power over the men. I’m sorry, are you trying to pass as an equality kind of girl or are you getting even with the men? Two very different things honey!
- I didn’t get her hate for the lord. He didn’t give her a real reason to hate him until after numerous accounts of rudeness and- shit, she was just plain unpleasant, okay? Who the fuck wouldn’t want to kill her with the way she acts?
Overall, this is a frustrating book that I recommend you read, and read to the end. Got it? Do. NOT. Stop. The ending makes the whole thing worth it and will blow your mind, if you’re not the type to analyze everything and figure out the ending before the MC can figure out her mouth from her ass with all the shit she delivers to the people in firing sight-
Read this. This is a must-have experience for bookwyrms if not a book to try at all. Loved the writing, the complexity and stubbornness of the characters, the way my emotions curled tighter than Happy Days. Allll the feeeeels with this.