Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil) is the first book in a series about a small town in which women hold all the power over the fate of men. Boys and men cannot show their faces and must wear wooden masks around women. If a woman sees his face before he has found his Goddess, he will disappear as if he never existed. While young and masked, these boys will discover their one Goddess and must prove themselves worthy of love by the time she is a true woman.
Young men lose their free will when they find their goddess.
The interesting piece of this story is how the magic works. There is a castle in the town which no woman can look at without causing an earthquake. There is so much mystery surrounding The Lord in the castle. A few rumors about him being immortal, and yet many don’t truly believe that. Immortality is too hard for them to grasp but they believe in a magic they can’t truly prove. If they look at an unmasked male he disappears, no one but his intended woman will remember him. It has happened of course, but to the townsfolk, that woman is considered a crazy old crone who never found a man. No one believes her story. And yet, they are careful to follow the ways of masks and the “Returnings”.
Noll will be Nobody’s Goddess.
The quite beautiful Noll is unique in her town. She doesn’t like the loss of free will her friends face when they grow up to be men. When they find their Goddess, they don’t remember her friendship at all. When their woman/Goddess asks or tells them to do something, they are compelled to do so. Noll can’t accept this existence. She doesn’t want to be part of the cycle and yet she finds herself forced into it when someone finds The Goddess within her to love. She doesn’t want to love her man, yet feels guilt because only she will ever be able to love him. She’d feel terribly for cursing him to a masked life or to a lonely misery in the commune.
Surprising to the reader, her man isn’t keen on losing his free will either. He finds that he is the only male to feel this defiance whereas all other men are delighted to help and serve their Goddess. All other men feel no urge to resist or fight against their Goddess like her man does. What does this mean for them? I assumed that one of them would tire and “give-in” so to speak, but it is not so simple. Amy McNulty provides several surprises to the story. Some of them were such a shock I was almost as offended as Noll herself.
I couldn’t resist giving Nobody’s Goddess five stars because it held my interest, it provided unexpected challenges with surprising results, and I find myself very eager to see what is yet to come in the next book. I bought volume 2 just before writing this review, and I’m sure I’ll be done before this review goes live. 😉