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Speculative Fiction Reviews, Interviews, Art and Whatever Else!

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Stone of Farewell
Tad Williams
The Guns of Empire (The Shadow Campaigns)
Django Wexler
Jeremy Kool, Steve Gerlach & Amanda Kool

Book Review: The Veil by Chloe Neill

The Veil - Chloe Neill

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

But when the Veil threatens to shatter completely, Claire and Liam must work together to stop it, or else New Orleans will burn..


Reviewed from ARC provided by NAL.


You know, sometimes you occasionally stumble across a book that you don't have all that much to report on! It's not that you don't like it, or that you love it so much you can't talk from the over-squee; it's just a good, solid read you would be happy to recommend. So I'm just going to ramble on a bit.. 

The Veil is very enjoyable, but suffers a little from what I call "Flirty First Book". It flirts with a lot of different characters, a lot of funky concepts, but you don't really feel like you've been on enough dates with it to really get a good grasp on whether you want to go steady. A second date is in order to see whether you actually click. Not an uncommon thing to occur in fantasy genre books; there's so much to explore that you get the quick tour, rather than the long vacation.
It did take me on a pretty nice first date though! A smart and strong female lead that isn't so snark that she burns skin off with her acidic nature, some broody eye-candy, the moral conflict between declaring a race as 'all good' or 'all evil' (we need more of this in these times!), fairies that flip you the finger, clock work walking sticks (need) and some pretty rocking action scenes. It gets an extra bonus that the 'broody-eye candy romantic interest' doesn't always swoop in and save the girl, she can bash evil with store signs all by herself!
The secondary characters are fairly solid and diverse in nature, and the paranormal aspect is really quite original. It actually feels more like an alien invasion has occurred, than the usual 'they've always been here, humans are just to blind to see 'em' trope. That switch and shift, actually made me sit up and take closer notice.
This might be better received by those that live in New Orleans, have visited, or just have a good general concept of it. I don't know much about the city - the extent of my knowledge is that it gets pretty humid, there's Jazz and a Mardi Gras! Forgive me, I live in country Australia, so all I know has come from trite travel documentaries. Therefore, I felt a bit lost when it relies on comparisons of before and after the Veil collapsing to show the extent of change; because it doesn't do that great a job describing the before. It needs to really bolster those explanations and descriptions - street names and city sections, are just as foreign to most, as what's left after the Veil comes down; so the sense of change and wonder doesn't quite reach the impact I think the author was going for. Sure, the communications are down, but that happens in any slightly windy day here sans the invading paranormals.. Show me more, I really want to feel it with the characters!
I don't think it's classed as YA, but adult YA lovers will get a thrill from it, and it's not inaccessible to actual Young Adults so far. Lets get fancy and call it New Adult, cause I don't think anybody really understands what that means yet, except that it's for older young adults, that aren't quite old adults, which is pretty much whoever you want it to be for under dead years of age. 
It's a good little Urban Fantasy! There's a glimpse of potential romance, some very cool paras, and it explores grey areas others in the genre tend to skip. I'll certainly try the second to see if we can find a love match!
Hardcopy Worthy?: Let's just see after the second date shall we?