Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil's Isle.
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…
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published: August 4th 2015 by NAL
Four and a half stars: A terrific first installment in a UF series filled with paranormals and danger, set in New Orleans.
Claire Connolly is hiding a big secret. One that could get her thrown into Devil's Isle, the place where all the paranormal monsters are kept. Eight months ago, Claire learned that she is able to move objects with magic. Unfortunately, in this post apocalyptic New Orleans, ravaged by war with the Paranormals, magic is not tolerated. Humans who wield magic are locked up because they are a danger to themselves and humanity, since they could eventually turn into wraiths. Wraiths are human monsters driven by the need to consume magic. After a night of partying Claire heads home, running across a woman being attacked by a wraith in the street. Claire dives into the fight, and ends up doing the unthinkable: using her magic to save her life. Claire knows that her actions were caught on camera. She heads home prepared to run, but a handsome stranger stops her, promising to help. Can Claire trust the mysterious Liam Quinn or will he end up getting her thrown into Devil's Isle?
What I Liked:
- Going into a new Urban Fantasy Series can be a bit tricky. The first volume could be either hit or miss since the author must spend a great deal of time establishing characters and world building. This book exceeded expectations. I was most pleased with this first installment in Ms. Neill's Devil's Isle Series. This book has everything I love in a good UF book: excellent world building, terrific setting, great characters and plenty of interesting paranormal entities, along with lots of action and danger. If you are wanting to dive into a solid new UF series, I highly recommend taking a chance on The Veil.
- I am a huge stickler for world building, so I am thrilled to say that I was extremely impressed with the world building in this novel. Often times, I read books that are set in cities, but they don't feel like the author knows the city. Not with this one, I felt like I was right there in the streets of New Orleans, except this time, New Orleans has been ravaged by years of war with the paranormal entities who came through the Veil to wage war on humanity. This is a post apocalyptic New Orleans, the sights and landmarks are familiar, yet altered. I loved the setting, and I especially enjoyed exploring the mysterious Devil's Isle where all the Paranormals are housed. The world building in this book is top notch.
- Claire Connolly leads an exciting cast of characters. She is a seemingly normal human, running her family's long standing antique shop, except these days, it also sells basic supplies for survival. Claire recently learned that she is a Sensitive, a human who possesses magic. Claire must keep her magic hidden or face being thrown into Devil's Isle. Claire has two loyal friends: Gunnar and Tadji. Tadji is a graduate student who hails from a family of voodoo priestesses, but Tadji herself is completely opposed to magic. Gunnar works for Containment, the local government whose job it is to contain and enforce magic containment. Then there is Liam Quinn, a mysterious and handsome bounty hunter who captures magical beings. Quinn ends up helping Claire to control her magic, while teaching her that the line between good and bad, Paras and humans isn't cut and dried. I loved watching Claire and her friends evolve, especially when they are forced to chose between loyalty to friendship and beliefs.
- This is an action packed story as Claire becomes entangled in trying to learn why the wraith attacks are on the rise. Claire finds herself interacting with Paras while trying to control her magic. There is lots going on, with plenty of danger and action. I loved the story line, and I was never bored. If you enjoy an action driven story with magic and Paranormal creatures dig in.
- The Paranormal population is large and diverse, practically all the creatures that humans thought were nothing more than mythical lore, came through the Veil years ago, bent on attacking humanity to take over our world. Once the Veil was sealed, many Paras were left stranded on this side, forced to live sequestered away from humanity. They are deemed to be evil, but Claire quickly learns just like with humans, there are good Paras and bad ones. I loved meeting many of the Paras, and I am anxious to meet even more in subsequent novels.
- There isn't a romance. There is the possibility for one, and definitely some attraction, but as of right now, no romantic entanglements, and I liked that. This stays true to being Urban Fantasy.
- The book ends after a thrilling climax. I was thrilled that everything settled out and concluded nicely. No cliffhanger! Such a relief. I am even more eager to continue the series.
And The Not So Much:
- One niggle I had was how Claire went from not knowing how to wield her magic, to suddenly being able to move mountains. I didn't think that aspect of the story worked well.
- This is a minor complaint, and it may just be me, but it kind of bothered me that the majority of the male characters in the book are all strong, exceedingly good looking with chiseled abs and all that. All the males are drop dead gorgeous. It bothered me that all the males were so handsome, while the females were nothing special. Why does everyone have to be beautiful?
- There was a twist at the end, where one of the characters is revealed as a traitor. It was shocking and I found myself wanting more on that story line. I wished that there was more explanation, and that when this character was hauled off, that they were questioned. All the motives were quick conjectures by the ones who were betrayed.
The Veil was an exciting and entertaining first installment in a new UF series. I loved the setting and the world building as well as the characters. This book has an entertaining story line packed with magic, action, danger and Paranormals. I thought this was an excellent first book, and I am more than eager to continue this series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.