The Veil (Devil’s Isle #1)
Published August 2015
Published by NAL Trade
Urban Fantasy – Very minor Romantic threads
3.75 stars (The second book is much better)
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…
Having just recently found Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series, and having received the sequel in her new Devil’s Isle series as an ARC, I decided to buy The Veil for a review. I thought the book was very well written, and the pacing was good. As an entree into a new world and series, I found the characters to be somewhat under-developed, though this is not a deal-breaker for me, as I know they likely will be as the series continue and we get to know them more. The plot and world are not hugely original, but they are not complete copies of others, either. I was certainly intrigued enough to want to read the sequel, and I’m glad I did, since I found it to be much, much better. So I would recommend you read this just to get to the second book, The Sight, which is all around a stronger and more interesting book than this. This one is more of a set-up book, but still a decent read. The biggest highlight of this book, by far, is its sumptuous and beloved descriptions of life in New Orleans. Although the New Orleans is a bit different, having just gone through a supernatrual war, the character is native of New Orleans, and the descriptions of the city, it’s denizens, and it’s food is really well written. It’s easy to fall in love with New Orleans through these descriptions.
Really the one huge problem I have with this book revolves around the “love interest” portion, rather than the Urban Fantasy portion. The UF portion of this book (which is most of the book, very little romance, though it appears that may change as books continue) is adequate and well written. The problem I had is that the description indicates that this is going to have romance, and that Liam is going to be reluctant towards helping Claire. So the first issue is that I didn’t care for Liam. There was just nothing about him that drew me in. His character felt completely generic. Like the author just selected from a database “insert generic fight-loving, attractive love interest with a haunted past.” Throughout the book I really did not get why Claire even wanted him. He was just “meh” in my opinion. The other characters in the book were far more appealing. Additionally, the description says he wants to get Claire “out of his way.” But that is not true. He immediately brings her into his world and sets course to helping her, without any qualms. There is really no drama about it.
In any case, I recommend this book to fans of UF looking for a new series to try out, and fans of Chloe Neill’s other works. The book is well-written though merely adequate. The second book, The Sight, which I will review on Thursday, was much, much better. With far more compelling male characters (i.e. Malachi!), and a better insight into the paranormal aspects of this new world. Read this one if for no other reason than to get to the second one, in my opinion!