Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: NAL Trade
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…
The Veil is the compelling first book in a new urban fantasy series that is set in New Orleans after a brutal war that happened when the Veil - one that separated the humans and the magical world beyond, along with the creatures who lived there - was torn open. Paranormal creatures of all kinds came through the rip in the Veil and started a supernatural war that would devastate the majority of the city, along with much of the South of the U.S. The story follows our main character - Claire Connolly - as she tries her hardest to live a normal life running her store in New Orleans, and hiding the fact that she's a Sensitive and gained magic abilities when The Veil was torn open. All paranormals and Sensitives with any magic were rounded up and locked away in a part of New Orleans now referred to as Devil's Isle.
Claire found out that she was a Sensitive only months ago and is still trying to adjust to her new life. She's been working hard at the store her father owned previously - and not doing anything involving magic. Claire's doing whatever she can to hide the fact that she's a Sensitive so she doesn't get hauled off to Devil's Isle to become a monster like the other souls trapped inside. Enter the utterly gorgeous bounty hunter Liam Quinn, whose job is to bring in anyone with magic to the government and Devil's Isle. Liam happens across Claire in an unexpected situation - she's trying to save a human who's being attacked by wraiths in the middle of the street. Claire manages to get the wraiths to turn their attention to her - but quickly gets in over her head when they work together to trap her in an alley. Without any other choice, Claire must use her magic in order to save her own life and get the wraiths to back off. Liam knows that not all Sensitives are bad people - like Claire, for example - so he takes her to a friend of his in Devil's Isle who can help her learn to control her magic. Things seem to be going well until the Veil threatens to disappear completely - with Liam and Claire having to team up in order to stop it from happening and facing a war much worse than the first.
I really enjoyed this book and the world the author created within it. The world that the story is set in is one very different from our own, especially when you add in the Veil, the paranormals, and the huge supernatural war - among so many other things. With the use of vivid imagery and detailed descriptions, the author was able to breathe life into Claire's world - to the point where I could shut my eyes and see myself there alongside her. The setting was incredibly realistic - more so than I had even hoped for. I was able to slip inside the story right from the beginning of the book and stayed in there until the last words. I loved learning everything I could about what had happened when the Veil ripped. I was eager to know what the Veil was, what paranormals were and what abilities they had, along with every detail about how the Veil was torn and the supernatural war that followed. I felt like I was soaking up as much history and information as I could about these unfamiliar aspects of the story, and I absolutely loved learning as much as I could about it all. The depth of description and background that the author provides really helped to solidify Claire's world for me - it made everything more realistic and tangible.
Claire is a great main character for this series. She's a great girl - smart, determined, a hard worker, keeps out of trouble, is a great friend, and holds on to her beliefs strongly. Even with these traits, it's obvious that Claire is a little naive about what happens in the world after the war. It gives her character a ton of room to grow and mature throughout the series, which I know we'll get to see happen. Claire does grow and mature some in this book - everything she thought she knew is tested, she learns how things truly are, and she begins to control her magic instead of hiding it like it doesn't exist. I'm eager to see what other transformations Claire will undergo throughout the series. Liam is, of course, the incredibly sexy love interest in the story. His character has distinct traits and a defined personality, which gives him the ability to grow and change as well. He already proves this in the book - when he meets Claire, he's a serious, no-nonsense bounty hunter with strict personal rules. As the story goes on, we see him falling for Claire - even though she's a Sensitive - and we get to see him be sweet and kind. I loved watching Claire and Liam's relationship blossom throughout the book, from meeting one another to having to team up to stop an impending war - and the romance that's sizzling between them almost the entire time.
The main plot of the book was phenomenal. It was wholly original and unique - I've never read anything quite like it before. As I mentioned, I was almost obsessed with learning as much as I could about the world and everything that had happened. It was written with such care that I wanted to know more about it all - and I'm really hoping that it continues in the following installments. I loved the idea of there being a Veil that separates humanity from a magical world beyond our own - and then asking what would happen if that Veil were to come apart, with the two worlds colliding as a result. There's your plot! We not only find out what happened, but we see the after effects it left on the city of New Orleans and the people who live there. I can only say that I found the entire story and plot line to be nothing short of mesmerizing, and yet I still want more. There's so many directions that the story can take and I'm anxious to see what will happen in the next book - what sucks is having to wait until it's released. I definitely recommend this book to fans of urban fantasy, paranormal fiction, fantasy, action, adventure, and romance - there's a bit of something for everyone to enjoy. Fans of the author's previous works and of the genre will love this book - so be sure to grab a copy and see what a treat you're in for.
Photo by Dana Damewood.
Chloe Neill was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest—just close enough to Cadogan House and St. Sophia’s to keep an eye on things. When not transcribing Merit’s and Lily’s adventures in the Chicagoland Vampires Novels, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Visit her online at www.chloeneill.com or on Twitter at @chloeneill.
*A huge thank you to the awesome people at NAL for sending me a copy of the book for review!*