Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Veil (Devil's Isle #1) by Chloe Neill

Title: The Veil: A Devil's Isle Novel
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: A Devil's Isle Novel (Book 1)
Format: Paperback; 352 pages
Publisher: NAL (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0451473345
ISBN-13: 978-0451473349
Author's Website: http://www.chloeneill.com/
Notes: I bought this one.

Seven years ago, 'the Veil--the barrier that separated humans from a world of magic we hadn't even known existed-- was shattered by the Paranormals who'd lived in what we now called the Beyond.

They wanted our world, and they didn't have a problem eradicating us in the process. They spilled through the fracture, bringing death and destruction-- and changing everything: Magic was now real and measurable and a scientific fact.' 
'When the war was done, Containment--the military unit that managed the war and the Paranormals--had tried to scrub New Orleans not only of magic but of voodoo, Marie Laveau, ghost tours, and even literary vampires. They convinced Congress to pass the so-called Magic Act, banning magic inside and outside the war zone, what we called the Zone.

The war had flattened half of Fabourg Marigny, a neighborhood next door to the French Quarter and Containment took advantage. They'd  shoved every remaining Para they could find into the neighborhood and built a wall to keep them there.

Officially called the District.

We called it the Devil's Isle..."

Welcome to world of Devil's Isle and the Veil where things that go bump in the night can and probably will kill you if given half a chance.

'"Your about to leave the United States government." (...) "The U.S. government makes no guarantees regarding your health, welfare, or safety while you are inside Devil's Isle. Magic is prohibited inside the walls. If you observe magic, report it immediately to the nearest Containment agent. Other than that, have a good night and be careful in there."'

I had mixed feelings about this one when I started reading. It reminded me of several other books, most notably a cross between two of Ilona Andrews' series (each of which I totally love). "The Veil" features a devastated city (New Orleans) with magic causing problems which reminded me of the Kate Daniel's series which hosts a devastated Atlanta, Georgia.  The Veil, the gateway between worlds, reminded me a bit of "The Edge" series where a whole other magical world resides in something similar to another dimension from our own that is accessible through an opening between the two known as The Edge, the edge between our world and the magical one. As I got deeper into the story, however, I was pleasantly pulled in and the similarities began to fade.

Claire Connolly is a New Orleans native. For generations her family has owned the Royal Mercantile, a former antique store presently masquerading as the finest purveyor of dehydrated meals in the New Orleans area. It's one of the few operational stores left in the Zone. For the past eight months things have gotten difficult for Claire. That was when she learned she was a Sensitive i.e. she had magic. Most people are immune to magic, but a small percentage of the population are sensitive to it and when magic came pouring in through the Veil, that sensitivity became a dangerous thing to possess. The human body is not equipped to handle mega doses of magic and as a body absorbs more and more it, magic takes a toll on a person. If a person can't learn how to deal with it, they turn into what has been termed a wraith--a pale seemingly mindless shadow of the individual's former self that is bent on seeking out more magic to fill some horrible seemingly ravenous need. As of yet there is no known cure for the condition which is why Containment started imprisoning anyone found performing magic. Claire is set on helping her home town become the thriving community it once was, but when she accidentally performs magic in a public place, she attempts to flee rather than end up a prisoner at Devil's Isle.

 Liam Quinn is a bounty hunter who tracks and finds wraiths and Sensitives. When he comes across Claire attempting to flee after seeing her use magic, rather than arresting her, as she fears, he reveals a secret not many outside of the government know. Slowly, she learns Containment has not been altogether truthful with people, and the world she thought she knew is much more complicated than she ever imagined. Together the two team up to find out what's behind the recent wraith attacks. It appears something about them is changing, and they need to find out why before things go from bad to worse.

I ended up giving this one 4 out of 5 roses. It was a little slow at the beginning due to world building, but rapidly picked up momentum. The characters are compelling and likable. The world building was such that you could vividly imagine it in your mind's eye that you'd walked into another world different, yet very like our own. After a bumpy start, I didn't want to put the book down and stayed up way too late reading. Curse you Ms. Neill (in a totally good and awesome way) for writing such an addictive read. *grin* I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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