These days, so many Urban Fantasy heroines have the same sort of feel… some kind of derivative of Kate Daniels. I get that. Kate is totally awesome and strong and empowered. I love her, and honestly, I enjoy most of the other heroines who follow a similar formula. But it’s also kind of cool to get a change of pace every so often. Muse is cut from a different cloth. She has been through hell; a half-demon, she’s an anathema to demonkind. She’s lived as a slave. Tortured. Passed around. Hunted. Now, all she wants is to live a quiet, human life, but that’s a dream that will never come true.
As the story begins, a mysterious man we come to know as Stefan, approaches her shop to “read” a sword. One of her gifts is psychometry of weapons. With his arrival, her world quickly begins to fall apart. Her shop blows up. Her old demon lover, Akil, returns. And any hope of a regular life is dashed. What’s so different about Muse is her brokenness, her lack of faith in herself. Remember, she was something less than a pet; her owner made her life so terrible, death would have been an escape. She owes Akil everything for helping her escape. But in some ways, she traded one master for another.
Muse knows her relationship with Akil will only drag her back into the world she has tried to escape from, but the pull to him is undeniable. There is a lot of heat there, so much so that it takes away from what seems like is supposed to be the real core romance, between her and Stefan. It takes a long time for any real sparks to happen with the mysterious stranger, and it moves from attraction to “love” way too fast, especially with so many lingering questions about who he is and what his intentions are.
You know Muse is going have a transformation over the course of the series. Which is why I can embrace her as she is here at the beginning. Because I know she is going to grow. She is eventually going to crush those who have made her cower. And that is going to be very cool to see. In the meantime, this story keeps you on your toes, trying to figure out who the bad guys really are, what their endgames are, and just who Muse can trust.
The book ends with a different feel than it started with… Muse is poised to face an even bigger challenge. And in some ways, it felt like the entire installment was a set-up to get her to this place. I’m interested to see where the story will take her next, to see the bigger picture for this series. But I like the world-building, I’m excited to watch Muse come into her own, and I’m anxious to see some characters get what’s coming to them.
Onward to Devil May Care. I hope Muse burns the world.
(Added later: I have now read this entire series. It gets really good, y’all. Would recommend.)
Click to purchase: Amazon
Beyond the Veil
by Pippa DaCosta
Release Date: February 7, 2014