After a kind of lukewarm feeling about the first book in this series, I have to say that I enjoyed this one quite a bit more. I think that’s because I finally started feeling more of a connection to the characters, which ultimately made me care more about what happened to them.
If you didn’t read The Veil, you’re probably going to feel lost jumping in here. This second installment picks up right on the heels of that one with very little rehash. A war between humans and supernaturals has turned New Orleans into a shell of itself. Supplies are scarce; the military is everywhere; and the magically inclined prisoners are housed in the nearby Devil’s Isle.
The biggest threat now, though, is a group of radical humans who want magic eradicated. To them, that means everyone with magic inside them needs to die. And all those who perpetuate the system of keeping them imprisoned… well, they’re the enemy too. That’s pretty much everyone that Claire cares about. They’re all magic users, sympathizers, Containment, or bounty hunters –and they’re all targets.
Claire and Liam jump in to ferret out the terrorists, who always seem to stay one step ahead. In the meantime, Claire is still working to keep her own magic under control. And the two of them are fighting harder than ever to ignore the pull between them.
One of my complaints about The Veil is just how little development there was in the relationship between Liam and Claire. That’s definitely addressed here. In fact, it took up quite a bit of page time (which the romance reader in me really enjoyed.) It’s not all sunshine and roses. There are problems. But at least things are happening now!
The world-building here is pretty cool. It felt a lot more accessible to me this time around, maybe because now it requires so much less explanation. Chloe Neill does a good job building the New Orleans I know into this war-torn version. All of her points of reference rang true for me. I knew the landscape, even if the book’s version of history was a far cry from the city’s reality.
The secondary characters didn’t do much to add to the story for me. I do want to know more about Malachai. And I feel like there’s been so much build-up about his “interest” in Claire, I might like to see it amount to a little something, especially in light of the big ending here. That’s right, it’s a game changer. I’ll be back, for sure, to see where Neill takes the story in book 3.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Chloe Neill
Release Date: August 16, 2016