Elizabeth Tanner is determined to find her mother, regardless of what dimension she has to search. But she needs information, some kind of clue as to where she should start, and that will require her to face her father. The two have been estranged for over a year and Elizabeth isn’t relishing the idea of going to see him. The night before she plans to visit him, an attempt on her life and the return of a lost love only add to the ever-growing pile of questions. Together she and Finn—the man she loved once and now doesn’t trust a bit—will venture into a world of secrets and deception that land them in the middle of a Fae rebellion. Finn’s loyalties—and their love—will be tested almost beyond the breaking point.
I should have listened to the description and read Book 1 in this series first, because there are a lot of references to events from that story. However, I can’t in good conscience knock off points for my own negligence. So, if you’re eyeballing Children of the Veil, but if you haven’t read Through the Veil you might want to do that first. I was still able to follow the plot of Children, but the experience would have been smoother if I had a better understanding of those proceedings.
If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll know how important strong, well-developed characters are important to me. In this case, it took a good portion of the book to decide how I felt. In the beginning, Elizabeth had the habit of parroting questions back to people but I was willing to cut her some slack because, hey, she’s hungover as fuck. Thankfully, that trend seemed to wear off and I found myself rooting for Elisabeth more and more. While one would expect a grad student of Celtic Studies to know more than Elizabeth seems to about Irish myth and legend, I suspect this was a way for the author to impart information that her readers might not otherwise be familiar with. Annoying but understandable. Overall, I liked Elisabeth and could feel where she was coming from. The other characters—Finn, Orin, and Malachy especially—played great supporting roles.
The romance between Finn and Elisabeth was carried over from Through the Veil, but the events of that book seem to have left them in an uneasy place. The return to trust and intimacy progressed slowly, with a lot of stop-and-start, worrying, and second guessing—at least on Elisabeth’s part. Since I don’t know exactly what happened between them in the first book, I can’t comment on whether her feelings and reactions are justified or simply a contrived tension-builder. My guess would be the former, based on how Ms. Halverson presented the other interpersonal tangles. And when Finn and and Elisabeth finally got to the sex, it was well-written, appropriately timed, and not overly long or graphically explicit.
Children of the Veil was a very complex story, heavily steeped in Celtic mythology and magic. Fae, demons, magical artifacts, spells… this tale has it all and manages to pull it off in a modern setting. I’ve encountered the concept of a Veil between planes before, but the way it manifested here is interesting and encompassed more than just a barrier between the mortal world and the After. It’s hard to relay all the brilliant aspects of this story in one review and those are the kind I enjoy the most; when I finally have to sputter, throw up my hands, and say “Oh, just read it! Then you’ll see what I mean!” Because really, it’s that good.
The reason I gave it a B instead of an A? Enter my primary pet peeve as a reviewer: typos. I will forgive the over/underuse of commas, but spelling mistakes, missing words, etc just make me crazy. I stumbled across a number of editorial ‘oopsies’ of the aforementioned variety in Children of the Veil. It wouldn’t hurt for Ms. Halverson or her editor to give this another read-through and polish it up.
Bottom line: This story is beautiful and has a depth of plot that will appeal to the die-hard fantasy junkie. If you love Celtic mythology, magic, and double-or-maybe-even-triple agents, then add Children of the Veil to your reading list!
*ARC provided for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Children of the Veil
by Colleen Halverson
Release Date: October 24, 2016