Book Review: The Veil (Devil’s Isle #1)

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Author: Chloe Neill
ISBN: 9781473215351
RRP: $19.99

Chloe Neill is a prolific author with 3 series published, she is probably best known for her Chicagoland Vampires series which seems like it would be right up my alley – except I haven’t read any of them. Chicagoland Vampires is up to it’s 13th book so I’m a little far behind to catch up anytime soon. But discovering she has a new series was enough to intrigue me to start at the beginning and see what all the fuss is about.

The Devil’s Isle series is set in New Orleans, which seems to be a haven for sci-fi and fantasy series. All my favourite vampires, and witches, seem to gravitate there at some point. The Devil’s Isle series is not about vampires though, it’s about magic and the veil separating the magical realm from ours.

The Veil is set seven years after a rip in the veil between humanity and what lies beyond begins a supernatural war engulfing New Orleans and changing life dramatically.

the veil

In the wake of the war anyone found to have magic or use magic is rehomed to the District, known to locals as Devil’s Isle. This is also where the Paranormals still in the human realm are housed, the ones they captured anyway.

The current threat seems to be coming from Wraiths, creatures who have been destroyed by the absorption of too much magic. They began as Sensitives but too much magic destroyed them.

New Orleans is in a devastated state, the war has left the place damaged, looted and struggling to rebuild itself. A situation that New Orleans has found itself in more than once, both fictionally and realistically. Many residents fled to unaffected areas, some went into hiding within New Orleans and there were lots of residents that love New Orleans and stayed, hoping to help bring the city back to it’s former glory.

Claire Connolly is one of the residents who stayed, her family has been in New Orleans for generations; before the war they ran an antique shop in the French Quarter. There’s not much call for antiques in post-war NOLA so the store has evolved and now sells all of the essentials, and luxuries when possible, that are shipped in from outside the warzone but they don’t do much trade in the stock they had before the war.

Claire is a lifelong NOLA resident who is always working for the repair of her beloved city, but now she’s living on the edge. Since the war began she was instructed by her father to keep her head down and work hard, don’t get noticed and stay out of it. Easier said than done when you are an untrained, unfocused Sensitive who gets caught up in a Wraith attack, or two.

Liam Quinn is a bounty hunter, collecting cash for the retrieval and handover of Wraiths. He once worked for those in charge and was tasked with watching persons of interest and turning in those found to be Sensitives but when he realised that it wasn’t as black and white as they made out he opted to be his own boss.

Liam and Claire are thrown together by the wraith attacks and start to realise there is more to this than meets the eye. For the good of New Orleans, and Claire’s friends, they work together to try and unravel the new developments.

I enjoyed The Veil, the pacing was good and I quite liked the characters. There was some well delivered humour in the banter between Liam and Claire and the tension is palpable, I think their chemistry will help propel the series and I can see people following to see if they ever end up together.

I don’t really feel that this was groundbreakingly original work. It was quite formulaic but that didn’t stop it being entertaining.

There are enough threads left to tantalise the imagination and I would like to see where Neill takes the series from here.

Chloe Neill can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and ChloeNeill.com

The Veil is available now through Hachette and from Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play and where all good books are sold.

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