Friday, March 18, 2016
The Veil by Chloe Neill
It's no secret we love Chloe Neill's Chicago Land Vampire Series so we were exceptionally excited to hear she was writing a new series centered around my own hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. For those of you not familiar with the reputation of New Orleans let me break it down for you in very generalized words. New Orleans is a place like no other on the planet. The closest thing to the atmosphere of New Orleans would probably be Romania. It's a city steeped in superstition, voodoo, vampire myths, and magic of all kinds. This makes it the perfect setting for a post apocalyptic magic war.
The aptly named The Veil is the beginning of what isto be a new trilogy from Chloe Neill. Some really bad fae dudes and dudettes ripped a hole from their dimension to our and invaded the Earth. This hole would later become known as The Veil. Neill does a great job of mixing gritty, raw, urban decay with the fantastical and magical. Many of her descriptions of Post Apocalyptic New Orleans were reminiscent of the actual destruction that was found in the after math of Hurricane Katrina it leaves one wondering if this was the inspiration for the location and setting of this story. One of the major themes throughout the entire book is the main characters belief along with the belief from the local inhabitants that New Orleans will rise again. More than once Clair Connelly remarks that the locals have worked hard in the six years since the war to bring New Orleans back to life. In place of Mardi Gras we see the inhabitants celebrating what is known as War Night, a celebration of a return to peace after the Magical War that ripped New Orleans and much of the South apart. This is a pervading ideology of the locals currently inhabiting the real New Orleans. Many people have asked us why we return year after year and repair and rebuild. The feel and descriptions of not only the actual physical New Orleans in this book but the accuracy in which she brings culture and the mindset of the actual locals through her story is refreshing. If I didn't know better I'd suspect Chloe Neill was a native to the city.
Claire Connelly is the local girl whose father died in the magical war and whose mother is an unknown. Claire has a secret, a dangerous secret, she's what the Containment people refer to as a Sensitive. Sensitives are humans whose bodies absorb magic. They are dangerous in that the human body acts like a sponge soaking up the residual magic and slowly over time driving the Sensitive insane until they become what is known as a Wraith. Enter Liam Quinn bounty hunter and mysterious bad boy all the way around. Liam finds out about Claire's secret and instead of turning her in for the bounty money he decides to help her. He teaches her there's a way to control the magic and lower the levels effectively keeping her from becoming a Wraith. This is a very dangerous prospect for both of them to be engaging in as Containment (a military branch of the government) sees all magic users as evil. If Claire and Liam are ever caught it could mean Claire being contained to Devil's Isle, the Prison for all paranormals where magic practice is forbidden thereby ensuring that Claire becomes a wraith and Liam could be looking at even more dire consequences.
There is government corruption, blind prejudice, and plenty of magical shenanigans to go around in this new trilogy. It's darkly humor and urban grittiness gives the story that sense of realism that is often missing in this genre. Fans of Urban Fantasy and Dark Urban Fantasy will like this new offering from Chloe Neill.