Hey everyone! Hope you all had a nice (hopefully long) holiday! Work and life got a bit stressful so I didn’t exactly get a ton of reading done last week, unless you count me DNFing Masque of the Red Death as actual progress. Things are settling down, so I’m hoping to get back into the groove of things. That said, my former 3-reviews a week just seems like it’s just not going to happen until I have some time to build a cushion back up and that won’t be possible until at least around Labor Day when I have my next vacation. In the mean time, I’m going to try aiming for twice a week, on some combination of Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
That out of the way, let’s get to it.
Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil’s Isle.
Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.
Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.
But when the Veil threatens to shatter completely, Claire and Liam must work together to stop it, or else New Orleans will burn…
Having to write reviews like this are one of the most frustrating things I ever do. My desire to like this book wound up being stronger than my actual liking of this book, and worst still, I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly that is.
The plot is solid enough, and a nice little twist on the usual Urban Fantasy. Beings with magic tried to kill us, we tried to kill them, and when that all failed the government said eff it and just more or less abandoned New Orleans and most of the surrounding country side. New Orleans is now a husk of its former self and the inhabitants are just trying to cope. It’s different enough to be a bit of fresh air in the genre, so no fault there. I will say though that as much as she incorporated New Orleans into the story, it didn’t feel like a deep seated need to be there. It didn’t add a lot of flavor to the story is all I’m saying.
The magic is okay, I guess, though maybe a bit underdeveloped. The idea of Sensitives and Paras and Wraiths do make sense, but the actual usage of said magic just seems to be a thing that you just accept because. How else do you explain Claire, someone who has deliberately used her magic like three or four times in her whole life, being able to save the day at the very end? It kind of works, but also kind of leaves you looking side-eye at the book.
The characters are okay. I like Claire enough, despite the ending, it’s not like she’s some genius practitioner who gets it all right on the first attempt (which makes her ability to work under such extreme pressure a bit hard to swallow), she has a solid friend circle, and Liam seems okay. I’m not sold on a certain betrayal in the book. I’m not sure what the character who did that actually got in exchange, since her end goal was still the same the main bad guy. Just a general bitch? Extra plot to help round out the story? I didn’t really feel the chemistry between Claire and Liam either. I don’t think they’d be bad together, but I’m not emotionally invested in them either.
Ultimately, I had enough fun while reading the book that I didn’t have any particular urge to set the book down. I also didn’t have the urge to binge-read it either. It was just kind of there for me. Those who love urban fantasy might still want to give this a look because it is just that much different as to feel a bit fresh, but those who just dabble can safely move along.
Finally, how does it hold up to her Chicagoland books? I honestly can’t say. It’s a series that I’ve been mildly curious to try, but never actually have. After this publishes, I’d love to hear from people who have read both and find out if you think it’s worth giving her other series a chance!
Verdict: Borrow It
Available: August 4th