Through the Veil, Christi Snow, Generation 18, The Spook Squad 2, Keri Arthur
Through the Veil, Christi Snow
review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I latched onto this one quickly, a paranormal romance with a series of eight books planned…oh that sounds great! I really enjoy books in a series usually, they allow the reader to get really involved and for plots to get quite complex, and the length allows for so much scope in the writing.
So, what did I think about book one? well, that cover…I hardly ever look at covers but this one caught my eye, and for all the wrong reasons. Those wings just look Wrong, disproportionate, they could never hold a man up ( I know it’s not possible but it has to look as though it is!!) and in my imagination they are nothing like that..but the story? Oh yes, that’s fun. Set in a world where dramatic changes have happened, dividing the US into WS and ES with a thick, impenetrable veil of mist between them. Neither side knows anything about the other until Lori escapes from the ES and manages to use her powers to get through. No one knows why the change happened or if it could happen again.
The world Lori knows is one of bigotry, where anyone who has special abilities gained after the big change is known as Other, and taken into custody, ostensibly for protection of the rest of the population, but in reality for some inhuman and horrific experimentation. They’re not treated as people but as experiments, and after six years of being caged, cruelly tested and experimented on, Lori has finally managed to escape. She can’t believe what she finds on the other side, its a place where everyone has wings, and some have other talents too. They work together to build a place that’s safe for everyone. There are no children here either, same as in the ES, where none have been born since the change. It’s a much younger society than the ES, everyone here over 18 died in the change, and as in the ES the bodies simply disappeared.
Lori is happy she’s found sanctuary and a romance with Marcus, but of course she wants to rescue those she was in captivity with – there were four others in with her, and she can’t bear to think of them still suffering. The Warriors though worry at first about their own safety when Lori appears. That’s natural, they don’t know if she’s some disguised threat, but she’s soon accepted and they agree to help her with a recue attempt.
I enjoyed the world setting, its got great potential and I’m sure we’ve more to learn about it and creatures in it such as the Predators. Since Lori passed through the veil things have begun to change too, with the weather being far colder than usual and Predators changing from nocturnal to coming out during the day. The people of the WS are learning too about how to use their talents, and wondering what’s coming next.
What I found a bit difficult to accept was the powers and the growth of them, it seemed too easy an answer for problems that crop up to have someone able to use some new power to overcome it. That’s a pet peeve of mine though in fantasy books, it often crops up and I guess I just like my characters to have to struggle a bit, to use their brains more rather than new superpowers…Still, its a great first book, and with lost of potential, though its a year to wait til book two out –
Stars: Four, a great start.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher.
Generation 18, The Spook Squad 2, Keri Arthur
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I love Keri’s writing style, the worlds and characters she creates. For me to enjoy a book I need to like the main characters – or if they are the Bad Guys – to dislike them. No wishy washy types, no on the fence, no just OK people for me. I need them strong in personality. Keri delivers that.
So this is an older series being revamped. I don’t know how different it is from the originals as it’s the first time I’ve read this series – it may not be any different, just re released…I’ve jumped into book two not having read book one, which meant I needed to pick up the storyline as I read. That worked fine though of course I’d have got more had I read book one, understood for example – what the friction was between Gabriel and Sam, and what happened to them last book, and just what’s behind the current enquiries into murders, Sam, and the Gov/military depts.
As usual its straight in with the action, lots of dangers and new supernatural creatures – those Kites sound scary! What I enjoy about Keri’s writing is that it’s very tightly constructed, incidents mentioned in passing become major lines later, but we’re sort of familiar with the concept through the earlier mentions, people who need to be connected for the story to work are brought together within pausible storylines, not just thrown into a scene cold. Then there’s my favourite thing to hate in fantasy – when characters are in danger and Wham – some new superpower appears. I Hate that.. Sam is developing lots of new elements, but the history of her past allows for that, and there are clever and suble nuances suggested prior to the new power that allow for slow growth, and for it not to be a total suprise. So many books never do that, and it turns what could be a good storyline into something shallow and over all too soon. I like books such as Keri’s that have depth, that have lots of different angles, from the romance to the dangers the characters face.
This is quite a short read at around 240 pages, and I’d have loved it to be longer – the story and world makes that feasible but…I’m a reader not a writer 😉 I think though that more explanations of who and why some characters were important could have done with more expansion. I did have to keep backtracking over certain people, to recall how they fit into the story, not because I’d missed book one but simply because there were so many characters and storylines all at once.
So, overall a cracking read, fast paced, full of action and most important – plausible. even fantasy needs to be “real” in the sense that if the circumstances were as written the incidents could occur. The only disappointemnt I have is that it seems these books were originally written several years ago and four of them planned, but book four was never written and Keri has no plans to return to this world. I want to buy book three to see where the story goes, but am wary that it may leave more questions than give answers and I hate that. I like my reads to have a satisfying conclusion, not finish open ended 😦 I’ll mull it over, but I’ve lots more reads/review books to go through so doubt I’ll be paying for something I may feel frustated with at the end…
Stars: a cracking read, and a great story, a full five.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.