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The Veil: A Devil's Isle Novel (Book 1)

The Veil by Chloe Neill is the first in the Devil's Isle series and focuses on a young woman named Claire Connolly who lives in New Orleans and is a Sensitive (a magic user). It all goes back to a war that broke out some seven years ago when the Paranormals decided they wanted our world and shattered the Veil that separates their world from ours. Ground Zero was New Orleans and magic spilled out everywhere, embuing some people with gifts such as telekinesis. Those who embraced their magic without knowing how to handle it slowly became wraiths, or ghastly shadows of themselves who seek more and more magic and will destroy anyone they see. Because of the wraiths, the Sensitives, and the Paras, the Marigny District of New Orleans was converted into Devil's Isle, an encampment designed to jail all those who are different.

Claire's story begins on War Night, the annual celebration of the victory of the humans over the Paras. Claire, who runs the Royal Mercantile in the French Quarter since her father died, is out celebrating with her best friend Gunnar, who works as the aide to the Commandant of Devil's Isle, and their mutual friend Tadji, a dark-skinned Acadiana beauty who hates all things magic. Tadji's family has some voodoo roots and she shuns all of it. After a night of partying, Claire is walking home and runs into a pair of wraiths attacking a young woman. Desperate to help, she gets their attention, only to become their target. Using her magic, she is able to take them down and escape, but she knows the magic monitors on the corners surely spiked and the cameras recorded her activity. The only answer is to run and fortunately for her, she has a go bag ready.

A handsome man named Liam Connolly happened to witness the event, or most of it, and while he is a bounty hunter for Paras and Sensitives, he seems to want to help Claire. And Claire seems to be really attracted to him, whether she wants to be or not. As the pair work to give Containment as much info as possible about the event, while erasing any evidence of Claire's magic use, they realize something much bigger is going on. Not only is the behavior of the wraiths changing and evolving, but wraith attacks are steadily increasing at an alarming rate. When Gunnar's little sister is attacked, Claire and Liam realize that they have to get to the bottom of this or more innocents could fall prey. What's more, Liam is determined to help Claire control her magic so it doesn't consume her, because the last thing he wants is to be hunting her as a wraith. To that end, he enlists an old friend named Nix, a beautiful dryad, who can teach Claire to channel her magic out of her to remain safe, and more importantly, human.

As it turns out, they aren't the only ones investigating things. Before you know it, they'll have teamed up with a group that includes an angel named Malachi, another Sensitive named Burke who works for Containment, and a human biologist named Darby. To make matters worse, they'll have Liam's former handler, Jack Broussard, on their tails making their lives pretty miserable. But none of this will matter if the Veil rips open again and it seems like someone might just want that to happen. But why?

The Veil is an excellent story that combines magic, mystery, romance, and danger using The Big Easy as a delightful backdrop. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can't wait to see what adventures await Claire and company in the next Devil's Isle book, The Sight.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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