Whenever I have the chance to review futuristic or other world novels, I jump at the opportunity. I’m a sucker for ‘em and have been since…..well, forever. Luckily, I enjoyed Veil of Shadows and have a new series to follow.
Laisyn Carr is a captain in the rebel army stationed in a remote military outpost, cut off from supplies and reinforcements and charged with reclaiming land and protecting it from warlords and demons trapped in her world of Ishtan. She’s also a witch; a much needed asset for their side and sought after by the warlords who kidnap them and use them to breed stronger warriors who possess gate magic. Due to the rebel army’s weakened conditions, her commander has ordered Syn and other witches not to use their magic as it lures warlords to them. The lack of magic not only lessens her effectiveness, but leaves her nearly frozen internally. However, the new refugee Xan makes her feel a semblance of heat in the absence of her magic.
Xan, a warrior in his own right, enters the rebel camp with a hidden agenda. He is quickly taken into the fold, trains as a soldier, and gains a leadership role because of his uncanny skill with weaponry and his instincts. Also, it doesn’t take long for the sparks between him and Syn to ignite and for his primitive needs to protect and claim her take over. Even though he feels the way he does, he stays on the sidelines as she does her thing and is content to protect her as they battle the demons, warlords, and their own army for needed materials.
This is one of those books that is extremely hard to grade because without a doubt I liked it, but I also have to acknowledge that there are quite a few problems. First, it often seems like there’s an awful lot going on with as many characters and special gifts as possible included. There are various types of demons, enemy warlords, friendly warlords, psychics, witches, rebels, and traitors all thrown into the mix and combined with just enough secondary characters with otherworldly names to make it all confusing. On the other hand, these very same characteristics give the story depth, momentum, and just make it interesting. Taking all that into consideration, however, it might be best to read the series in order instead of reading this one as a stand alone.
My other concern stems from the characters themselves and features I both like and dislike. Syn is certainly a strong heroine who constantly has to deal with challenges to her authority and live up to her leadership role and I appreciated seeing a heroine in that position. However, she has a TSTL moment within the story that, in my opinion, is unforgivable since it not only endangers her life but also the lives of those who depend on her. In her position, she should simply know better. Xan’s role in the story is different from most heroes we see in romance. He’s there to support Syn and demonstrates his strength by doing just that. However, his secondary role also keeps his agenda pushed out of the spotlight and you don’t see it played out until near the end, which makes you wonder why he wasn’t questioned by other characters.
Overall, the unique world building and interesting characters overpower the lesser elements within the story and make for a positive reading experience. Veil of Shadows introduced me to Ms. Walker and intrigued me enough to continue with the series.