Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 10 hours and 9 minutes (352 pages)
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Devil’s Isle series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“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…”
I have read and enjoyed Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series so I was excited to hear about her new Devil’s Isle series. It sounded like an interesting premise and I always enjoy storylines involving fey. It ended up being an okay book but not great. For some reason the story just seemed a little tired and boring to me.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was okay. Some of the male voices were stiff and cold sounding, especially Liam’s voice. I had a hard time telling if it was the speech patterns and/or writing that made Liam sound stiff and cold, or if it was the narration. Either way this wasn’t my favorite audiobook but it was okay.
I thought the idea of the Veil was incredibly interesting. Claire is okay as a character, but I wasn’t totally engaged with her…she was just a bit too vanilla even with her Sensitive abilities. Liam was also an okay character but I never engaged with him all that well either; he was just so distant and cold.
The world is intriguing. Basically the people in this book have decided to stay in New Orleans despite the post-apocalyptic lifestyle to the area. While I found this interesting I also had a lot of trouble finding it believable and viable. I mean if the rest of the country had food, supplies, and technology why would sequester yourself in this little pocket of poverty and sparsity? I didn’t get it and thought it was weird how isolated the story was; we really don’t have a good idea what’s happening in the world outside New Orleans. Additionally I am not a huge fan of New Orleans personally, so I wasn’t crazy about the story being set there. I do understand that this is probably meant to echo New Orleans post-Katrina struggles, but I just didn’t dig it.
Overall this was an okay book but not great. I liked the idea of the Veil but didn’t find the world or characters all that engaging or interesting. There is quite a bit of action in this book but somehow it still felt tired and boring to me. I won’t be reading future books in this series and wouldn’t recommend it. I think Neill’s Chicagoland series has also taken a turn for the worse in the last couple books; I am not sure if Neill’s writing style is shifting or if I am just growing out of it.