Thursday, August 18, 2016

ARC Review: Chaos Rises by Pippa DaCosta

Series:     Chaos Rises #1
Pub. Date:June 29, 2016
Length:288 pages

I have been looking for some new urban fantasy series lately and thought I would give this new one from Pippa DaCosta a try. When the Veil separating the Netherworld from our world fell, hordes of demons came through and carved a wide swath of death and destruction through the world. The majority of this story took place in post-war Los Angeles, where demons and half-bloods continue to terrorize each other and humans. There are countless varieties of higher and lesser demons, some that can wear human skin, but many that cannot. There are also human-demon half-bloods which were created through genetic mutation by a government entity known as The Institute. These half-bloods were created to hunt and kill demons but, after escaping The Institute, must result to being owned by higher demons.

The heroine of this series is a half-blood known as Gamma or Gem, who was created by The Institute along with her brother, Delta (Del). Gem relies on the injection of a drug, PC34A, to suppress her demon and allow her human side to maintain control. However Gem's dual nature was in constant conflict. I particularly liked her ice demon side - it seemed more fun and certainly would be eye-catching. For as long as she can remember, it's always been Gem and Del against the world. When Del goes missing early on in the book, she decides to do whatever necessary to get him back. This includes betraying people and submitting to a higher demon when necessary. Unfortunately for Gem, many of her decisions made me not like her very much. I didn't have a connection to her character at all and so my feelings shifted between indifference and downright dislike.

There was no cut-and-dry hero of this story. Gem's brother Del was missing for most of the story, and Allard the demon was more of a villain. Another half-blood, Torrent, was quite impressive and by Gem's side for a good part of the story, but there was no romance between them. It was quite the opposite in fact. I liked Torrent more than Gem, so how she treated him rubbed me the wrong way every time. But as much as I liked Torrent, I didn't quite understand him either. We don't learn much about his character, perhaps because he doesn't remember anything himself prior to the last six months when the Veil was closed. But I would have liked to know more about him and hope he plays a bigger role in future books. I also liked Li'el, the Prince of Pride, but he really only played on the periphery of the story. I think he will play a much bigger role in the next book, and I am curious enough to keep reading.

This is a spinoff series and, unfortunately, I think the original series is necessary reading prior to Chaos Rises. I felt totally lost for most of the book. I didn't quite understand the world building or who the players were, so I think I missed all the necessary world building that must have occurred in The Veil series. Once I have time to go back and read that series, I will continue on with this one.

I received a copy of this book at no cost via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.