Tuesday, August 16, 2016

ARC Review: The Sight by Chloe Neill

Series:     Devil's Isle #2
Pub. Date:Aug. 16, 2016
Publisher:Berkley NAL
Length:330 pages

The Devil's Isle series continues with the riveting second installment, The Sight. As a resident of New Orleans, I continue to be captivated by Chloe Neill's vision of the Crescent City post-magical-war. While those not as familiar with the city may not understand references to the Marigny, Royal Street, Mid-City and City Park, I can totally envision these areas painted with Chloe Neill's brush. I can't wait to meet her at Nola Storycon and pick her brain on what kind of research she did for her world-building.

As this is an urban fantasy series, our main and secondary characters remain relatively the same. While I have heard others say that it's not necessary to read the first book, The Veil, I highly encourage you to do so. There is more world-building and explanation of the magical war in the first installment that will really only add to your understanding and enjoyment of this book.

Claire Connelly is a Sensitive, a product of a magical strike during the war. As all paranormals and humans with magic have been imprisoned in Devil's Isle, Claire is hiding in plain sight. She runs the Royal Mercantile, an antiques-turned-necessities shop that has been in her family for generations. She continues to learn how to cast off her magic so she doesn't become a wraith, and she is also still tagging along with Liam as a bounty-hunter-in-training. Claire continues to build relationships in the paranormal community, both within and outside of Devil's Isle. I definitely like her as a heroine and she continues to get stronger as each story progresses.

Liam Quinn, bounty hunter, continues to be our strong and capable hero whose head is in disaccord with his heart. He is undeniably drawn to Claire... but he fears the relationship because he knows if she ever turned wraith, he would have to be the one to lock her up in Devil's Isle. I was happy to see the chemistry continue to pull Claire and Liam together, and things start to heat up a bit more than we saw in The Veil. Liam's position as a bounty hunter does not prevent him from maintaining relationships with paras and humans with magic; he really does care about the city and all of its current residents. I love his Cajun background and the history and tradition his family represented in New Orleans. It is reminiscent of the Montgomery-Grace family that have occupied the Rex mansion for the past century and play such an integral role in Mardi Gras and New Orleans society.

I find all of the paranormal characters fascinating, particularly the broody and powerful angel, Malachai. Eleanor, Liam's grandmother, adds some sweetness to the story - and her caretaker, Moses, adds a bit of comedic relief. I also enjoy the close-knit friendships between the main and secondary characters. Tadje and Gunnar both add something to the story. Gunnar adds a link to law enforcement (known as Containment) and offers up a bit of conflict between morality and law. Tadje played a bigger role in The Veil, but the dynamics of her and Claire's relationship provides additional conflict - that of the love between sisters/friends with all the drama that can sometimes entail. 

The plotline for the villainous aspect of the story was new... and another cult theme! My fifth cult book of the year... I think this is definitely the emerging trope right now. The cult leader was a bigoted sadist leading his sheep to "cleanse the Zone" of all paras, sympathizers and Containment. This storyline was interesting and well-paced, and took an unexpected turn toward the end that I did not see coming! The ending of this book definitely has me impatient for the next installment.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Berkley NAL via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Devil's Isle

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