Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “My duct tape brings all the boys to the yard.”
The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .
Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.
Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both…(Amazon)
Chloe Neill is back with the second installment of her new series-Devil’s Isle. Set in a post-apocalypse New Orleans, residents still struggling to recover from a supernatural civil war seven years ago. When the veil between worlds was opened, humanity was turned upside down as magic and paranormals ravaged the land. Some of those paranormals who were captured on this side of the veil once it closed are now confined to an internment camp called Devil’s Isle and anyone caught using magic will suffer the same fate.
The Sight opens up after the events of book one, The Veil. There is virtually no recap of the previous events so I wouldn’t advise starting the series here. Claire has joined forces with Liam in his bounty hunting to help save New Orleans from those who seek to annihilate it. Politics plays a heavy role in the base this new world is built upon. Racism, bigotry, and fear rule the land and Neill makes it the main focus of the storyline. Neill has a gift for expertly blending fantasy with reality. Vivid detailing and engaging narrative held my attention easily. A strong storyline interacts smoothly with the various subplots Neill develops within it, helped along by action fueled scenes and hints of mystery that spell out new adventures and more danger for Claire and her friends to come.
Similar to The Veil the first half is spent laying the necessary setup for the main conflict. Some may find it slow and methodical as Neill creates a new enemy, a cult who call themselves the Reveillon. A cult that is determined to cleanse the land of all magic and those who are inclined to possess it. This places Claire is a difficult position. She must be extra careful due to her own powers yet she can not stand aside and allow someone to target her town, her friends, and those she has come to respect and care for. She has to take a stand, one that will take her down a very different path in the end.
Claire is an affordable character, perfect for urban fantasy. Neill has an affinity for strong heroines which I appreciate. A born warrior who instinctively fights for the underdog-be it an ally or an enemy. An intelligent character whose strengths and vulnerabilities calls to those who enjoy a heroine who is self-reliant but doesn’t hide from her flaws or fears. She tackles all problems head on, despite the danger and does it with humor and flare.
Liam continues to spark my interest me, Strong, stoic, and steeped in tragedy, he gives off an air of reluctance when placed in the role of hero. Sweet, considerate, likeable and very much in love with Claire, I am beginning to see him more as Claire’s sidekick then an equal though that may change.
The simmering romance takes a stronger position in this installment and receives a hefty boost despite Liam’s obvious reluctance. Liam has to reconcile his feelings for Claire against future possibilities and it’s not easy for him. Claire is a sensitive, having been hit with magic during the war, and even being mentored to help learn to contain and handle her magic, there is a chance she could lose control and become a mindless wraith. Should that happened, Liam would be forced to take her to Devil’s Isle for containment. He has already lost one person he loves to magic and losing Claire would devastate him.
Some new faces (paranormal and human) are introduced as Neill brings back a familiar secondary cast of characters. Heavy characterization continues to be a driving force behind this series and each one begins to take on stronger more individualised roles, creating their own paths to walk beside Claire. Neill expounds upon her non verbal statements about war and the casualties that are often created through no fault of their own. Neill also shows us how fear often clouds the mind to logic and rationale when your livelihood is threatened and how easy it is to be manipulated.
I enjoyed my visit back to this world though I am still on the fence overall with the series.The action and evolving world building remains strong elements but the anticipation and tension I usually associate with fantasy is still at defcon 3. I feel Neill plays it way too safe with Claire, her friends, and the conflicts they face. Everyone remains so calm and collected, always having the right answers or the right ability to save the day. You never experience that nail biting edginess, unsure if they are going to survive whatever Neill has in store for them.