Title: Piercing the Veil
Author: Nicole L. Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Paranormal
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
This is a tough one to rate and review. I’ve reworked this review a couple of times… so here’s my best shot at reviewing...
During the first 30% of this book I was engaged with a number of things. I like the charity work our main gal does, love her siblings, was intrigued by some magic and overall felt like maybe there was something here. That was before I read for the fifth time (the author even tells you how many times they’ve shown up in case you lost count) about the crows. I get when you want to portray an ominous coming event, or that something is happening but crows showing up everywhere is just plain boring. The foreshadowing throughout this whole book is poor. You’ll get a foreshadow maybe ten pages ahead of the reveal. I think there should have been subtle little foreshadows all throughout the first 200 pages leading up to the larger reveals. Additionally by the 30% mark it had been established that all the boys loved her and there were no women anywhere in this town... ugh.
Ultimately Piercing the Veil suffers from trying to do too many things at once. In this story we have fantastical creatures, magic, talents (like magic but not quite the same), unknown places, scientific analysis, abusive events, multiple romantic love interests, dark family secrets, orphans AND a coming of age main character. Now you can take two, maybe three things off that list and do them well in a novel but you don't need all of them (at least not in a series introduction).
It felt like Nicole L. Taylor (to be fair she's a new author) wanted to tackle everything in 300+ pages. I would have removed a couple of things out of this immediately including; the unnecessary multiple men chasing our lead gal (at least one of them could be a female friend), the science (it’s a fantasy book not a science fiction book), and have limited the amount of fantastical creatures or references to other creatures significantly. I’d have focused more on our gal’s abusive past (this was barely scratched at and had no depth emotionally) and her desire to get away now that she’s graduated college. Then I'd have had all these crazy things start happening around her (and not just crows). Just because the world has gone a little crazy shouldn’t have take away from her ultimate goal which is to go somewhere and do something, and yet that completely fell off the map by the halfway point (if not sooner). I'd also completely eliminate the prologue as at no time is it even remotely relevant, helpful or does it link back to the story in a way that adds value. Additionally there is never any veil mentioned at all throughout the story and I can't figure out what the title is meant to represent. We also never have mention of a Crusader (and yet that is the series title). It's like someone changed some key wording and forgot to apply it to all aspects of the novel.
It’s disappointing for me because there’s a good story in here somewhere and the writing itself is pretty good, it just needs some help to get rid of the clichés, tighten-up overall writing, better foreshadowing and a real ending!
I wanted to give this book 3 stars for a good effort but I can honestly say that had I been reading it over the course of a week I probably would have DNF’d it and given up (thus giving it one star). I think the saddest part for me is that even though the ending was literally in the middle of the climax I don’t think I’ll read book 2. I just don’t care what happens to our lead gal (maybe her brothers, but not her).
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review