By: C.J. Campbell
Series: The Veil Chronicles
Publication Date: August 31st, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
To unearth the truth, she must embrace the legend within.
For eighteen-year-old Lexi, freedom is a luxury. She’s spent her life evading capture for a genetic gift that feels more like a curse. Her bulletproof immunity and monstrous disfigurement is of great interest to a secret organization, but they aren’t the only ones. A cryptic tip alerts Lexi that something else hunts her–something darker.
Desperate to enjoy her life before it’s too late, Lexi leaves the protective cocoon her parents created for her and signs up for art classes at her local college. There she meets Conner, who is confined to a wheelchair, and they become friends who are willing to share each other’s secrets. But a chance encounter with Connor’s foster brother Killian changes everything.
Killian shares the same mysterious secret within his blood as Lexi. Their fateful meeting sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic events that exposes the terrifying truth–Lexi is a celestial queen of a bygone race. Connor is their last royal heir, and Killian is a half-breed abomination hated for his very existence. With Connor kidnapped by an ancient god determined to rid the world of the stain of humanity, Lexi and Killian find themselves under the protection of the secretive Order of Kings.
Lexi believes she’s been thrown into a world of myths and legends, but things are not as they seem. Lexi becomes convinced the Order is keeping dangerous secrets that threaten not just her but all of mankind.
I had a run of mixed feelings with this book. At the start of the book, I thought was well-paced. I like the storyline and I loved the characters. But then there were a few things that I have issues with, and as I was reading more of the story, those issues started to bother me a little more.
Unfortunately, this book does play into the whole setup book troupe. You know what I'm talking about. It starts good, really fast, and all of a sudden, it slows down to a snail's pace up until the 75% mark, where it picks up again, and suddenly we're back on track with the main plot. But I'm not going to talk about that because this is going to be a series.
The one thing that bothered me was the notion that the celestial creatures were cursed to be as weak as mortals. And I don't mean strength-wise; I mean physically. The author's way of doing that is making them disfigured or disabled. As somebody with a hidden disability, it was insulting to insinuate that somebody with a disability, no matter what the severity, was somehow weaker than somebody who wasn't. Which, as we all know, is not true at all. You cannot equate something that is out of our control to weakness.
Later on, it was stated, that even though their good looks were taken (because essentially that's what the author meant by weakness). They still had their celestial powers, so they were not weaker than mortals, to begin with. That was contradictory to the original statement when the whole premise of the celestials being cursed when entering the mortal realm, was to be as weak as the weakest human. If that were the case, they would be physically weak. It would have nothing to do with their physical appearance. Or they could've just been made average-looking. They didn't have to be indescribably beautiful, as beauty is subjective. So yeah, I do have problems with that part of the story and that hurtful messaging that not being of society's beauty standard is, ugly, weak, and generally lesser than human.
As the story moved forward, more things were aggravating me. Our main protagonist, for one. For somebody that's being painted is an 18-year-old young woman. She was acting more like a 14-year-old brat. And I say that in maturity, not so much that she lost her parents, and her whole life got flipped upside down. But then there were times when she acted almost like she was in her 30s in regards to maturity and decision-making, which honestly doesn't match. That inconsistency in her character made me not like her a whole lot
There was this odd feeling I would get at times as well. Call it what you want, but I felt like it was indirectly suggested that women were over-emotional and men were more rational. This was written in a subtle way and was more notable when Lexi had her "outbursts" and Killian "clam" her down. That and, it felt like the author was implanting drama for there to be drama; and for the romance part of the story to fully blossom before you know, the dreaded... crumbling, as most romances do in these stories.
Then there's poor Connor, who I felt like got left to the wind.
I feel like this book would've benefited from a split point of view between Connor, Lexi and Killian. To give the story a little bit more depth, so we're not constantly in Lexi's head. I think breaking apart from her and understanding what was going through the other two celestial heads, would've broken up the dreaded monotony of the middle of the book and displayed some of that unnecessary drama.
After that 75% mark, the story does pick back up, and things started to get quite exciting. I was able to finish the book on a high note.
I am looking forward to the second book as the plot seemed to be finally underway. But at the same time, regarding the messaging, honestly, I would say I didn't like it. I would've been delighted with the character staying in the state they were in when they were first introduced. Because I think that would've made the story phenomenal and drove home the fact that beauty is truly subjective and skin deep. The author missed the mark there in my opinion.
On a collective, and in my opinion, the book could use some work. The drastic drop in pacing after the big event in the book's first half made it hard to get to the ending. It almost felt like the author was trying to get to the conclusion and was filling up space.
I don't want to say anymore because I could spoil the book, so I'm going to leave you with my recommendation that you should give this book a chance. Maybe you will think what I just said was atrocious, and I don't know what I'm talking about. But I do believe this series has potential, and I will be continuing on
Clare is a successful and highly popular author of award-winning Fanfiction, with thousands of online fans and over 2 million reads on her Lord of the Rings Fanfic epic. Clare has also won several writing awards within the Fantasy, Inspirational, and Short Story genres. Her story Refuge was a top prize winner and, as a direct result, published in Faith & Freedom anthology by EA books. She has recently been shortlisted for Writer of the Year 2019.
As well as writing, Clare is an experienced Occupational Therapist, with a passion for enabling people. She has contributed articles for online organizations aimed at highlighting disability as a positive influence in modern literature. Her love of storytelling, merged with her positive messages inspires her to create meaningful narratives that represent diversity, and promote unity.
You can learn more about Clare by visiting www.CJCampbellOfficial.com
- eBook copy of Tempest
- $25 Amazon gift card