urban fantasy

Into the Veil by Jennifer R. McDonald

Into the Veil
Series:  
Veilwalker Trilogy #1
Author: Jennifer R. McDonald
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Sources: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: fourstar

Life isn’t easy for a teenage veilwalker.

Lyric has been on the run for over a decade. Her brother is her only friend, her father treats her like a soldier, and after an ill-planned trip to purgatory she’s stuck with a bitterly displaced ghost.

Charles Hathor has problems of his own—problems he’s confident can be solved with the aid of Lyric’s realm-crossing ability. As the leader of a powerful coven, he’ll stop at nothing to ensure her cooperation. Kidnapping, extortion, maybe even murder; everything goes in his quest for retribution.

Alongside her twin, Lyric is forced back into the bowels of the magical world. But working for a vengeful warlock is not for the faint of heart. 

Relationships will be tested. Unlikely alliances will be forged. And Lyric will discover enemies closer than she ever imagined. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author as part of a R2R in the Lovers of Paranormal Goodreads group. This doesn’t affect my review and the following is my honest opinion.

I’ve really been lucking out with great indie books lately! Into the Veil was a really fun, fast paced read that had me readily engaged in Lyric’s story. Jennifer McDonald has created very vivid, lively characters that are so well-rounded! I just adore when characters are as believable as the cast of Into the Veil! It makes it so much easier to immerse myself in the story and, while the plot itself was fabulous, the characters really made this story stand out for me.

Lyric and Lincoln have such an extraordinary power and one that is so unique! I was very intrigued by the idea of veilwalkers and I think Ms. McDonald created a very appealing protagonist with Lyric. She was a teenage girl with some teenage concerns, yes. But she was also strong and sassy which I adore in a heroine! I also love the way her and Lincoln’s relationship was written. I haven’t read many twins that were, in my mind, well written and they were superbly done! In Lyric Ms. McDonald has crafted a compelling narrator with complicated emotions. A girl that is awkward at times (Which just made her more endearing to me!) and has more on her plate than many people would be able to handle.

The world building and characterization and plot were all fantastic but I think it could have used another once over in the editing department. There were some spelling and grammatical errors that made it a little choppy to read but once I was engaged in the plot, they didn’t really bother me.  Regardless of them I plan to pick up the next Veilwalker book, Through the Gloom, very soon!

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The Secret Dead by S.W. Fairbrother

The Secret Dead
Author: S.W. Fairbrother
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Sources: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: fivestar

Vivia Brisk knows about the dead. She should. She’s died enough times. 

Vivia is a hag – or death witch – one of the last of her race, and can die, visit the underworld and return at will. As a consultant with charity The Lipscombe Trust, she has a job she loves — helping London’s most vulnerable supernaturals, even if her colleague Malcolm drives her round the bend on a daily basis. 

Vivia thinks she’s got Malcolm’s measure – sexist, not too bright and generally a pain in the ass, but then Malcolm zombifies and, along with his fourteen year old son Ben, flees the police. 

With a zombie on the loose, London goes into lock down and Vivia is roped in into find them. After all, Malcolm can only keep control so long without fresh flesh, and the risk of the zompocalypse increases the longer he’s on the lam. 

At first what happened seems simple, but then the police find decades-old corpses hidden near Malcolm’s house, and Vivia begins to realise Malcolm’s missing son is in a lot more danger than from just a single zombie on the loose…

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review and the following is my honest opinion.

I’m not going to beat around the bush with this review: The Secret Dead is flat out amazing! Phenomenal even. S.W. Fairbrother has crafted a rich, interesting world over the modern city of London with such skill and talent that it sucks you right in! From the first page I was immersed in a London where street weasels and shifters were everyday and common. Where the police have the supernatural on staff and, while it might rub a few people the wrong way, they’re valued members of the force. The way the paranormal is so artfully woven with the mundane in the London of The Secret Dead is incredible. S.W. Fairbrother writes so beautifully and so well that it’s hard to believe this is the first in the Vivia Brisk series. Honestly, the storytelling in this book is beyond great!

I was riveted to the page, on the edge and worried for the characters who so easily slipped their way into my heart. Each time I learned another of their secrets I was even more invested and, quite happily so, left wanting to know more. S.W. Fairbrother not only built an immersive, exciting world but populated it with engaging, interesting characters. There’s something so believable, so human, about them all (even the ones that aren’t quite human) that they really came to life in my mind. I have so many questions and was given just the right amount of answers to leave me hungry for the next book. Which, to me, is the show of a truly remarkable author. If I’m sitting there stunned after finishing a book and my heart twisting in remorse for having finished, I know I’ve read something great. And I love this book. Seriously I cannot stop talking about it to everyone I meet. I’ve found one of my new favorite authors and I cannot wait for more! I fear I might be infected after reading this book! I may as well be a zombie from the pages of The Secret Dead with the way I’m going to mindlessly shamble about, waiting for the next installment!

If you like exciting paranormal mysteries with a strong, intriguing heroine, this book is for you. If you like paranormal detective work and a world filled with shapeshifters and undead and trolls and so many other fantastical beings, this book is for you. If you like worlds just this side of safe from a zombie apocalypse, this book is for you.

If you have a pulse, this book is for you. It’s so amazing I’d be shocked if someone didn’t like it.

Interested? You can find out more about The Secret Dead and it’s amazing author on the following sites:
Twitter
Facebook
S.W. Fairbrother’s site
Goodreads
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