Thursday, March 8, 2018

Review for Veiled by Stacey Rourke

4 Stars. V for Vendetta meets Buffy. Veiled is a gritty crime drama with vampires that looks at the politics of a world aware of the undead deciding whether or not to allow them to integrate into society. Filled with witty dialogue and a fast-paced plot this was a fun read.

There are some really beautiful descriptions in this book and a few scenes that are downright creepy. You really get sucked into the writing. Veiled is dark and intense and the vampires felt real and scary.

What I enjoyed most about this book was how it used vampires to look at racism and make a smart commentary on how one group views another and how stereotypes form peoples' opinions. The lead character, Vincenza, or Vinx, goes through a lot of character development from the beginning of the book until the end as she seeks both vengeance and acceptance. I had a hard time connecting with Vinx in the beginning of the book. She was bitter and a little full of herself at first. It took me a little while to warm up to her, but by the end of the book, I was definitely rooting for her. Vinx is witty and a little vulgar and a truly interesting character. Her story is complicated and as you learn more about her it's hard not to relate to her.

I loved Vinx's relationships with her friend Mics, who I also thought was a solid character. However, I felt like there needed to be more backstory to Vinx's relationship with Finn and to the relationship that forms between her and Carter. There needed to be more build up to their attraction. I didn't really feel the connection between Vinx and anyone, with the exception of her friendship with Mics which I thought was really well written. Overall, Carter and Finn felt like weaker characters and I wish both of their story arcs had been fleshed out a bit more.

As for the story structure, I liked the alternating flashback chapters at first, but by the halfway point of the book, they started to make the story feel a little disjointed. The storyline definitely didn't flow as smoothly as I would have liked.

By the end, the book left me with some questions that I'd want to read the next novel in the series to know more about. However, while I found the ending satisfying overall, there were a few plot holes that took away from the believability of how things concluded. <spoiler> For example, Vinx and Carter get into a bad situation at the end where they are nearly killed. Carter escapes and saves Vinx, by pulling out his phone and filming what's going on. But, it's not clear why the bad guys don't just kill him and take his phone. </spoiler> There are a few conclusions that are jumped to and a character, <spoiler> Amber,</spoiler> who really just acts like an idiot. But, there are a few twists at the end that suggest the second book in the series will be worth reading.

Was the writing/editing solid?

5/5 - Veiled is really well written with beautiful imagery and was free of errors.

Did the book have a well-formed plot/subplots?

3/5 - The romantic subplots needed more fleshing out.

Could you relate to the characters?

4/5 - Vinx is a little hard to love at first, but she grew on me.

Did the story make you feel?

4/5 - I definitely had the feels at times but wished I could feel more of the chemistry between Vinx and Carter.

Was the book unputdownable?

4/5 - I set it down a few times, but never for real long.

Indie Book Goal 2018 Notes

This is the first book I've finished for my #IndieBookGoal2018 where I've pledged to read at least 10 Indie books before the end of the year.

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Indie Book Goal 2018