I can’t remember where I heard about Through the Veil by Shiloh Walker, but it had lodged itself in the back of my head for awhile and when I saw it at the bookstore, I just had to buy it. Now, after reading it, I have to say I think I know why I couldn’t get it out of my head. I don’t think I can clearly define this novel. It has so many elements working together that it’s odd and yet so totally works. There’s kind of something for everyone.
For the science fiction fans, we have a war going on with weaponry so advanced that it’s actually a small hindrance to the conflict. One of the enemies are drawn towards the use of technology, so the advanced weapons can only be used during times of dire need. For fantasy fans, we have magic and demons going at each other all due to the gates that are opened between the two realms. For all the romantics, we have a love story between our two main heroes that has been developing since they were children, however, only one of them remembers everything.
Before I continue, let me tell you a little about the story. We meet Lee, a digital graphic artist who has been having these amazingly vivid dreams and she continually wakes up with bruises and aches without knowing why. In her dreams, she’s this amazing warrior and she’s fighting against the demons alongside her dream man, Kalen. The thing she doesn’t know, is that all of her dreams are real and she keeps skipping through the veil to help out her fellow rebels in Ishtan. Kalen knows that Lee is suppose to fight at his side and feels that she is to play a key role in the upcoming battles. She’s always there when they desperately need her, however, she disappears soon after and he doesn’t know where she goes. The demons have overrun his world, stealing their woman so they can be used as breeders. Originally, the raids were sporadic, but for the last couple of decades, they’ve been getting more and more common and more bloody. Kalen wants to stop these raids for good, and he knows how he can do it, he just doesn’t know how to go about doing it. When Lee stumbles into Ishtan without any of her memories, he knows the war is coming to a climax and if Lee doesn’t remember soon, all may be lost.
This is one of those novels where it can suck you into the story, yet it doesn’t consume you. If that makes any sense. I started reading this novel while I was painting this weekend, so I didn’t have a lot of time to read, however, whenever I picked up the book, I was instantly absorbed into the story. It wasn’t hard to put it down, but I was constantly going back to it whenever I had a moment. The development of Lee is so complex, that you’re technically introduced to two different versions. Her warrior side is very much a part of her and we see that side in the beginning; but when she trips into Ishtan and can’t remember anything from her past, we get to see her struggle with trying to catch up and finding fleeting memories that surface every so often. The story itself is exceptionally well done. We are told the sides at the beginning and we are even introduced to one of the main bad guys, yet we’re not given a chance to totally empathize with him. The demons need the woman, yet their treatment of them is kind of appalling considering how badly they need them. That actually saves us from feeling for their cause and we’re able to focus more on the conflict. The romance between Kalen and Lee has always been there, but Lee is having to find it again. She knows that he is her dream man, but she doesn’t always know why. The progression of their relationship isn’t quick, but it doesn’t take it’s time either. We don’t have to wait until the end of the novel for anything good. I do have to say, the ending was a little surprising to me. I so didn’t see this angle coming up, but it makes sense when you think back.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I’m hoping there is a sequel following Through the Veil. The world building is so spectacular that you feel like you’ve seen it before or that you’ve walked the trails with either Lee or Kalen. The chemistry between all of the characters is so intrinsic that you know they’ve been together for awhile and even though you’re new, you don’t feel left out. For anyone who likes a little romance with their science fiction or fantasy, then I would definitely check out this novel. I know I’m going to be waiting for a sequel (if there is one and it sounds like there will be) and I going to check out some other novels by Shiloh Walker.