The following book was kindly sent to me by the author, Michael W. Garza, who requested a review. This book is out now and you can get a paperback or ebook copy by visiting Amazon. :-)
You might recognize the author's name because I reviewed The Last Shadow Gate just a few months ago. Today I'll be continuing the series with A Veil of Shadows. The reader is reunited with Gavin and his sister Naomi right after they landed in the mystery world on the other side of the Shadow Gate. Our main characters are once again thrust into a divisive society on the brink of war but luckily they manage to find a few allies (one of which might come as no surprise to the reader). The world building continues with diverse characters such as the Treekin who reminded me somewhat of characters in The Neverending Story. If you're looking for a series that is full to the brim with characters, subplots, and moving parts of all kinds then I do believe you've stumbled across just the book for you. For me, it felt like there was just too much happening and the narrative could have been tightened up. While I appreciate the imaginative concepts that went into the creation of these characters and this world I don't think that I'll be continuing the series. Burgeoning fans of epic fantasy will however enjoy this immensely. :-)
What's Up Next: Hunger by Roxane Gay
What I'm Currently Reading: Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review, at my request.
Jared's crew is stuck in the Pentagar Empire. Kelsey is recovering and going through therapy for her implants while on Pentagar. Jared is working on Courageous and Athena to fix them up and find a way to continue on the mission when a ship is ready. But Pentagar has their own troubles that royalty is not aware of. There is someone who wants usurp the throne. Jared and Kelsey along with the crew get stuck in the middle of it all.
Veronica is the voice of our crews once again. In this case of a vast crew, Veronica shines. I love listening to her as she gives me different tones, personalities, and emotions with each character relating to the moment they are in. She easily slips into the persona of each character, and the event they are living through so we can feel the emotions as well as hear them in her voice. Veronica gives the space opera a fourth dimension to absorb with the story.
We start in a little over a week from where we ended with Empire of Bones. I'm glad for that as I wanted to see Kelsey in her recovery! And there is plenty happening to keep our attention, with the new Empire and troubles they have, creating a fully functioning ship for Jared and crew to continue on, and finding a way to stop the Pale Ones from attacking again. Wow! It all fits together in a wonderful harmony as we explore with Kelsey and Jared, learning about the new worlds.
I got to thinking about this book because I can't find the words to express how much I really, truly enjoyed this book/series thus far. The question arose: How do you share when you simply love a book? What was it that drew me in? I don't know. Everything.
The characters are ones I really felt I became close to; Kelsey, Jared, Talbot, and many more. There are characters I don't like, but that's because of who they are and what they are doing. These characters are well written and I just want to scream they are bad to all to stop the troubles that will come. These characters spike my worry and suspense for when they will be found. But I love how our crew fights on and get better with each chapter and event. They never stop, having the determination to keep going.
The setting. I like the unknown of space. The troubles that could linger out there, waiting to find our characters. I like that there is action and fighting to go with it. This book is set in Pentagar and the systems around, which we have visited when attacking the Pale Ones. But we also see a bit more as we have a small crew land on a planet.
The plot. Wow. There is trouble in the paradise of Pentagar. There is always a threat to the throne and it crosses with what Jared, Kelsey, and their crew is trying to accomplish. Oh how things get complicated. We also are looking for the main AI system that sends commands to the Pale Ones. This needs to be found and stopped to stop the Pale Ones making more ships and soldiers like them. But what is found with doing this could open doors to more information! Yes!
The characters interact and are smart. They relate to their surroundings and adjust for them too. There's action and information. All the things I enjoy and draw me in.
So, to answer my previous question, this story/series (so far) has everything I love in one nice, neat package. Sweet find!