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Through the Veil, by Shiloh Walker

Where to start? Hmmm… Well, for starters, this book is an amazing mix of urban fantasy and paranormal elements with romance. The world building is really top notch—complex yet flexible, the way life actually is.

Here’s the blurb:

Found wandering in a field as a child, Lee Ross was given a name by the state and placed in a foster home–without anyone realizing she wasn’t entirely human. All her life, she’s tried to dismiss the odd dreams that have plagued her, dreams of monsters creeping through the night and a man, fighting demons by her side. But the bruises she wakes up with are all too real to ignore.

Then the man from her dreams appears in the flesh. His name is Kalen and he insists that her destiny lies in his world, the world of her dreams. To save their people, he must convince Lee to give up everything she knows, follow her heart and cross into the Under Realm, even though once she does, she’ll never be able to return.

For once the blurb hits its mark—yay! Chalk one up for authors!

In this universe, some individuals have the power and the talent to see between dimensions through the Veil, and there are ways to cross from one to another by opening the Gates between worlds—but doing so has consequences, often unforeseen, other times callously ignored. Two of these worlds have been at war for generations.

As wars often do, this conflict has changed over time. From a first strike prompted by the need of a world to survive, the incursions have become almost a sport for the aggressors. The world that is the target of these ever more frequent raids is now on the brink of implosion, torn by invasion, violence, pollution and despair. Eventually something must give.

Ms Walker gives insight into the politics of each world; the evolution of a society where power is the only thing of value, contrasted with the disintegration of the social, political, and economic infrastructures in a world under siege.

Did I say the world building is good? Well, then, the characterization? Oh man, so good, particularly the two main characters, but also several of the secondary characters who play important roles in the story—Morne, Dais, Eira, Arnon, Char.

I love the internal conflicts that Kalen and Lee go through, and I truly can’t say which of them I like more, or with whom I sympathize more. (more…)