Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blossum does Through the Veil *The Triple Threat Review*

Blossum has decided to take over reviewing for the day since Kate is oh so busy whining about what to pack on her trip to San Francisco. *Blossum sticks her tongue out at Kate and rolls her eyes*. Bubbles and Buttercup, my two other partners in crime have taken over at The Book Smugglers while Thea and Ana get ready for the fabulous Batman weekend they have planned in honor of The Dark Knight that comes out on Friday. Thea has advance tickets to see Dark Knight and Blossum is trying to figure out a way to steal those suckers away from her. *Gives Thea the special Blossum stare that brings most villains to their knees!* It doesn’t work. *pout*

For our very first Powerpuff Girls’ Triple review, we settled on Shiloh Walker’s Through the Veil. I must say the cover is very eye-catching, and one of the best this year. Through the Veil is a cross between Lord of the Rings and the Terminator. Shiloh is a great and talented storyteller, but with Through the Veil, there were some things that were left to be desired. I had some problems concentrating on everything that was going on because of the combination of too many genres from sci-fi/fantasy/urban romance… need I go on?

Lee Ross has horrible nightmares where she wakes up bruised and beaten. She dreams of war, death and… him. “Him” happens to be Kalen, a warrior in another dimension where Lee really belongs. It seems when Lee was a little girl, she was able to break through the Veil, which is a barrier between the world she was born in and the world she lives in now, which is present day Earth. This other dimension is called Ishtan (I kept wanting to say Ishtar). For hundreds of years, the Warlords of Anqar, who are the enemy of the Ishtanians, have kidnapped their females to make them Warlord slaves and try to impregnate them. Kalen has been leading this resistance against the Warlords for fifteen years. The Warlords have all types of magic and really nasty creatures at their disposal to defeat Kalen and his ragtag army. Kalen is about to have a breakdown because he no longer knows what to do to keep the fight going. The only answer he may have to save his people is Lee.

For some reason, whenever Lee dreams, she is able to go through the Veil and fight along side Kalen. Kalen needs Lee to stay in Ishtan and have her join in the fight. Kalen and Lee have quite a history together because she has popped in and out of his life since she was a girl. Kalen feels she is the preverbal light at the end of the tunnel and also has major feelings for her. Lee is also at her wits end, but for another reason all together. She thinks she is hallucinating because she now sees things outside her dreams. She decides to open her mind and is taken back to Ishtan, like Dorothy who ends up in Oz. And can you guess who is waiting for her there? I expected Kalen to jump and down like a giddy little boy when her finally has Lee in front of him. Instead, he kisses the life out of her, which was a very sweet and hot moment. This gives you a good idea of what is to come between these two.

As Kalen shows Lee the destruction and mayhem the Warlords have placed on the poor people of Ishtan, Lee really wants to go home. Her main complaint is that they don’t have coffee and real bathrooms! Plus, Lee is expected to undergo a harsh training session so she will be able to reach inside herself. She has an extra special power that can possibly save everyone. Lee is not really down with this, after all she is a bit of a girly girl. But Kalen knows that there is just something about Lee because anytime he was in trouble, she would appear and help him. Plus, the lack of women tends to make a man like Kalen horny, so Lee is perfect in so many other ways. Even though these two have only interacted a hand full of times in the past, Lee wants to jum Kalen's bones. The same goes for Kalen. Hey, they both could be dead tomorrow so whenever they have a free moment, Kalen and Lee try to find some peace and tenderness in each other’s arms. As the war rages on, Lee comes to some conclusions and that means sacrificing her own life. See, Lee’s daddy wants her on his side and it is definitely not the side Kalen is on.

Shiloh has written a gritty, dark tale that is a cross between fantasy and science fiction. One minute I felt like I was reading a medieval fantasy where two countries are at a bloody war with each other, then the next I was thrown into a sci-fi urban fantasy. Along with the magic used by the Warlords and fantasy creatures, Kalen’s army uses high tech guns and ammunition that seems a bit out of place. It may just be me, but I would have preferred one over the other. You either pick the magic or stick with bombs and plasma ray guns.

Kalen is portrayed as a wonderful hero. He is strong, intelligent and so very sexy. This is a man who has a perfect tan even though the sun never shines as it is always cloudy and rainy. As for Lee, I found her to be a bit too one-dimensional. If I were Lee, I would have probably acted the same way she did, being thrown into a situation of constant pain and suffering. But after awhile I really couldn’t see how Lee was so very important to the cause. She may have magic that no one else has, but her moaning and groaning tended to grate on my nerves. I almost felt as if Kalen was trying to trick himself into believing that Lee is the savior he was looking for. He tries his hardest to make everyone feel the same way he does. But, the way he treats Lee, is very sweet and endearing as if he was without such loveliness for so long and only Lee can fill that place in his cold heart.

Through the Veil should appeal to fans of fantasy romance, along with that touch of an urban fantasy feel. Most will probably agree that Shiloh can grab a reader and doesn’t let up on the action till the very last page. Perhaps because of this non-stop action, there wasn’t enough time to invest an emotional response with Lee and Kalen. Yes, I found their sex scenes together to be excellent, but as for love and being each other’s soul mates, well that is a bit lacking. At least Kalen has a nice tan and six pack abs that Lee can really appreciate when all is said and done.

2 ½ stars out of 5



Sarai said...

Dang it Another I bought and now pfft will push down Although I am digging the whole dreaming of a dark and handsome stranger and POOF he turns out to be real... Maybe...

Thanks for review B!

Shaymless Aymless said...

Whee! Blossom finally saving me $! Thanks Blosoom!

Ana said...

*Bubbles come over to play*

But but but I LOVED the book. Sarai do read it!

Blossum, I love the picture! we look great in it! : )

KT Grant said...

*Gives Bubbles big hug!*
That's okay! At least we agree that Kalen is one sexy ripped tanned mo fo.
We are some sexy gals :D

JenB said...

I've been going back and forth over this one. Hmm. It doesn't really look like something that would interest me. I think I'll stick with my original plan and start with her Hunters books instead.

Great review KB...er...I mean Blossum.

LVLM(Leah) said...

I've been reading many reviews that say the same thing as you. And yet, I really want to read it and like it.

I love the whole premise of it and I adore the cover, but that isn't enough, apparently.

I think I will still try and read though.

Tracy said...

Jenb - IMO opinion, that would be a good choice. As I said to Bubbles and Buttercup I really like Ms. Walkers writing, but this one didn't do it for me.

Great review Blossom!

Thea said...

*flying ninja kicks over*

Damn, we look GOOD in that picture ;) I like my scary teeth hah!

What can I say Katie, I agree with ya whole-heartedly. There were parts that worked but then others that just didn't quite click.

I'd still say for others that haven't read it to give it a try though--it might just be a matter of different tastes ;)

Thea said...

Oh and forgot to say, neener-neener Blossum!!! The Dark Knight tickets are aaaaaaall mine!



*ninja vanish*

Christine said...

Thanks for the review, Kate. I have this in my TBR (thanks, Tracy!) and look forward to comparing notes with you.

M. said...

IIRC my first post here though i have seen the fabled katiebabs name pearls of wisdom in many a blogland location. arrived via the other two puffy girls to see what you thought of this story.
so - running at 50% of full potential? that is a little worrisome, but i believe in rewarding beatiful cover art so it will stay on my TBR.

jessewave said...

Just reading this review with the mix of different genres made me confused, particularly with all the modern weapons being used in what is a medieval fantasy/urban fantasy/sci fi genre book (did I get it right). One book I will not be buying although I really love Shiloh's writing and her Hunter series in particular.

KT Grant said...

M: Kate will be back in full swing, probably by Friday. Sometimes Blossum needed to come out abd be heard ;)

Jessewave: Veil is definitely a mix of many genres in one. I am usually the type of reader who likes to one. But when you have too many in one book, it tends to be overwhelming. But I do have to say, Shiloh is still one author I would continue to read even though this book didn't hit high marks with me.

Buttercup: Don't make me do my own special ninja kick to get those Dark Knight tickets. :P

Unknown said...

I have this one in the TBR pile.

I get to go see Dark Night tomorrow night at a special primer :o) I can’t wait it, should be lots of fun.

Chantal said...

Hehe, This is the first review that is even close to how I felt about it.

Nath, Ames and I will be posting our buddy review soon.