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Friday, March 04, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release - Review & Giveaway - Through The Veil (The Aisling Chronicles, #1) by Colleen Halverson

Title: Through The Veil (The Aisling Chronicles #1) 
Release date:  February 22nd, 2016
Author: Colleen Halverson

About the book:

Elizabeth Tanner is no Tinkerbell, and her life is no fairy tale. Broke and drowning in student loans, the one thing she wants more than anything is a scholarship from the Trinity Foundation. But after the ancient Irish text she's studying turns out to be more than just a book, she becomes their prisoner instead. And when Trinity reveals Elizabeth is half-Fae, she finds herself at the center of a plot to save the magical races of Ireland from a brutal civil war.

As Commander of Trinity's elite warriors, Finn O'Connell isn't used to having his authority challenged. He doesn't know whether to punish or protect the infuriating young woman in his custody. When he discovers the Dark Fae want to use Elizabeth's abilities to control the source of all power in the universe, he'll risk everything to help her.

At the mercy of Trinity and enslaved to the Dark Fae, Elizabeth finds herself alone on the wrong side of an Irish myth thousands of years in the making. Refusing to be a pawn in their game, Elizabeth has to fight her way back to the man she loves, but to do so, she must wage her own war against the magic that binds her.

About the author:

As a child, Colleen Halverson used to play in the woods imagining worlds and telling stories to herself. Growing up on military bases, she found solace in her local library and later decided to make a living sharing the wonders of literature to poor, unsuspecting college freshman. After backpacking through Ireland and singing in a traditional Irish music band, she earned a PhD in English with a specialization in Irish literature. When she’s not making up stories or teaching, she can be found hiking the rolling hills of the Driftless area of Wisconsin with her husband and two children.

Author Links:
My thoughts:

4 “Kickass protagonist” STARS

When I first heard of Through the Veil during a cover reveal blog tour, the first thing I thought was: this premise sounds really similar to the Fever series. For some, the similarity could be a turn-off, but since Karen Marie Moning’s books are among my favorites of all times (where I met my book boyfriend, husband, lover and father of my book children, Jericho Barrons), I was super excited to read Through the Veil and see if/how the author made it different from the famous UF series.

In Through the Veil, Elizabeth Tanner is studying and translating a book written in ancient Irish for her master’s thesis, but the images and words on the damn book won’t stop moving and shifting. Pretty weird, huh? Instead of talking about it with her mentor, the professor who brought the book to the university, Elizabeth decides to keep this information to herself. Until Finn O'Connell, a member of the Trinity “Foundation” (the same one she hopes will give her a grant) stops by and unleashes dark and powerful forces that were inside the book, forcing her to face reality. The magical book isn’t a product of her imagination or stress from long hours of studying it; no matter how hard she tries to convince herself of that.

Elizabeth is thrown into this whole new world, one that she believed was part of ancient folklore, and learns that she can’t escape it because she has an important role to play. She’s the half fae princess and, to end a brutal civil war destroying the Fae realm, she’1ll have to take her mother’s place and marry an evil King. This was part of a deal her grandparents made with the evil King many years ago and her mother was the one supposed to marry him, but she escaped to the mortal world, where she hid Elizabeth to protect her.

Now, as she’s forced to fulfill her mother’s destiny, she finds herself surrounded by powerful kings and leaders that won’t blink an eye before handing her over to the dark side in a desperate attempt to bring the war to an end. The only one she can count on in her struggle to keep her freedom is Finn.
While Finn is supposed to be following the orders of the Trinity’s leaders and keeping Elizabeth from escaping, he ends up falling for her and is ready to do anything to keep her from marrying the evil King. Together, they fight everything and everyone standing in their way.

So, while some of the elements are similar to those found in the Fever series (the mysterious and powerful book, the Fae, the Irish mythology), the author created a different world and a unique story. Not that being compared to the fabulous Fever series is a bad thing. Not at all.

Through the Veil  is full of twists and turns, but I don’t want to get into all of them because it’ll take away from the experience of reading it and discovering everything for the first time. It’s a fast paced story with a strong world building, beautiful descriptions and likable characters.

I found it extremely easy to connect with Elizabeth and her struggle to maintain her freedom – what independent woman wants to be forced into marriage? An arranged marriage is already bad enough, but Elizabeth’s is worse since her future husband is a bastard who spent hundreds of years (or thousands?) terrorizing other people and plans to do the same to her. That also makes it extremely easy to hate every person who believed that marriage to be a good idea. Bunch of idiots!

One of the things I like most about Elizabeth is her perseverance – she refuses to go down without a fight. She saw her life turn upside down in a blink of eye, but she didn’t stop fighting. She didn’t surrender, even when it seemed like the only option left. She’s not a weak human girl in need of a strong man to rescue her. She’ll fight her own battles. Though there were times, especially when things got really bad closer to the end, I wish she’d understood that running might show more courage than fighting….

The only thing I wished had been different was the romance. While there were some really hot scenes between Finn and Elizabeth, I thought they went from strangers to lovers too fast not to see it as insta-love. I needed more tension and a slow burn romance for it to work.

Overall, this was a really entertaining read. This book reminded of all things I like in a good urban fantasy (it’s been marketed as paranormal romance, but I don’t necessarily agree), so I’m ready for its sequel.


Swag Pack

One signed copy of Through the Veil
One Book of Kells Coloring Book
One Tree of Life Pendant
One Tree of Life Journal
One hand-painted one-of-a-kind Tree of Life scarf

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Tour Organized by 
Love Between the Sheets

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