Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkley (June 3, 2008)
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 that 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. . .
As terrified of the dreams as Lee is, she knows the cut on her arm is real, and she knows she can't ignore it any longer. This time when she goes to Kalen, it is while it's daylight, and she knows exactly what she's doing. She also knows there's no going back, especially when she discovers a horrible secret about herself. And when she's with Kalen, the man she loves, she will do anything in her power to protect him, even if it means sacrificing herself....
For me, Shiloh Walker has always had a very distinctive, unique voice, and she knows how to paint a landscape so vividly that you can smell the acrid smoke, feel the velvety leaves, taste the vile healing brew and gag on its bitterness. In "Through the Veil", I felt the hopelessness of Kalen and his people, felt the shadow of death lurking, waiting to claim them all in a brutal war. Even when you know that all will end on a hopeful note, you're brought to the brink of sadness and devastation, praying for a miracle, scared that help won't come in time. You're reminded that good people die, sometimes horribly, and sometimes that miracle just isn't enough.
Lee is a fighter, but she's afraid of what's inside herself. She's honest, loving, and protective of the people she cares about, but doesn't understand what her purpose is. Kalen is a warrior through and through, and has no qualms about a woman being in charge, letting him do what he does best. He loves Lee, the young girl who has saved him from death many times over the years, and now the gutsy woman who puts herself in danger to protect him and his people, now her people.
I loved Lee's grumpiness, her craving for coffee and her attraction to Kalen. She was brave but afraid, and time and again wanted to turn her back on the war, but she didn't. That's what made her such a fine heroine. She didn't take the easy way out, no matter how tempted, and every thought and action was about saving someone else instead of herself.
Kalen was a confident leader, a caring man who fought for what he believed in, but he was tired. Lee took away his exhaustion, gave him something real to live and fight for, and while he could be demanding and stubborn, he valued Lee's opinion and her strength, admired her power and her role in their survival. Together they made a strong and vital unit.
Another winner, as far as I'm concerned. Sensual, heart-breaking, gritty, "Through the Veil" is an absorbing story that kept me glued to the screen reading, anxious to find out what happens, and since I got this in ebook format, that's saying something (still don't care for them as much as a "real" book). It's always hard to put a good book down, especially when the characters stay with you and you can't help but wonder what ends up happening to them. I'd gladly re-visit this world again. Shiloh packs a walloping, emotional punch.
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****