The Veil by Cory Putnam Oakes
Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Octane Press, 288 Pages
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Addison Russell is in for a shock when she discovers that she can see the invisible world of the Annorasi. Suddenly, nothing is as it appears to be — the house she lives in, the woman who raised her, even the most beautiful boy in town all turn out to be more than what they seem. And when this strange new world forces Addy to answer for a crime that was committed long ago, by parents she has never known, she has no choice but to trust Luc, the mysterious Annorasi who has been sent to protect her. Or so he says…
This book took me literally a few hours to read and let me tell you – I love a quick read. One minute I am sitting reading in my bed (on page 42) and it is 9:00pm, the next time I look up it is midnight and I’m almost done. The plot moves quickly (which is awesome) and the characters have almost tangible personalities. Addy’s Gran is protective, yet hilarious – and there were quite a few places in the book where I caught myself giggling uncontrollably.
It was really interesting to see Addy’s internal conflicts with herself about Lucas (who is delicious and mysterious) and her family (who died when she was younger). The emotions she runs through is such a realistic way for anyone to process certain trauma or surprises. The author definitely gave Addy a unique voice and thought-process which makes her an easy character to relate to. The transition between Addy’s [relatively] normal, every day life of an angsty high school teenager to suddenly being able to see through “the veil” to the Annorasi world is mercifully paced. I find that sometimes authors get a bit too antsy about hurrying up the process of integrating their main character into a strange, new world (or secret) that they forget that it should probably happen gradually instead of throwing it all at them at once. [Most teens would probably need to be committed if they saw the things Addy saw all at once instead of a silver orb every now and then].
Although this work is obviously a work of fiction, having a realistic timeline of how things should play out is incredibly important in making the story FEEL real even when it is not. The whole point of reading fiction is to get pulled into that world and away from the one in which we live.
The action and suspense throughout The Veil can be credited to the author’s ability to hide certain things from the main character as well as the readers. If she threw all of the info out at once, there wouldn’t be the sense of urgency or that nagging feeling that something is going on that keeps us powering through the book.
The setting of the story is wonderfully described using beautifully crafted imagery that could only be described by someone that lived in that part of California. The two worlds are meshed in such a perfect way and “the veil” is well thought-out so that I wasn’t questioning their coexistence.
Now, let’s talk about the other characters. You will meet a well-loved grandmother, others that are quirky, adorable friends, and some downright nefarious enemies. Oh and of COURSE a fiercely protective (and dreamy) love interest. I was very thrilled with how much I enjoyed this book and the Annorasi world that Cory Putman Oakes created! I’m unsure if there is another installment but I am crossing my fingers that there is!