Beyond the Veil, by the Lovely Jessica Majzner, is a thoroughly enjoyable vampire-werewolf supernatural fantasy novel with romance nipped in the bud.
Yes, you heard me right. This book is not a fanged, mushy love story with an overdose of gore. Beyond the Veil is all about a focused young vampire hunter’s journey of revenge and sacrifice for the love of her kin.
Most of the books based on supernatural themes that I find on Amazon are either cheesy borderline erotica or bore me to death. So, I was a tad apprehensive when Jessica Majzner suggested this awesome book of hers when she found out I like fantasy.
I checked the book on Amazon and the book cover gave me hope. Rarely have I seen one without blood dripping from fangs of a chiseled white vampire, or a werewolf hero with ribbed muscles holding a scantily clad damsel in distress in a tight embrace. This book has a simple cover focusing on the protagonist and her amulet which plays a significant part in the story. Oops, did I just give out a spoiler? No, I think not (sigh in relief).
I am not against romance, dear readers, but pages after pages of
He loves me, he loves me not, ooo, the next guy looks even better, hmmm, which one should I hook up with? And finally,
Oh I love them both, but have to pick the whitest and most possessive one because that’s what love is, right? Make me want to bang my head against the wall. Worst,
I took a whole book to find love, when it was right around the corner or dangling in front of my nose.
Beyond the Veil is such a relief from all cliches and stereotypes. The book starts with a touching scene that indicates at the troubles to come. The action follows soon. The author does not indulge in unnecessary world building. What she does is paint an excellent picture of the tribal villages and castles directly associated with the main factions of the conflict, namely, human beings, werewolves, and vampires.
Guns are a new concept in this particular human tribe, owls spy for mysterious and unknown masters, and monsters fight within their tribe for power. The author has nicely woven these secondary scenes into the main tale, ensuring the story never suffers from a monotony of vengeance.
I liked the way this book maintains a balance in the relationship drama, powerplay within the pack, and the main quest. The book talks about the bitter-sweet joy and pain of first love gained and lost, the bond of mentor and mentee, friendship, father-daughter relationship, unwilling dependence on a sworn enemy-turned-master, are some such examples. Some of such associations might seem underexplored, but I think that’s acceptable since vengeance plays the most significant part in the protagonist’s mind and hence the book.
The story progresses at a uniform pace; the language is clear and the writing, lucid.
I love the way the author shows us how the protagonist acts when she reaches the crossroads of life, love, and her goal. One can easily overlook the predictability of the plot due to the author’s skillful narration. There is, of course, one or two surprising turn of event, making the story stand apart from the others.
Thank you, Jessica Majzner for keeping our Natalya (protagonist, did I not tell you yet?) away from the scary world of clothes, shoes, and the tough choice between fanged and furry boys.
If you like fantasy, try Beyond the Veil. A young-adult supernatural adventure story with less drama, subtle emotions, just a hint of romance, and a kick ass heroine, this book is a must read. I loved Beyond the Veil, and I hope you will leave a comment if you liked it.