Cover Image: Veil

Veil

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I really enjoyed Hush, the first book in this series, but I just liked Veil. This is going to be a short review, as Veil is a sequel that really can’t stand alone from the first book. This picks up just after the first book leaves off, and we’re back with Shae and her friends as they try to find the land of Gondel, the place that no one is allowed to speak of. Of course, when they reach their destination, it’s nothing like they expected.

I’m not going to go into more detail than that, as I think part of the fun of this book is to go into the story without knowing the details of the world that they find and what it means for the rest of the story. This book felt rougher than the previous book, though it’s difficult to put my finger on why that is. Overall though, I enjoyed the characters and the twists to the story that came from Veil.

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This one just wasn't as good as book one. The characters seemed weird and well kind of stupid in this one. The world building and magic were still great but the overall story was just lacking.
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Thank you so much to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for letting me read an eARC of Veil! I enjoyed Hush a lot when I read it, so I was the most excited to get back into the world and see where we were taken next! 
Veil 4/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: 
The thrilling sequel to Hush, one of the most talked about YA fantasies of 2020.
Shae’s entire world has been turned upside down, and everything she’s ever believed is a lie. More determined than ever, she sets out to the mysterious land of Gondal—a place forbidden to mention and resigned to myth—in search of a dangerous magical book that could alter the fabric of the world.
Following the trail of Ravod, the boy she thought she knew and trusted, Shae discovers there is far more to the young man who stole the Book of Days than she ever realized. Together, with her friends, Mads and Fiona, and a newfound ally in her fierce former trainer, Kennan, Shae crosses the borders of the only home she’s ever had and into a world ruled not by magic, but technology and industry — one fraught with perils of its own.
In a world shrouded in lies, Shae is desperate for answers and to restore peace, but who will lift the veil?
There were so, so many great aspects of Veil and there were quite a few things I was not a fan of, but overall, I really enjoyed where the book ended up going! I really enjoyed the whole adventure/quest feel of the book leading up to the final battle. I was not a big fan of Kennan feeling like she was missing for maybe like 1/3 of the book (I mean, yes we know where she is, but she's not with the rest of the group and I love Kennan, so I was not a fan of that). I'm still very iffy about the whole Shae Ravod storyline, but I guess some people like them together, so that's fine. I loved Fiona and Mads and the secondary characters that came up again and that we met in this book- they definitely added so much! I think one of my biggest issues overall though was that I didn't remember enough of Hush- that's 100% my fault though and no fault to Veil, so if you do read Veil, make sure you've either recently read Hush or you've read a summary or detailed recap or something so you know what's going on. Overall, I thought that Veil was a fun read and I enjoyed it and being able to finish the story that Dylan Farrow started for us in Hush! 

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I really enjoyed the first novel by Dylan Farrow, but I struggled to get into this one. I think I might should have re-read the first one since this definitely couldn't function as a standalone and memories weren't flashed back in a way that helped me remember more from the first novel. It literally just rolled right into the action, like an extension of the first novel.
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Veil is one of those rare sequels that are better than the first. In this second novel, Dylan Farrow answers all of the questions readers had at the end of the first novel, Hush. It also has a powerful driving force throughout, possibly because the heroine, Shae, is no longer alone on her travels. 

Veil begins with a prologue of sorts - excerpts from the diary of a rogue Bard - and then picks up where the first novel ended. Shae and her companions are following the Bard Ravod, who stole the Book of Days. The trail leads them across the country and through a rabbit hole into the unknown. 

Filled with companionable bickering, the dialogue keeps readers engaged on Shae’s adventures. This sequel is enjoyable without reading the first book, even though it is not a standalone.
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Whom do you trust?  Shae has made mistakes trusting people in the past and is fearful or aligning herself with them again.  Who are the good guys?  Thei book is a quest involving good vs. evil.  I think it could be enjoyed by middle schoolers and up.  My thanks to the author and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this work.
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{3.5 stars}

Last year, I was so impressed by Dylan Farrow's fantasy debut Hush, where the written word is something to be feared and storytellers have the power. Shae is on the hunt of the Book of Days, the relic she thinks can stop the plague "The Blot" and reset the power structure of her world. She has her ragtag group of friends and some folks she's not sure whether they are friends or enemies on her journey with her.

The series definitely skews on the younger side of YA, the emotions are not so complex and the relationships are all pretty PG. The fantasy elements are very readable and the battles are lightly outlined, if you're new to fantasy, this would be a place to start if you find high fantasy intimidating. Just like with the first one, I wanted a little more world building - an explanation of the generation of The Book of Days or the villain's motivations would have been nice. It wraps up really cleanly and all the loose ends are tied. A1 solid YA fantasy with a unique premise.

Thanks to Netgalley for advanced access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
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I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Veil is the second installment within the Hush duology. In this, we are following Shae on her adventure to find a magical book. At times, I didn't really understand the decisions they were making. Then how they easily trust people just made me want to roll my eyes. Still, they were young so it's easy to see how naive they could be.

Then there's the mysterious Gondal. We finally see this place and I was little underwhelmed by it all. The people there were not making the best decisions either. I also wasn't prepared for certain betrayals to come up either. Still, they happened and the adventured continued.

In the end, all I can say is that this was pretty interesting to read. I definitely feel like I should have re-read the previous book before jumping into this one. Since I didn't, I'll admit that I was a little confused for a good part of this book. Once things started to make sense, well, the pages continued to turn at a much faster rate. I'm happy that I got the chance to jump into this and will look forward to next book Dylan writes!
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A follow-up to the first book, The Veil is the second half of Shae's story that completes the journey she starts in Hush. With the truth exposed, Shae must hunt for a path forward by journeying to Gondal, along with her friends and mentor. 

I enjoyed the themes of forced silence and an oppressive magic system that were explored in the first book, but with all of that mystique exposed by the end of the first book, the magic was a bit lacking in this follow-up. Coupled with the way both books ended up being a bit formulaic for people who've read their fair share of YA fantasy, Veil ended up being a bit lackluster. I did enjoy getting to see the character relationships develop and the various plot threads weave to a satisfactory close, though. 

I would recommend this if you enjoyed Hush and wanted to binge through both books to get the complete story, but it's not the most exciting sequel.
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Veil, by Dylan Farrow, is the satisfying conclusion to the earlier novel, Hush.  As with most series, it pays to read these two books in order.  I thought it would have made sense to combine the two books into one large volume.   The second book continues the efforts of Shae and her friends to rescue their homeland from the horrific dictator, who has used magic and might to inflict so much misery on its inhabitants.  The sequel, however, develops the characters with much more nuance as well as the relationships between them.  There is plenty of action, and enough twists and turns so that you can never be certain who is an enemy or friend.  

Two flaws annoyed me but did not spoil the story.  One character returns somewhat miraculously and inexplicably, adding nothing to the story, except for unbelievability.  Second, the author overuses some words for reasons I can't begin to explain.  Neither issue seriously diminished my enjoyment.
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The Veil by Dylan Farrow picks up where Hush left off jumping right back into the action. We are given action, adventure and many feelings and emotions to work through. The world get broader and more elegant and overwhelming at times for our group but they handle it like they always do with a will do attitude and dont back down. I really enjoyed this follow-up and found I looked forward to reading it every night after a hard day at work. It was my way of escaping my real life and entering this strange and at some times terrifying world but in a good way. I enjoyed the distraction that it offered and loved being part of the adventure against the evils in this other world.  
I want to thank Wednesday Books and Dylan Farrow for allowing me to read the Advance Reader's Copy in exchange for my honest feedback,  I throughly enjoyed this entire series and love the world Dylan created!
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Thank you to Wednesday books and NetGalley for this review copy. I still need to collect my thoughts due to being conflicted, full review to come.
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I don't know... I enjoyed it, it was faster paced than the first book and so much happens. I think everything up to the end was great, predictable but enjoyable. The end felt very wrapped up with a bow, I didn't get the tension build-up and all those feeling you should have at the climactic last fight scene. Everything up to the end was really good.
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I admittedly did not read the first book in this duology, Hush, but heard good reviews about it that made me want to pick up Veil.  Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the first book, as readers are thrown into the book without much recap or explanation.  After finishing the book I am still not quite sure how the magical "Tellings" work.  I had a hard time connecting with the characters as well, maybe this book relies on backstories that are fleshed out in the first book.  I was also not a huge fan of the love interest, it was hardly a romance at all.  Too much of that story arc is about how attractive Shae finds him, and there is absolutely no trust in him at all, just a lot of problems caused by miscommunication (which is a major pet peeve of mine in plotlines.)  

I did like the magical world and the Book of Days was a fun concept.  The Blot wasn't a major part of this book, I think it probably featured more in Hush, but I found that an interesting take on controlling people and causing fear.  The world of Montane seemed vast and diverse, but Gondal left me a little confused as it seemed like New York, and yet I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a modern-day world or not.  

Overall the book was a fun read and a new take on magic in a fantasy setting.  I would definitely start with book one though.  I think this book would appeal to younger YA readers the most.  I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley for my opinion. 

2.5 stars
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I have been anticipating this sequel for some time. This is the second book in the duology Hush series.
 
Everything is a lie - nothing is as Shae thought it would be. A place that was one of dreams actually exists. Shae heads to Gondal hoping to get answers and to find peace. She journey’s there with her friends Mads, Fionia and Kennan. They seem to be two steps behind Ravod. Can this unknown magical place hold all the answers?
 
While I loved the first book this one felt a little rushed in getting to the finale. I really enjoyed Shae’s journey but Gondal seemed to be whole other reality like Dorothy landing n Oz.
I can’t wait to see what Dylan comes up with next. I will certainly be on the lookout for future books from her.
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I would definitely recommend that one read HUSH or re-read if it's been awhile before starting VEIL.

VEIL starts immediately after the end of HUSH. It's more of a continuation of the story than a stand alone novel. Mayhap they broke it into two for length issues? 

Where HUSH was a boulder rolling down the mountain steadily picking up steam, VEIL is paced much slower. In some cases perhaps too slow. Our group of intrepid insurrectionists have fled High House and are attempting to follow the underground safehouse network to Gondol closely pursued by Bards loyal to Cathal.

Gondol itself was NOT what I was expecting. HUSH presented as a high-fantasy. VEIL is steampunk.
Enemies become if not friends at least comrades, friends are found out to be not what one expected. The whole of Shae's known world as she is aware of it is upended and shaken HARD!

I would actually rate this book as a strong 3.5 stars. 

Hopefully there will be more stories set in the world of HUSH/VEIL as it is revealed that these 2 countries are but a small corner of a much larger world. Would be interesting to see what bordering countries make of the goings on.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I personally preferred VEIL.
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This is a really hard review for me to write. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year! I loved the first book SO much. However this one just left me out to dry. 

The author kept the style of writing the same but the story just left a hole in my heart. It just didn’t fit with the first book. It was disconnected from the first book. The story started out so original and exciting but as we continue the story in this book it’s become predictable and mundane. We spent so much time learning and building something to have it ripped away and be almost pointless. So as a reader I can’t help but feel frustrated. It’s unfortunate that transition from book to book was disjointed.

In short: 
Did I like it ? Not really. Wish the first book was a stand alone. 
Would I recommend it? If you read the first … your going to read this one but beware it may not be what your looking for. 
Would I read more but this author? I’m not sure now.
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I wish I had realized that this was a sequel before I read it, something I realized about a fifth of the way in. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it, and I'll be going back to read Hush as soon as I can get hold of a copy. While I could tell there were things I was missing, things that obviously happened in the previous volume that had much more detail, there was enough given that I had no trouble understanding what was going on, and yet, I don't think it was so much that I'd have been annoyed at rehashes had I already read Hush - which is a hard balance to reach, and was done very well in Veil.

Shae is an orphan, and a Bard, with the power of Telling - the ability to have what she writes change the world. But she's fleeing her home in Montane for Gondal, because the Bards of Montane are chasing her. All her life, she's heard about the land of Gondal, and she knew it was different - but just how different it was, she had no idea. Her magic doesn't work in Gondal, taking away her greatest advantage, and requiring her to find other ways to reach for her goal.

I truly enjoyed Veil: the world, the plot, and, particularly, the characters. This is a tightly written novel, with interweaving actions by different characters, with enough detail to be interesting and create vivid pictures in the mind of the reader, but not overwritten. Recommended for middle grades through adult.

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my review, which I am leaving voluntarily.
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Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for an early copy of this book! All opinions are my own!

I think my favorite thing about this book was the way that it talked so much about various deep topics that really added a real-life aspect to it. It touches on grief, friendship, courage, strength, ad so much more, and I loved being able to relate to those parts even in the midst of magic and fantasy. It was refreshing to see such strong female characters and to have their stories include them saving themselves and finding their strength.

I think one of the things I struggled with in this book was the world building. I still am not sure why writing was seen as dangerous. There were just several instances where things were not fully explained and I wanted to understand more about why things were a certain way or what things meant. I do think that part got better in this book than it was in the first one!

I did like the concept of the world with a sort of alternate universe type country, and I found that really fresh and new. It was fun to think about our normal and how that might translate into a fantasy world. I loved the characters, and the romances were very adorable! They each had something unique and very sweet to add to the found family, and I loved that about them!

Overall a great fantasy duology for someone who might just be entering the world of fantasy!
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This book has joined the very, very short list of second volumes that fix every issue I had with the storytelling in book 1 and surpass the original with even greater emotional engagement. 
Veil takes a running start right where Hush left off and we're dropped right into Shae's emotional turmoil at the events that closed the first volume. It's a fitting way to start the book because it feels like the entire plot is a race for Shae to save herself, her friends, and even the people of Montane.
I say it's a race, but I love how Farrow managed to create a constant state of expectation and urgency that never feels like things are rushed and ebbs and flows to give the story and characters time to breathe. There are so many emotional revelations and moments in the story that I'm afraid to even talk about what happens because I feel like the things that Shae discovers along the way about herself, her friends, and those around her are a big part of what made this such an emotional read. 
As this is a second volume that feels like such a continuation of the first, I cannot recommend jumping in without first having experience book one. The world is complex and the character relationships even more so. I don't think a reader jumping straight into book two would have an easy time working out the importance of events or the motivation behind characters' actions.  

Very happy thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the action-packed and emotional read!
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