Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: NAL on August 16, 2016
My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a digital review copy. No compensation was provided for this review, and all opinions are my own.
The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .View Spoiler » Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.
Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both… « Hide Spoiler
Chloe Neill’s THE SIGHT is a very typical second book in that it expands the world and introduces some new characters, but it is also bogged down by these details and at times is quite slow. Definitely a case of second book slump going on here!
Claire Connolly has been through a lot in the past few weeks: not only has she discovered that she’s a Sensitive, she’s also learned that her beloved father lied to her for years about who – and what – he really was. Add to that a strained relationship with her best friend and a seriously tortured love life and Claire’s not doing so hot when it comes to her personal life.
But all that drama takes a backseat when life as she knows it in the Zone – an area of New Orleans under paramilitary rule after the war with the Paranormals – is threatened by the emergence of Reveillon. Reveillon is a group of extremist humans who believe that the only way to improve life in the Zone is to eradicate all forms of magic from the area…including magic users like Claire and her friends living in Devil’s Isle.
Claire has been volunteering in the medical tent and communications office to help improve life in Devil’s Isle, the prison camp for Paranormal POWs. Her presence there allows Claire to get a better idea of the military operations and internal culture within the camp, information she’ll need if she hopes to liberate some of her Para friends from Devil’s Isle to protect them from Reveillon’s attacks. Devil’s Isle is a fantastic setting, combining aspects of military barracks with a refugee camp to evoke a sense of claustrophobia and scarce resources for the Para prisoners. These prisoners are also closely watched by magic monitors and cameras that identify those using magic, which is a punishable offence both within and without Devil’s Isle. There’s not a lot of time spent inside the prison camp in THE SIGHT, which was disappointing for me because that was my favourite part of the first book.
There are tons of readers and reviewers out there who adore Claire’s relationship with Liam, the mysterious, tough-guy bounty hunter, but unfortunately I’m not one of them. I honestly want to roll my eyes almost every time these two interact. Their relationship just feels too overwrought, especially since they hardly know each other. There are only so many times a person can “see the pain in [someone’s] eyes” when you’ve only known each other a few weeks, for crying out loud! Liam’s also very hot and cold and seemingly incapable of deciding definitively whether he wants to be with Claire, and I’m over it. Interpersonal tension is an important component of a good story, but there are better ways to create it than making the male lead into a jerk. Just saying.
Despite my gripes though, I did find myself enjoying this one on the whole. I think I’m predisposed to enjoy basically every book set in New Orleans (with a few notable exceptions like Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout) and THE SIGHT certainly fits the bill. There are a lot of clear parallels between the way that people live in THE SIGHT post-Para war and the conditions in New Orleans post-Katrina that I thought were really well done. However I may feel about Neill’s romantic relationships, she kills it when it comes to setting.