(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
“They say I’m half a demon, but I like to think of myself as half human, especially as the demons want me dead.”
Charlie Henderson is living a lie. Her real name is Muse and her attempt at a normal life is about to go up in smoke.
When a half-demon assassin walks into her life, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake, Muse must return to the one man she hoped never to see again and ask for help. The Prince of Greed isn’t known for his charity. The price is high and the cost could tear her apart.
Trapped between the malevolent intentions of a Prince of Hell, an assassin with ulterior motives and her bloodthirsty demon-kin, Muse must embrace the lure of chaos at her core; the demon inside her, in order to survive.
If your ex is the Prince of Greed, you’d better be ready to raise hell.
[Full disclosure: I requested and received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
I’d only read one of Pippa DaCosta’s other books, City of Fae, before trying out Beyond the Veil. City of Fae was a book I absolutely loved in part because of the many, many plot twists and surprises. Beyond the Veil is very similar in that regard: I had no idea what to expect next. In urban fantasy, that’s kind of a rare luxury and I absolutely treasured it in this book.
Muse is a half-demon that was born in the netherworld and sold into slavery, as is the normal treatment for ‘half-breeds’ if their demon parent does not have them killed. She spent years being abused before Akil, one of the seven princes of Hell, rescued her for his own reasons and began a relationship of sorts with her. Then, five years ago she left him to try to live life as a human. Fast forwardto the present day and things aren’t necessarily working out the best in that regard, especially when the half-demon Stefan walks into her life. Poor Muse is then forced back into a world where she really can’t trust anyone—particularly anyone who says they’re trying to save her. And yet she learns and grows despite the hidden motivations of those around her. She finally becomes stronger and learns to deal with the demon side she has been so afraid of for years.
Muse is of course a fascinating character in her own right but even the secondary charcters in Beyond the Veil are well developed. Akil certainly is a compelling character; he’s a more terrifying, smarter version of your stereotypical bad boy. Stefan seems to be a rather horrible character before Muse really gets to know him and learns about his horrific past. And Nica, Akil’s secretary, has motivations and secrets all of her own despite being completely human and working for a powerful demon who has a penchant for killing liars. I’m oversimplifying here but I can’t go into detail without spoiling some of the great surprises DaCosta worked into the narrative. Needless to say, you’ll appreciate the character development that went into all of the characters, not just Muse.
As I said, the plot is incredibly fast paced but it’s also very unpredictable. There are lots of twists that I didn’t see coming, despite being quite familiar with the urban fantasy genre. Thankfully Pippa DaCosta once again departs from the expected formula and that makes the story all the more enjoyable. Trust me when I say that things are almost never what they seem when it comes to her writing. She’s also created such a rich, well-developed fantasy world that even if the plot were boring, Beyond the Veil would still be a very enjoyable book. It’s nice to see someone depart from the typical Heaven and Hell version of demons and make them more terrifying than they usually are because of it.
If you love great characters, so many plot twists you’ll be guessing until the end and some incredible world-building, you’ll love Beyond the Veil as much as I did. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
I give this book 5/5 stars.