(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
“I am his muse. But not for long…”
When Mammon, the Prince of Greed, ‘acquires’ a half-blood slave known as ‘Muse’ for three nights, and bespells her with tales of a world where people live like kings and queens among towers of steel and glass, the seed of hope takes root in Muse’s soul. But hope, for a half-human half-demon creature like her, is a dangerous thing. Especially when that tentative hope springs from the honeyed words of a Prince of Hell. What is Mammon’s price for freedom?
Meanwhile Da’mean, her ruthless owner, would rather see her dead, than free. She belongs to him. She is his muse. And no beast will take her from him.
The world of the elemental demons is harsh and violent. Muse’s kin are merciless, blood-hungry beasts, but little do they know, Muse has something far more dangerous coiled inside her, desperate for a taste of freedom.
After reading the first book in The Veil series, I found out I could get a free copy of this prequel novella, Wings of Hope, through signing up for DaCosta’s newsletter. Obviously I did and got this novella for free. I devoured it in less than half an hour.
Muse here is a very different character. She’s terrified of her master, who heaps every sort of abuse possible on her young body. At the same time, she’s very stubborn and refuses to unleash her demon side when Da’mean provokes her to anger. She doesn’t always win when it comes to controlling her demon side but she desperately tries. That’s when Mammon strides in and changes everything.
Let’s get one thing straight: Mammon isn’t doing this out of the good of his heart and Muse knows this. She’s constantly looking for an angle with him as he tells her of Earth and humanity, painting a happier picture than she could have ever imagined on her own. Mammon is, first and foremost, a demon and when Muse gets into trouble, he’ll do some things to protect her but he’s not going to go out of his way to be the hero. That makes for an interesting dynamic in their relationship in the beginning and you can sort of see that dynamic later in the first full length book of the series, Beyond the Veil.
The pace is quite fast as this is a novella but it does have quite a bit of character development packed into those few pages. Muse goes from terrified, abused creature to a human being that longs for so much more out of life, even if it costs her everything. She’s not the Muse that readers will recognize from the rest of the series but her characterization here explains a lot of her trust issues in the main series. Despite that, you don’t even need to read the series first. This can be read as a standalone novella to give you a taste of Pippa DaCosta’s writing style and I’d highly recommend it for The Veil series fans and people who have never read her work before. Wings of Hope gives us a great feel for how much Muse has really come, what sort of a man (demon?) Mammon is and a bit of a clearer picture of the netherworld, something Muse mentions only in passing.
Basically, whether or not you’ve read the main series before reading this prequel novella, you’re going to love it. There’s great world-building, character development and pacing jammed into these 58 pages. I highly recommend giving it a try.
I give this novella 5/5 stars.
(Cover picture courtesy of Kobo Books.)
Prequel collection to Mortality.
It’s month after the dead first began to walk. The miracle vaccine that was supposed to save us all has failed.
Now, four teens fight to stay alive as a stronger, smarter breed of zombie begins to appear, threatening to end humanity for good.
Four short stories, 11,000 words total
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
After reading Kellie Sheridan’s first book in The Hitchhiker Strain and seeing that there was a prequel anthology to it, I just had to read it. After all, Mortality was pretty awesome and I was interested in learning about the characters lives during the apocalypse itself. But did End Dayz add to my overall enjoyment of Kellie Sheridan’s world?
Absolutely! Learning more about Pierce, Belle, Alex and Zack was awesome. Not only did I get to learn more about the characters themselves, but also about the zombie apocalypse and what it was like to live in that chaos. Not only that, I learned a little about how Savannah was orphaned but I won’t go into detail about that because it’s a spoiler. Unlike so many anthology collections by the same author, each character in End Dayz had an unique voice in their writing. Some of them were chronicling the apocalypse through letters to their family, diary entries or mission reports. But in the end, everyone sounded different and that allowed me to get a real sense of their personality.
Belle is the bubbly young woman we meet in Mortality, Pierce is slightly stuck-up, Alex is the underdog and Zack is the serious team leader. That may sound like they’re all one dimensional characters, but they’re not. There are unique spins on each of the archetypal characters, which I was so thankful for. Kellie Sheridan is one of those writers that seems to stay away from clichés as much as possible and that’s what makes The Hitchhiker Strain one of my top series to follow into the future.
I give this book 5/5 stars.