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NEW RELEASE! Review – Drowning in the Dark (The Veil Series #4) by Pippa DaCosta

“I wasn’t demon enough to defeat my brother before. Things have changed.”

As the veil begins to fall, and the demons bleed through onto the streets of Boston, Muse knows the battle is lost before it’s even begun.

To make matters worse, Adam and the Institute have captured Akil at a time when the city has never needed him more. Muse believes Akil’s incarceration is a ruse, because if he truly is at the mercy of the Institute, she must choose which side she’ll fight for. Human or demon?

The princes are coming. Valenti, Muse’s immortal half-brother, leads the charge. The Institute is not ready, the people of Boston are not prepared, but one man is. Stefan knows what it will take to beat back the netherworld. Will his demon allow him the freedom to right his wrongs?

Muse’s loyalty will be tested. To save those she loves, she must give up that which she cherishes most. Her humanity.

The Mother of Destruction is about to go nuclear.

Can we please just take a moment to relive the amazingness that was that prologue…

…The things she’s doing to me. I am not this man. I am demon. And yet this impossible woman undermines everything. Undermines me. Burrows deep. Deep into shadows, into darkness, into facets I’ve refused to acknowledge.

Oh my LIFE Akil. The prince of Greed is seriously off kilter, it’s unsettling, especially for Muse. Common sense tells her that he is deluding himself thinking that he feels something for her. But she can’t seem to get away from the fact that his actions are trying to prove otherwise. Welcome to the very complicated world half-blood Muse. Right from that prologue I knew that I was going to be lost to this book. I have been an avid follower of this series and as the story has twisted and turned into hell and back I have had my emotions wrung out too many times to count. That doesn’t change here in book 4, in fact I think my heart was lucky to survive this instalment.

 

We land in this story right as the Institute makes their biggest move yet and captures Akil AKA Mammon. Muse is horrified, Akil needs to be out in Boston helping them fight the demons and Princes that are heading Boston’s way, but no one is listening to her.  Muse knows she has a limited amount of time until chaos claims her and she wants to do everything she can to prevent the two worlds from colliding. This is where Stefan comes in. He’s back and it seems that he and his demon are wanting very different things.

I don’t want to say too much more specifically about the story because you really want to be able to feel shocked, stunned and spun-out as the story demands it. Because that is one of the strengths of this series, these demons really keep you on your toes! I’m still unsure where each demon stands exactly in relation to Muse and humanity. I am in love AND hate(!) with parts of both Akil and Stefan, which is completely owing to the care Pippa DaCosta takes in her character building. Demons by their very nature should be confusing to our human sensibilities and that absolutely is achieved. I don’t know half the time if I want to love these guys or kick them! So yes, I’m conflicted. I don’t know if I should be, but I am. 

Meanwhile Muse is still the badass chick I have come to expect. Even at her darkest hour, even when she feels her control slipping away. Even when she’s not sure she has anything left to give or to fight for, she pulls out the biggest guns that she can and she hits full throttle. Every. Single. Damn. Time. You can’t beat an epic female character and Muse definitely delivers.

So you need to read this book. Like you seriously need to read this book. Obviously if you’ve been following this series then you’ll already be one step ahead and will be currently reading this book… But if not then get onto it! If you’re new to this series then you REALLY need to get onto it and read all of the books! I will end with one word of warning… The ending of this book… it almost killed me, mostly from multiple heart attacks, but also from knowing that I now have to wait until APRIL to find out what on earth had just happened! (In more ways than one) I’m still slowly coming to terms with Drowning in the Dark (can you tell!) I need closure…. So I swear nothing is coming between me and the final book in this series…

ARC kindly received in exchange for an honest review

Book Review – Darkest Before Dawn by Pippa DaCosta

Received from author in return for an honest review

“It’s too late to save myself, but I’ll save her, even if it kills me.”

When Akil leaves a nine year old half-blood girl on Muse’s doorstep, it’s not long before the demons come hunting, but this time Muse isn’t the target. The Institute, Muse’s immortal brother, and the Princes of Hell, all want a piece of the little half-blood. What’s so special about Dawn, and why has Akil conveniently disappeared just as Muse needs answers?

To save the half-blood girl, Muse must first save herself, but is it already too late? Muse’s humanity is failing. Her demon hungers. The darkness coiled around her heart lures her toward madness. And all that stands between Muse and her demon’s lust for destruction, is the hope that some half-bloods do get happy endings.

The veil weakens. Titles will fall. A new Prince rises. And if Muse can’t stop them, the demons will have their day.

You literally feel like you have been thrown head first into this instalment of Muse’s story and this feeling is definitely what is intended. No time wasted on build up, just straight into fast paced action, no time to think or feel. Are you starting to get the gist of why I am such a fan of this series? From the start it has held its momentum up to almost super-sonic, you never get a chance to slow down and feel maybe even a little bored. Although, considering this is a story about demons I would expect no less.

Throughout the books Muse has developed a lot as a character, we’ve seen where she’s come from and watched her grow into herself. In this book it gets taken up a notch once again when Akil shows up on her doorstep with a half-blood child and little instruction about what she’s to do before he disappears. Muse (pretty naively) hopes that she can give this little girl a shot at a life that she missed out on. The storyline with these two reminds me of a parent so wanting their child to have everything they didn’t and it’s no different here for Muse, except instead of ballet lessons and fancy new bikes, we’re talking about the right to not being owned and abused and living to survive another day.

“Sometimes, there is no right thing. Sometimes wrong wins, and that’s okay. Life can’t be distilled down to right and wrong. It’s all about that messy gray area in between and how we deal with it….”

Really, if that was the only thing Muse had to concentrate on then she’d probably fly through any obstacle coming her way no problem. But she still has her ex-owners dark essence trying to suffocate her heart and soul, feeding on her every time things get out of control, she’s still in her love/hate relationship with the institute, a relationship that is definitely more hate than love at the moment, on top of that she’s got major demon problems and of course her two biggest conundrums of them all, Stefan and Akil…

Stefan is slipping away. There is so much unspoken between them, so much love and hate that it really feels like a lost cause. Stefan is not what he was, he can’t control his demon and he is so powerful that he could potentially turn out to be a far stronger player in the netherworld than anyone ever imagined. Meanwhile while we are getting to grips with Stefan’s darker demon side we are slowly peeling back the layers to see more of Akil’s ‘human’ side. The Prince of Greed does not love. The Prince of Greed is supposed to be completely and utterly selfish and indestructible…. So why then, are we seeing more hints that this character is SO much more than what Muse sees him as? The one scene of him in his Mammon form laying in his empty house completely heartbroken has to be one of my favourite scenes of his so far. I am absolutely 100% not ashamed to say that I am team Akil all of the way. I know that he’s an asshole, a demon with no humanity… But damn it! I kinda love him.

Jesus, he was unrefined, raw, and wild. I caught the gleam of the demon glaring back at me. Chaos caged. He wasn’t a man. That being inside him, simmering just below his trembling flesh, was an eternal demon-not of this world, not belonging to humanity in any way. He was unreal, so far beyond my naïve comprehension that I could no more hope to understand him than I could the workings of the universe.

These books are slowly getting darker and grittier. There were a few times in this book where I forced myself to read through it. Trying to reconcile that an innocent looking child and a terrifying demon are one and the same is not easy work for a human brain. I loved that this book made me feel like this because that is the reality of Muse’s world. The chaos around these storylines is confusing and perfect all at the same time. These books don’t drip in ‘happily ever afters’. Half-bloods don’t get that luxury so as readers we don’t either. Like I said, it’s perfect.

I made the mistake of reading the included excerpt of the next book… BIG mistake. HUGE. Because now I am dying of impatience to see where this story is going to go next. I need some relationship resolution. I need some institute resolution. I need I need I need!!! If anything after this book I have more questions rather than less of them. There is still so much further for Muse’s story to go and I have a feeling it’s going to be explosive.

 photo credit: johnb/Derbys/UK. via photopin cc

Book Review – Wings of Hope (The Veil Series Prequel) by Pippa DaCosta

Book provided by author in return for an honest review

“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.

Her humanity.
 

A small seemingly insignificant half-blood demon, a cruel and sadistic demon owner, a powerful Prince of Hell with an ulterior motive and a description of the netherworld so rich in detail, clear enough that you can see it in your mind, yet foreign enough that you can’t quite grasp the realities of surviving in such a place… It’s safe to say I was excited to sink my teeth into this novella. I’ve been loving this series and have mentioned on occasion how much I was dying to discover more about Muse’s past. Well luckily for me Pippa DaCosta has taken the time to write this beautifully descriptive piece and in doing so, has well and truly done justice to Muse’s story.

This story is set in the netherworld, this place is full of demons of all shapes, sizes and brutalities, this is a place where blood, pain and death are the norm and if you intend to venture out alone you better know how to protect yourself. Chaos and violence rule, domination is king and there is no room for emotions, wants or dreams. The Muse we meet here in not the human half of Muse that we are accustomed to… No, here we have been taken back to where Muse lived and thought like a demon. Muse can’t understand her seemingly weak and pathetic ‘pink’ human half, she cannot fathom the thoughts and strange feelings she has when she is in her skin, all that makes sense to Muse the demon, is that she is worthless and that someone will always own her to use her.

Here we also get to see more of her owner Da’mean and the atrocities he committed against her, but even more so, we get to see Ahkeel (Akil) through her eyes as they first meet. As we know, he turns out to be a pretty integral part of Muse’s future, but to see him here at the start, to see him as the Prince of Greed, in his world, in his castle, seemingly in his element but hankering for something else, really helps to not only flesh out his Mammon self a bit more, but also sets the tone of their relationship

Now that I’ve delved into Muse’s past I can’t wait to get back into her current day self. Every single encounter in the netherworld has made Muse who she is today and armed with a more in-depth understanding of her and her world, owed to the fact that we were viewing everything through her demons eyes, I feel so much has ‘clicked’ into place. This darker toned novella is the perfect accompaniment to this series and in my opinion, it is a must read.

 photo credit: KomodorO // Paco LopeH via photopin cc