Author: Karina Halle
Format: Kindle, bought
My rating: 4 / 5
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
It's something that Ada Palomino has always known so well, having grown up in a house of horrors, surrounded by a family plagued by ghosts and demons and things that go bump in the night. But after the sudden and tragic death of her mother two years ago, death has never felt so personal. Or so close.
Now eighteen, Ada is trying to move on with her life and the last month of summer holds nothing but sunshine and promises with her first year at a Portland design school just around the bend.
That is until her increasingly violent and realistic dreams, dreams of other worlds, of portals and veils where her mother is tortured and souls bleed for mercy, start to blend into reality. Ada has to lean on her older sister, Perry, to try and make sense of it all but even then, she's never felt more alone.
Then there's Jay. Tall, handsome and deeply mysterious, Jay would be just another stranger, a familiar face on the bus, if it wasn't for the fact that Ada has met him before.
In every single dream.
And the more that Ada is drawn to him in both worlds, the more she's in danger of losing everything.
Including her heart.
And her very soul.
-- As seen on Goodreads
As you may know, the Experiment in Terror series is one of my all-time favourite series and when I found out that Perry Palomino’s little sister, Ada, was going to get her own spin-off series, I was SO HAPPY! It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here, and it was worth the wait.
Veiled takes place in the same urban-fantasy style world as the Experiment in Terror series two years after the conclusion of Dust to Dust. Technically, yes, you can read this book without having read the original series and you’ll have absolutely no problems being caught up in the world. Buuuuut… okay, this will be bias-me talking, but if you have even a teeny tiny plan on reading the EIT series in the future, then I’d personally recommend reading those books first as you will be spoiled for the endings of both Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust in Veiled. Both of those books are crazy creepy emotional rollercoasters in their own rights, and I’d love everyone who chooses to read them to experience them as I did – with no spoilers or preconceived notions of what’ll happen – and to get the full impact of the horrors of the original series.
The best way I can sum up my feelings on Veiled is that it felt like an impromptu family reunion with of all your favourite relatives that you love and get along with really well. Perry and Dex do make an appearance, (YEEESSSS!) and I may have been grinning like a complete idiot when they showed up. Also, a few characters from The Devil’s Metal duology show up which was a complete surprise and I was completely in heaven! Yes, okay, I may have been fangirling and reminiscing like crazy for quite a huge chunk of this book, but it was so worth it.
And this brings me onto the main characters of Veiled: Ada and Jay. I adored Ada in the original series and I still really liked her here, but she didn’t quite manage to emerge from her big sisters shadow and stand out on her own merit. To be honest, as unfair as this may sound, I think she will always be Little Fifteen to me. Jay, well, his character didn’t really work for me. Uber alpha male tendencies don’t do anything for me, so some parts of his attitude and mannerisms weren’t winning any favours with me.
I hate to say this, but the romance between Ada and Jay was a bit too quick. The chemistry didn’t feel that strong or believable, and as I mentioned above, Jay isn’t the kind of character I’m particularly drawn to. Now, take my feelings on this with a grain of salt: the EIT series has one of the slowest-burning and most rewarding romances I’ve ever read, so with those HUGE expectations already floating around in my head for any developing romance in this book, having those expectations met over the span of one book isn’t really going to happen.
The story itself was just as creepy as I was expecting. Paranormal and creepy horror stories are, in my opinion, what Karina Halle does best and she manages to create so many genuinely creepy moments throughout the book that are so much fun to read. Ovarall, I really enjoyed Veiled, and it was so nice to be back in the Experiment in Terror world again. While I didn’t connect with Ada as much as I did with her sister, I still loved seeing her story and the aftermath of what happened at the end of Dust to Dust. Also, reading this book has reminded me why Perry and Dex are two of my all-time favourite characters, and I have a feeling I’ll be trying to reread the original series as soon as I possibly can!