The Masters of the Veil – Daniel Cohen

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Book Reviews
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I love GMasters of the Veiloodreads.  It is officially my favorite website.  Without the Goodreads First Reads program, I never would have been introduced to Cohen’s books.  I’m surrounded by book-lovers at both my jobs and then listen to podcasts and read blogs about the latest sci-fi/fantasy books, so I always have plenty of trusted recommendations for what to read next.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t pick up a book without having heard something very positive from someone I trust.  The exception to that is books that I get for free (ARCs or other giveaways).  Now I can’t wait for the next book in this exceptional series!  (Really?  2013?  I have to wait? Darn.)

When I received my copy of Masters of the Veil, I figured it would be similar to most other YA Fantasy.  I expected a fast-read with cardboard characters, a hot romance, and a clichéd magic system.  What I got instead was a quick-paced read (not quite the same as fast-read; this is better) with very three-dimensional characters, the beginning of a potential romance (did I mention that I can’t wait for book 2?), and a fabulously unique magic system.  The details of the settings, especially of Atlas Crown, are well-thought out and descriptive.  Cohen shows people exactly what the city looks like without inundating the reader with pages upon pages of description.

The story begins with a high-school football star, Sam Lock, in what is supposed to be his defining moment in the field.  When everyone around him suddenly freezes, he finds him world quickly turning upside down.  Soon he discovers that, not only is he capable of using the Veil (Cohen’s source of magic), there are two groups of sorcerers that each want him on their side.  Sam meets a group of people in Atlas Crown that, for the most part, is eager to include him in their lives, whether he wants to join them or not.  Most of them try to help him understand his new-found powers, always pushing him to learn about and explore and, most of all, control his connection to the Veil.  Another group, one that is no longer welcome in Atlas Crown, also wants Sam on their side.  They will stop at nothing to take control of the Veil for their own purposes and believe that Sam is the key to achieving their dark ends.

The Masters of the Veil is published by Spencer Hill Press.  Spencer Hill started in January of 2010.  As of now, they are still a relatively small publishing group.  They specialize in “sci-fi, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance for young adult readers.”  They make the claim that their books all have an “’I couldn’t put it down!’ quality.”  From what I’ve seen of this book, I’m inclined to believe them.  I generally get a little frightened when I start books from small or independent presses.  There are too many out there who care more about quantity and speed then quality.  If I feel as though I need an editor’s red pen to read a book, it’s not worth it.  This company doesn’t seem like that.  I’ll have to read more of their books to have a more total opinion, but I like what I’ve seen so far.  I don’t recall any glaring typos in this entire book.

I adored this book.  If you like any magic-based fantasy, you’ll love it, too.  Go pick it up.  Support the smaller publishers.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

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