Friday, June 14, 2019

Review: The Beyond by Chloe Neill

The Beyond
(Devil's Isle #4)
Chloe Neill
Release: June 4, 2019
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Sensitive Claire Connolly must journey to another world in the electrifying fourth installment of Chloe Neill’s post-apocalyptic urban fantasy series.

It’s been a year since the Veil between the human world and the world Beyond was torn apart, and war began again. Sensitive Claire Connolly and bounty hunter Liam Quinn have been helping their human and paranormal allies fight back against the ravaging invaders and save what’s left of New Orleans.

But a new enemy has arisen, more powerful than any they’ve seen before, and even Devil’s Isle cannot hold her. . .

When Claire learns of a new magical weapon–one built by paranormals themselves -she knows it could turn the tide of war. But to reach it, she and Liam will have to cross into the Beyond itself. In a world full of hostile magic and dangerous foes, she’ll have to channel the powers she once kept hidden in order to survive. New Orleans hangs in the balance, and the storm is growing closer . . .

The Beyond takes place several months after the battle at the end of The Hunt and things have changed drastically. Sensitives aren't in hiding anymore and the Consularis Paras are allowed to wander around freely. The downside? The Veil is open and Court paras are coming through freely. And while things haven't been exactly peaceful, they've been calm. Now, all heck is ready to break loose from a new big bad and an incoming storm. 

I'm going to be honest here. I wanted to love this book like I did the first couple but it seems like the last couple books have really dragged for me. Ultimately, I liked The Beyond but I also was very underwhelmed by it. It dragged in places and I found myself putting it down and forgetting about it. It also didn't feel like the end of a series. Things were resolved but still left kind of open.

Worldbuilding-wise I still love Neill's post-magic apocalypse New Orleans and I was really excited to finally get a peek at the Beyond. It was intriguing and very underwhelming at the same time. The capitol of the Beyond from the outside is practically perfect and I would have liked to see more of it but the whole trip felt glossed over. And the big bad? Interesting, but again, underwhelming. The pacing of the book just felt off to me. It was fast in parts and dragged in others. It also felt like it needed another good fifty or so pages to round out the plot better.

I still love all the characters especially the side characters! Moses, Tadji, Gunnar, and Gavin are all so great! I even loved Liam for most of the book even though he went caveman a few times. I struggled with Claire though. For most of the book she was still the spunky heroine I'd grown to love in the previous books. But she also drove me nuts. For someone who literally chased down the love interest in the last book, she was downright commitment-phobic in this one. It felt so off. It was nice to read Liam having all his ducks in a row for once though.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book by the end but, in my opinion, it was the weakest in the series and a bit disappointing for the series finale. Although everything did wrap up nicely. Claire's emotional journey from loner to someone with a found family was what kept me reading. She's come so far in the series and it was satisfying to see her come into her own magic. I'm still going to recommend this series to people. Just with the caveat that the first two books are the best in the series.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  3 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:

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