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Posted May 5, 2012
First of all, Sam is the type of character that you fall in love with. He's the star football player, and he's going places. That is until he accidentally accesses the Veil and freezes everyone during the last play of the big game. He has no idea that the strange time freeze was his doing, and it stuns him so much that he loses the game for his team. He thinks his football future is over, but things change when Meg shows up and takes him to Atlas Crown to be with other people like him, sorcerers. Sam just wants to go home at first. He wants to play football because that's the only life he's ever known. And really Sam isn't all that much like the other people of Atlas Crown. His power is one of the rarer ones and he's having trouble figuring it out. I loved that even though Sam is the one with the great power, he still struggles. Nothing comes easily for him, and I was cheering him on throughout the book. He's also the target of a group that wants to destroy the Veil and start a new world, so danger is stalking him, plotting his downfall.
I loved Sam's voice. He's has such a way with words that makes him jump off the page. Okay, so really I wanted to jump into the book and go along for the ride with him. I even bookmarked some of my favorite Sam comments.
Posted May 3, 2012
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I would like to give a big THANK YOU to Kate at Spencer Hill for allowing me to read an ARC copy of Masters of the Veil. Man oh man where to begin on this review. First I have to say I LOVE football so I was very excited when I found out the main character was a football star. Then the double whammy is the magic. I love books that have magic in them because it brings another element into the world of the characters and makes for a fun read.
Sam is your average small town football player hoping to be scouted and make it big in college and go to the pro's. That is every high school boys fantasy when they are a football player. Sam is looking forward to the final game of the season and to win the division title and be scouted to an awesome college where he can continue to play. The only thing is when Sam is on the field something weird happens and they lose the game. The entire town is upset because they think Sam choked on the field when in reality something amazing has happened.
Sam has to try and figure what happened because he is sure he is losing his mind. After the game he is confronted by the police who lock him up for something he did not do. That is when things start to get really weird for Sam because an FBI agent has come to take him away and when they leave she explains to him that he is different. It is funny how he takes the news because he is thinking the entire time that he is CRAZY!
After Sam learns who he is and what he can do he has to come to terms with his new life. He is not sure if he wants it because he rather have a normal life and go back to the way things were. Where he could play football and be with girls. He has a little bit of a hard time adjusting. Because truth be told it is a little weird for him and what exactly is he to do? Why does he have this burden? Can he learn the magic in time?
Come along on a ride of a lifetime and learn some magic and meet some great friends. Daniel has done an awesome job writing this book and adding the football element was an added plus!
Posted March 8, 2012
I love Goodreads. 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.