Review: The Sight by Chloe Neill

The Sight by Chloe Neill

The Sight by Chloe Neill (Devil’s Isle #2)

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: NAL on August 16, 2016

Source: Netgalley

Rating StarRating StarRating Star

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a digital review copy. No compensation was provided for this review, and all opinions are my own.

The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .

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Chloe Neill’s THE SIGHT is a very typical second book in that it expands the world and introduces some new characters, but it is also bogged down by these details and at times is quite slow. Definitely a case of second book slump going on here!

Claire Connolly has been through a lot in the past few weeks: not only has she discovered that she’s a Sensitive, she’s also learned that her beloved father lied to her for years about who – and what – he really was. Add to that a strained relationship with her best friend and a seriously tortured love life and Claire’s not doing so hot when it comes to her personal life.

But all that drama takes a backseat when life as she knows it in the Zone – an area of New Orleans under paramilitary rule after the war with the Paranormals – is threatened by the emergence of Reveillon. Reveillon is a group of extremist humans who believe that the only way to improve life in the Zone is to eradicate all forms of magic from the area…including magic users like Claire and her friends living in Devil’s Isle. 

Claire has been volunteering in the medical tent and communications office to help improve life in Devil’s Isle, the prison camp for Paranormal POWs. Her presence there allows Claire to get a better idea of the military operations and internal culture within the camp, information she’ll need if she hopes to liberate some of her Para friends from Devil’s Isle to protect them from Reveillon’s attacks. Devil’s Isle is a fantastic setting, combining aspects of military barracks with a refugee camp to evoke a sense of claustrophobia and scarce resources for the Para prisoners. These prisoners are also closely watched by magic monitors and cameras that identify those using magic, which is a punishable offence both within and without Devil’s Isle. There’s not a lot of time spent inside the prison camp in THE SIGHT, which was disappointing for me because that was my favourite part of the first book.

There are tons of readers and reviewers out there who adore Claire’s relationship with Liam, the mysterious, tough-guy bounty hunter, but unfortunately I’m not one of them. I honestly want to roll my eyes almost every time these two interact. Their relationship just feels too overwrought, especially since they hardly know each other. There are only so many times a person can “see the pain in [someone’s] eyes” when you’ve only known each other a few weeks, for crying out loud! Liam’s also very hot and cold and seemingly incapable of deciding definitively whether he wants to be with Claire, and I’m over it. Interpersonal tension is an important component of a good story, but there are better ways to create it than making the male lead into a jerk. Just saying.

Despite my gripes though, I did find myself enjoying this one on the whole. I think I’m predisposed to enjoy basically every book set in New Orleans (with a few notable exceptions like Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout) and THE SIGHT certainly fits the bill. There are a lot of clear parallels between the way that people live in THE SIGHT post-Para war and the conditions in New Orleans post-Katrina that I thought were really well done. However I may feel about Neill’s romantic relationships, she kills it when it comes to setting.

What’s your favourite real-world setting for fantasy and sci-fi? Are you reading the Devil’s Isle series? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Sorry to hear this suffers from the second book syndrome, but glad you enjoyed it overall. I have been thinking of reading the first one one of these days for a Backlist Burndown review.

    • I would be very curious to hear what you think of this one, Lisa! You might actually enjoy Devil’s Isle more than some other UF series because it’s got a darker, more serious tone than you typically find in the sub-genre.

  • I guess I will wait and see how the series turn out

    • I’m curious to see how long this series is supposed to be! Chloe Neill’s Chicoland Vampires series is a bit too long for my tastes.

  • Haha, I am the same way about settings, and I really liked the first book because of, yep, New Orleans. Your review/rating was pretty much what I expected for this. I still plan on reading it, but probably will wait until I’m in the mood for this type of UF and the characters’ weird romantic drama.

    • Ugh, I’ve been reading so many books with weird romantic drama lately. Normally I love a romance plot line, but these overly angsty plots are just making me roll my eyes.

      I’m curious to hear what you think of this one, Mogsy! I’ll keep an eye out for your review.

  • I really liked the first book, but this one was a bit of disappointment for me as well in certain aspects. It wasn’t as engaging as the first for me and I also struggled with the romance aspect. I liked Liam, but their interactions here was severely lacking in chemistry. When the sexy times came, I thought it happened too fast because there was hardly any build up to their romance. I do agree about the description of Devil’s Isle though! I’m excited to find out more about the prison too. Hopefully, in the next book!

    • OMG thank you! What was up with the complete lack of chemistry between Claire and Liam? I honestly thought there was more of a spark between her and Malachai (and not just because I prefer him as a character).

      Given the events of The Sight I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our characters are, uh, spending a lot more time inside Devil’s Isle in book 3. Hahaha. So we may get our wish! 🙂

  • I’m tempted to give this series a shot. I tried to get into Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series and couldn’t do it though. So I’m a little gun shy about giving this one a try. Not too thrilled about the romance angle in this one though. I’m with you on that front. I’m really tired of authors turning the male romantic interest into a jerk to create drama between the two leads.

    • I tried to get into the Chicagoland Vampires series too, but I think I tapped out at around book 3…and that was because of the weird romance plot line in that series too (although a ton of readers loved the romance).

      I’d recommend giving the first book a shot; you’ll know pretty quickly if the series is for you, since the tone and pace of the first book is pretty similar to The Sight, albeit a slightly stronger book overall.

  • I remember when you reviewed the first book you had a few reservations about it so it sucks that there are still things you’ve got issue with in this book. That being said, I am now totally going to read the first book because there is a second book out to read it I like it (does that make sense because I don’t know why I like to do that with books, if it’s a series I’m not sure about I’ll wait for two books to be out so I can carry on reading if I like it…. that’s weird isn’t it?).

    I mean, it sucks you’re not feeling the romance because romance is one of those things can come close to ruining a book for me if I don’t like it but we’ll see. I am quite easy swept away by love in any book because I am a complete sap and I know this about myself. Although, I also really hate when they turn your romantic lead into a jerk to try and make him seem all mysterious, no, he just seems like a knob. Also, like you say, it’s New Orleans, I am basically obligated to begin reading these books for that fact alone because that is always a redeeming quality.

    • Also, I’ve totally just checked my library and they have both these books available. I am totally reading these as soon as I can get to the library! I am feeling the library love today, which leads to a totally related comment I forgot to add. Your new job you must tell me all! Don’t make me have to ask you on Twitter as well because I will. I am nosy like that, nothing can stop me 🙂

      • Ahhhh I’m so glad you’re loving the library! I feel very smug that you’re a regular patron now, haha. 😉

        LOL right! I keep forgetting to update you! Well, I’m now a library assistant at the London (Ontario) Public Library! Yay! So my job is answering reference questions, recommending books (“reader’s advisory”), setting up cards, assisting with technology, registering people for programming, and connecting people to other resources. I’m really loving it so far! 😀

        • Yes, feel smug because it’s totally down to you (or the fact I found out I can check the library catalogue online and am trying to spend less money on books in case I don’t read them, but that just sound as good does it).

          And that is cool, I’m glad you’re liking it. That sounds really fun to do. Way more interesting than finance and paying companies money. I’m a little jealous because I used to think I wanted to be a librarian until I realised they’ve made it really hard to be one and there are basically no jobs, what is this?

    • I totally get what you mean, and I don’t think it’s weird! I’ve recently discovered that given the opportunity, I’m something of a series binge-reader too. Having at least two books in the series can be a real blessing if you want to read them back to back!

      The worst part of the whole thing is that I’m a total sap too! I’m almost always swept away by a good romance too…it’s just that I don’t think this one is very good. :/ LOL, knob. I love British insults, they’re great. “Git” is a good one too.

      New Orleans is the best! NOLA and Prague are my two favourite real-world settings.

      • That is exactly it! See you get me and my series needs.

        And ugh, I hate not good romances. They are the worst because it’s not like there are that many requirements to make a good romance (although, I’m not a writer so I can’t judge too harshly) but we’ll see how it goes. And I am happy to provide you with plenty of British insults (although I do forget they are British, you just don’t think about it). Git is a good one which is very underused round by me. I may have to reintroduce it into my regular insult vocabulary.

        And I completely agree, I love both settings. Although the only book I can think of set in Prague is Daughter of Smoke and Bone. This may be an underused bookish setting. I may have to Google.

  • I also am usually excited to read anything about New Orleans too!! so I’m glad it had some great description of that. Alot of series suffer in book two, so I hope if you stick it out with this, it gets better

    • New Orleans is the best setting! So atmospheric, so much history, and a diverse culture. Such a great choice for urban fantasy! Thanks Tori, I do plan to continue with the series so I hope it gets better too.

  • Oh no, second book syndrome. That’s such a disappointment..
    Wait, didn’t Claire know she was a Sensitive in the first book? How is it that she’s just finding out stuff now? And Devil’s Isle seems like it would be the perfect setting for something in the DC/Marvel world. Jessica Jones, perhaps?
    I’m really intrigued regarding Neill’s world-building. That’s a huge check mark for me and if she does it well (but not excessive) I may be interested? (That romance sounds so painful though…). A well built world is the perfect setting regardless of where it is – why be picky if it’s a great story?

    • Ugh it really is! The dreaded second book slump…

      Ha, yeah she does realize she’s a Sensitive in the first book, but she doesn’t ~accept~ it until basically the final battle of the first book, if you know what I mean. Ooooh, yes! Jessica Jones would do very well in Devil’s Isle: there’s lots of work for someone with ambiguous morals, haha. She’d have to keep the use of her powers on the down low though, what with all the cameras everywhere!

      I hear you on that one! I’m always in for a great story! I think part of the problem for me is that I’ve read so much urban fantasy (it’s one of my favourite sub-genres) that I’ve started to develop preeeeetty high standards for what makes a really strong UF series. I hope you like the Devil’s Isle books if you end up picking them up! 🙂

  • Lynn Williams

    Oh dear – middle/second book syndrome. Not pretty! Not a series I’m reading so I’ll probably wait and see how the whole things goes – you never know it might pick up now! Plus New Orleans 😀
    Lynn 😀

    • Very true! That’s exactly how I felt about Emma Newman’s Split Worlds series, and that one seems to be picking up over time. New Orleans is the best! <3