Genre: Speculative Christian Fiction
I should make something clear upfront, I thought Veiled was a going to be paranormal romance type book, along the lines of the nonsecular angel stories that are so popular right now. I don’t really read Christian fiction. I have nothing against it, it’s just not a genre that I can relate to. Veiled falls into the Speculative Christian fiction category, something I’ve never heard of before now, but its different than what I imagine regular Christian fiction is like. It’s a lot more mystical and ethereal, and seems to present a whole new angle or way of looking at certain aspects of the religion.
Veiled doesn’t really start out as a religious book, aside from the battle for souls between The First One and the Second One, although they’re not defined as god and the devil but rather two entities that are extremely powerful and vastly different. The tale revolves around a group of spirits (like angels) who live entire lives behind the “veil” before they become human souls and go on to live new lives.
Once they pass through the veil, they forget their prior life as a spirit, which is kind of sad because they have very human-like qualities during that time. They have relationships, fall in love, deal with conflict, and everything else you would expect to find in any sort of civilization. But once they cross over and become human, they forget everyone and everything from their prior life.
I have to be honest, once the story started taking on more overt religious undertones (about 20 percent of the way through for me), I stopped reading. This is not a negative reflection on the author or the story at all, it’s just that I can’t relate or connect to most religious stories because of my own personal beliefs. The writing is beautiful, and the descriptions of the world behind the veil are fascinating. It’s neat how the spirits basically jump from planet to planet and even across the universe the way we would walk across the street.
Niccum does a good job of describing the overall landscape, which can be a little difficult when essentially creating a whole new universe. She gives just the right amount of detail to let readers visualize the world behind the veil, but not so much that there is nothing left to the imagination. Tess, the main character, is charmingly naive and sweet, and all the special abilities that each of the spirits have are fascinating. The concept of souls living an entire life before becoming human is very intriguing. It’s a very good and unique story, it just wasn’t my kind of story. I think that someone who is a fan of Christian fiction or stories of a spiritual nature would really enjoy this book, so I highly recommend it to readers of that genre.