Hello, lovelies! I’m here today to end this sense of eternal déjà vu from your minds as you come across the blog and similar covers hunt you: welcome to the review for the last volume of the Never Veil series, from brilliant Amy McNulty: Nobody’s Pawn! =D
One would think I would already have run out of comments over the series at this point, but one may not really know how much of a pain in the ass I can be ❤ With love, of course! #Always
All right, let’s knock protocol down so we can move on to the review. First of all, I received Nobody’s Pawn from Amy herself in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much, from the bottom of my heart! I’ll be forever grateful for having met you and your work ❤ Also, if you didn’t get a chance to take a look at my reviews for books one and two and wish to do so before continuing your journey here with me, be our guest ❤
Ready, set… GO!
If Noll thought things were bad with the curse, she had to admit that without the curse, they downward tragic. With Jaron’s poor leadership, the men in the village were completely rebellious and deep into existential crisis. Now that the parties slowed down and they realized that being free wasn’t just about the good stuff, most men were feeling lost and helpless. How did you manage freedom if you never knew it in the first place? Noll’s friends were going crazy.
The women weren’t doing much better. Without their other halves helping, the village started to falter and nerves got shattered. Most of them had been left as soon as Ailill suspended marriage contracts and didn’t know how to woo their loved ones back home. Some, like Rosalyn, never would – her man had found love with another man, after all. And it was all Noll’s fault.
At least, she was given one last chance to right at least one wrong: Ailill. Against all odds, the lord is back for yet another life… But has no memories from the time he spent with Noll on his previous life. As things get trickier with the village and Jaron tries to make Jurij the new lord, Noll and Ailill are forced to travel beyond the Never Veil. No matter how great the danger, Noll will be dead and buried before anyone messes up her home – you know, more than herself.
Three people crossed the veil… how many will the kings and queens allow coming back?
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
As I reached the last page of Nobody’s Pawn, I blinked once. Twice. Like, is this for real? No more Never Veil series for me? How am I supposed to keep breathing? Once again, Amy petted me in the head on one moment as I successfully predicted a twist and kicked me in the stomach right after with another twist I would never even dream of – all metaphorically, please! Hahahaha! Seriously, this definitely is one of the best series I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year and it changed my life in levels I can’t even begin to explain. All I have left to say to Amy for now is thanks for the memories and I hope I get to
fight with see Noll and Ailill again sometime! Four proud and shiny stars ❤
Ok, maybe I have some more things to say, haha! Like, talking about the narrative, again in first person style from Noll’s point of view. Also, I have to start by point out how much Noll grows as a narrator in this book – she slowly learned how to recognize the problems around her and to weight sufferings. It may sound stupid to say so, but it made all the difference for the reader: her own problems weren’t oh-so-big anymore, so she gave us a much better picture of what happened in the village. Unfortunately, I was turned really down to see the line “I released a breath I didn’t even realize I was holding” used twice with slight wording change and another time applied to tension on the muscles. I just can’t with this line =( Along other minor problems that will be mentioned later, this is one of the reasons why this book isn’t a full five stars.
The other minor issues are on the plot – they are three in fact. Let’s start with those, shall we? =)
To start, I felt like Noll’s sentiments for Ailill evolved too fast without a good explanation – actually, this is a problem present on the last book already, I forgot to point it among all my late-teen angst, sorry! I felt she hated him with the force on the moment and then snap your fingers, suddenly Ailill is the dream man. I understand that some key things did happen rather suddenly, but I think someone as Noll would have been more confused and less prompted to instalove… Oh well, what do I know about feelings? Haha! Moving on.
The second aspect is Noll’s powers. I felt her magical powers were kind of left aside during the series and suddenly poof, she is indeed a goddess in the better sense of the word. I’m not a regular fan of over power characters without a good background behind them, but again, it’s a personal pet peeve. But now that I think of it, all reviews are about pointing how many pet peeves of ours that books can ruse and our rating goes higher the less our feathers are disturbed. Interesting.
Right, third aspect, back to track! The end itself was too open for my tastes. I felt as if there was a chapter missing, as I still had so many questions and McNulty had already started the acknowledgements. Another personal trace, of course, as there isn’t any rule saying ends need to tie up all strings, but I felt many important answers were missing. Oh, well, I can’t have it all, right? =)
Now, to the part of the plot I really liked: the pace. Once again McNulty’s brilliant writing style made us float from a moment to the other without ever wanting to release the book, no matter how hungry you are or how many messages your boss sends you during your lunchtime #truestory. At the same time, I loved how slowly McNulty eased us through the whole truth about the village and Noll’s world, as having everything dropped out so suddenly isn’t nice at all. As I commented on the first book’s review, this is where we understand how badly gender wars can be to a society – despite the heavy fantasy, all characters are still human and act the part. The choices made are poor and result in an unwelcoming world for both sides. As they learn to unite and ignore what’s between each other’s legs, things start to work and harmony slowly ascends.
Risking sounding repetitive, this is what the Never Veil series is truly all about: choices. Kinship. Loyalty. Responsibility. Maturity. The gender question is necessary and important, the romance is amusing, the adventure is thrilling, but they are all flourishes to McNulty’s true message: your happiness is in your hands alone. You make your own path, no matter if you are aware of it or not. As much as people try to keep you in or out of paths, it’s still your decision to follow their advice and orders. It’s all about the power of our beliefs and what we choose to do with what is given to us.
Or maybe McNulty just wanted to write a badass book and I got so drunk in Diet Coke I’m already down a really high and wasted path of thinking and saw too much into the small things. It wouldn’t be the first time, haha!
I’ll spare you all from more of my teen angst and talk about the characters =) To resume it all on one sentence: OH BOY HOW THEY GREW! As I apparently was born without the ability to stick with only one sentence to do anything on life, I’ll just keep going now, ok? Haha! Of course, Noll has the most important and notorious personal growth of the whole series, but many characters reached an important maturity level on this book, especially among the men, and this maturity is the key for them to move on. I mean, the whole village – Noll included – had their asses kicked with Noll’s interventions, but how you deal with it afterwards show your true colors.
All right, that was cheesy even for my standards, so let’s just peek at some cool quotes from Nobody’s Pawn and be done with this, haha!
“Because I was always outside, even when I thought I was in.” – Noll
“Being alone for any period of time can be a torment.” – Ailill
“Freedom can be a difficult burden.” – Ailill
“My name sounds so lovely on your tongue. Like it belongs to this special woman who isn’t me, but whom you [Ailill] believe me to be.” – Noll
“I didn’t realize I could almost faint from embarrassment without even looking at something.” – Noll
To wrap up this kick ass series, if you like dystopian, fantasy, young adult, gender equality discussions and mind-blowing books, you need to have the Never Veil series in your life ❤
Thanks so much for reading my review and coming to pay us a visit here on the blog! Also, thanks a million to Amy for sending me this book and for simply being the awesome person she is ❤ I must leave you now for the day, but I’ll be around and, most importantly, I’ve got MANY reviews and posts to read, write and discuss with you all ❤ A round of applause for this beautiful community that book blogging is!
Until some other time and love you all,