Hello, again! Aren’t you all proud of me for popping up again on your mailbox on such short notice? I knew you would, haha! #what Hope everyone survived Monday – I was barely conscious myself until a few minutes ago, being a creature of the night and darkness – and hope everyone has a great week ahead. Keep calm, Christmas is coming ❤
But I babble, as always. I’m here for much better reasons, I promise: let’s talk about the second book of the Never Veil series, from Amy McNulty: Nobody’s Lady! =D
Annelise, dear, haven’t we already seen a review for this book on this post?
Yes, my darlings, it’s true. However, I was too awestruck on the first time I’ve read this series to have a coherent and constructive review for this book, so now I’ll present you with a 2.0 one to try to do justice to such a wonderful series! =D Also, if you are experiencing a double sense of déjà vu, I must admit I just posted the review for the first book below, haha! Oops? Sorry not sorry?
Anyway, I have received this book from Chapter by Chapter’s team in exchange for an honest review for their blog tour in April and here I am again to fulfill this duty with extreme pleasure. Thanks so much again, guys! Also, if you didn’t got the memo of the review of the first volume in the series, you may want to read that before we start the second o/
Now, let’s go ahead, shall we? =)
Noll finally got what she wanted: everyone on her village was free to love whomever their hearts truly desire. The men didn’t live to worship their goddesses anymore and women could see beyond their respective men. However, things aren’t going as Noll expected and that’s an understatement.
After so many bad blood between her and Ailill, he politely tossed her away from the castle and after her father and Jurij left her mother and sister, Noll felt politely tossed out from there as well. Now living on her own at an isolate area of the village and woodcarving her own pieces to make a living, all Noll wants is to be forgotten and, perhaps with a bit of luck, forgiven by her people and Ailill.
As she should have guessed, Noll hadn’t luck. Her peaceful days were short-lived as her old childhood friends made way into her heart once again and begged her for help. This time, Noll was sure she could fix things and help people rather than destroy their lives and beliefs. She knew she would do everything in her power to make things right, even if it meant her own demise.
But is Noll prepared to expose others to a danger even bigger than she knows?
Just remembering those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
If I had to use only one adjective to describe the Never Veil series, it would be ‘mind-blowing’. Like in scrambled-eggs-made-out-of-what-is-left-from-our-brains blowing. I was already in awe with the first book, but the second took things to the next level. My feelings for Noll got more clear, my love for Ailill only increased and I felt Amy pulling my blood thirst as I got to know the real personalities of some of the men of the village. This book just didn’t make for a full five stars because I was absolutely unable to care for any of the characters 98% of the time (not even Ailill) and because the line “I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding” was used. It was a huge turn off =( All in all, four proud stars just like the last time I’ve read it ❤
The narrative keeps its style from the last volume: first person from Noll’s perspective. Honestly, at first I was making so many concessions to Noll, but now I just hate her. As I read Nobody’s Lady, I remembered the wisdom of my good old friend Jenny regarding Red Queen. She told me at the time, when I stopped to breathe between rants, that no one would ever read the book because of the main character what’s-her-name. We read it because the girl was trapped into a very interesting situation with even more interesting people and the sad part was that we only got to glimpse at those marvels through what’s-her-name’s eyes. Unfortunately for Victoria Aveyard and luckily for McNulty, I was able to cut Noll much more slack than I did with what’s-her-name in Red Queen and I enjoyed the Never Veil series to the core.
Also, McNulty has the upper hand with me: her writing style is so involving and beautiful. For real. I’ve read four books and a short story by her so far and the writing always sweeps me off my feet and waltzes around with me on its arms.
The plot was, once more, wonderfully done. I have to admit I saw some of the shit hitting the fan before it did, but that was more due people’s skills than a brilliant trail of thinking into this particular story. Since elementary school, I have a special knitted group of friends and those four amazing girls were responsible for my education in predicting shit hitting the fan. Especially as, most of the time, I was the one with the bucket of water to do damage control in the afterwards. However, Noll wasn’t so fortunate: her friends left her before she got a good grip on how to recognize the signs of something foul in the air. I don’t hold her innocence against her as I would have with other characters.
I was indeed bothered with the pace of the story. Despite the incredible personal growth that Noll experiences, she keeps extremely self-absorbed and really selfish, just too happy about being the village’s martyr when they needed clear leaders and she was one of the two people that knew what was happening to everyone. Also, this volume made me realize I didn’t have a correct idea of the size of the village – while I imagined a place with like, 200 people, we get to know it was about 500 people or so. It’s something minor, but it was quite a shock, haha!
I didn’t really want to enter more in the character’s merit, but I must. You see, it’s not that they aren’t interesting people, it’s just that I’m mildly a bitch and am hard to woo into liking someone, real or fictional. Ask my cousin’s girlfriend: the girl has been trying to woo me for five years in all ways she can to make me like her because my cousin is like my twin brother, but she still isn’t going anywhere in my good sides.
I had a fling with Ailill, I admit, but he wasn’t a strong enough male for me to admire and I’m afraid I didn’t fall for the whole amorous triangle thing between Ailill, Noll and Jurij because guess what: I never liked Jurij! #bigsurprise I did like to meet Rosalyn, but her part was too small for my tastes, just like Alvilda’s. As to all the other characters, I just didn’t connect with anyone =(
As I fleetingly mentioned on the last review, the greatest catch of the Never Veil series is the questioning of society roles and the chaos that comes every time we change something on it. Of course, the happenings on the book are immediate and brutal, but it’s a perfect lesson on definitive gender equality: women and men have to learn they can’t live without each other, that no gender is superior and that everyone is screwed as long as they fight with each other. McNulty’s message is clear: we have to stick together, to unite. Then, we succeed.
As much as I allow my skeptical side to guide me through life, I like to hope for a society in which labels won’t define us or confine us to anything. A world where it won’t matter if you are men or women, if we are white or black, hetero or homosexual, tall or short, slim or fat. I honestly hope that someday the people who really have the power to bring significant change on a world level wake up to face the facts and help us build a free and less hypocrite society and series like Never Veil help me to feed my hopes even when all facts point to a continued downfall of the whole human society. Maybe someday the right person will come across it and make the difference, who knows?
All right, things got intense here too fast. I do need a therapist after this post, wow! Sorry, guys! Maybe I should stop listening to all my emo songs from the 2000’s, haha!
Anyway, let’s just wrap this up with some cool quotes from Noll =)
“So much for convincing him [Jurij] to join the ever-growing list of people who hate me.”
“I wasn’t so sure happy drinking was anything more than painful drinking under the mask of laughter.”
Also, this volume also won a new cover for the release of the third book, Nobody’s Pawn:
As it happened with the first, I already liked the first version, but the second nailed it even more! ❤ This model is so beautiful I could cry *–*
Overall, if you like awesome fantasy books with dystopian touches, you have to get your hands on this series ❤ It seriously changed my life.
Thanks so much once again to everyone who was brave enough to read this review until the very end, as I do realize this IS LONG. Who knew George R. R. Martin syndrome is contagious? Also, once again I’d like to thank the team of Chapter by Chapter for my review copy and Amy herself for all the endless patience with me ❤ You rock, Amy!
Until other time and love you all,