I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
*Groan*... I was loving this book until the end.
I've really enjoyed Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series from the beginning, which was why I bought the first book in this series last year. The premise was new to me; a diversion from the UF I've read up until now. New Orleans in a post-war era - the war being between humans and paranormals that spilled over from the other side of the 'veil' - is home to a neighborhood-sized prison camp nicknamed 'The Devil's Isle' where POW paranormals are held, as well as humans who ended up being Sensitives: they absorb magic until they become vicious wraiths.
The MC, Claire, is a Sensitive hiding in plain site and running one of the few general stores left in New Orleans, until she is found out by a bounty hunter, Liam, who of course doesn't turn her in, but helps her find a way to control her absorption of magic in hopes of staving off turning into a wraith.
Of course there are larger issues and goings-on afoot and soon a Scooby gang forms and they fight the bigger fight while proving that we're all more alike than we are different. But Neill makes it fun and she creates a vivid post-war New Orleans with characters that are likeable. Her writing made me care about the outcome, both in the first book and in this one. In almost all ways, in fact, I liked this book better because we were done with the world building and could focus on the plot. A plot centered on a charismatic sociopath gathering people together on a platform of hate and prejudice. A particularly timely plot.
But she lost me at the end; she took a rather worn out route in the final climatic battle and I'm disappointed. I think future stories would have had the potential to be much more interesting if she had left well enough alone. Instead, while I'm still definitely going to read book 3, I'm now dreading the trope-tastic angst I'm sure I'll have to slog through before I get to anything good. Ah well - can't win them all.