I have a review today which I hardly do on here anymore, (although I do review every book on Goodreads) So yay, let’s get straight into it.
Venators: Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls (The Venators Series)
Genre: YA fantasy, series
TWs: mention of violent childhood, mention of sex under magical influence, murder, torture, threat of rape, bullying. (this is all mild but it is still there)
Synopsis: Welcome to Eon. An alternate dimension where fantasy and paranormal is reality, and humans sit at the bottom of the food chain. In this world of unadulterated power and ability, the innocent suffer greatly. The ruling council of Eon has selected two humans, born of the Venator bloodline, and brought them through the gate—wishing to manipulate their strength and special abilities for the council’s corrupt purposes. But, Grey and Rune have very different ideas.
When their college dorm is infiltrated by creatures from another realm, Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and old friend Grey Malteer are thrown into unexpected, twisted chaos. While Rune and Gray are able to escape, Ryker is kidnapped away to Eon, the alternate world from whence these dark beings came.
With the help of a supernatural guide, Rune and Gray must now travel to Eon to save Ryker, and discover the lluminating truth about their ancestry. In this new world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards, power is abundant and always in flux. Rune and Grey are being set up as pawns in a very dangerous game and must find their way through – and out of – Eon before it consumes them.
Thank you SO much to Devri Walls and The Write Reads for providing me with a free ebook in exchange for a review. Of course, all views remain mine and this hasn’t influenced my opinion at all.
This book was a fun fantasy which involved travelling to a magical world through a portal and I don’t know about you but the ‘portal trope’ is always glorious because it tells us readers that magic can be achieved in this mundane world, so yep this is a dream.
Once we stepped into this world it had lots of magic like vampires, shape-shifters, werewolves, fae, elves, dragons, even Merlin’s son, and as the cover would suggest ‘venators’ which as a fantasy lover, I really enjoyed the completely magical world even if most of the creatures were trying to kill you.
“Strange is in the eye of the beholder.”
What I Liked:
🔮 The writing was really easy to follow. It was effortless and I could sink into it. It had multiple POVs from third person perspective which was really good as you got to experience the different feelings as well as the world through varied eyes.
🔮 Linking to the writing, I think Wells wrote the characters well and the banter was great. It felt very natural and made me smile which is obviously what I want. Also because the main characters had been thrown into this world it was a great opportunity for light hearted humour.
“That took you entirely too long to put together.”
“Oh I’m sorry. In my world, I don’t usually wonder if everything I meet is a shape-shifter in disguise. Forgive me if it wasn’t my first thought.”
🔮 The plot focuses on this world which is in political chaos. Each different fantastical species are represented by different members and have different areas in the land but each one wants to be on top and there is tension between every group. But they are also all fighting one big villain. It was basically a complex game of different political powers all trying to use our main characters for some purpose. I love the intrigue and complexities of these plots so this was one of my favourite bits.
“It’s a delicate balance, one of deception and careful word play.”
🔮 The characters: all the characters were showed to have their own reasons to fight and a complex past which I appreciated. Side characters were crafted with as much care as the main characters.
Grey: I would say he is the main character. He was the typical good hero (which is underappreciated trait in my opinion) with a tortured past (I wish you got more about this). He showed a lot of heart and strength.
Rune: I feel like she had the very reasonable reaction by being petrified of this world. Rune was interesting as she had strengths and weaknesses. She also had the complexity of her brother, Ryker, being kidnapped by the opposing group. I liked the way her character went as it will provide interesting events in the next book between her and the other characters.
Kit: He was the knowledgeable warrior, I liked his calm presence and his snark. I feel like as a character he had more to give as well but he was interesting and fun to read about.
Other characters were great as well, particularly Verida and Beltran (he would definitely be a fan favourite and I’m on board). For both the fun aspect and interesting aspect. I thought the cast of character was really fun to follow and had a lot to offer.
Things That Weren’t For Me:
🔮 It did have aspects of stereotypical predictability such a the shy character who turns out to be beautiful underneath, the love triangle, these are the only ones who can save us and a few more. I don’t mind them but it can feel a bit tiresome, only a bit though.
🔮 This is part one in the series and it did feel like only the beginning. Honestly I’m in two minds about it because I know you don’t give everything away in the first book but at the same time, I felt like more could have been delivered in terms of over-arcing plot, especially as at the start I feel like it dragged slightly and could have jumped straight into the plot more. I liked where it was heading though.
I enjoyed reading this book as it had many aspects I really liked from the fantasy, to the characters (and their banter) and the political aspect. But in the end of was left feeling like I wanted a bit more from the story and that some parts weren’t the most original. I would still recommend if you love YA fantasy or even if you don’t, it would be a good one to check out.
“You must stand where you are, on your side, and decide just how exactly you’re going to change this world.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devri Walls is a US and international bestselling author. Having released five novels to date, she specializes in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best known for her uncanny worldbuilding skills and her intricate storylines, and her ability to present this all in an easy-to-digest voice. Now gearing up for her first national release, Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organizes for her readers. Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge watching whatever show catches her fancy.