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Literary Braun

Review: Drowning In The Dark

When I read the massive Gods and Mortals collection a month or so ago, I came across the first novel in Pippa DaCosta's The Veil series. I liked the story a lot and wanted to see what it was all about. The answer? It's one of the most exciting, fun, kick-ass urban fantasy series' I've read. And I read a lot of urban fantasy. This is the kind of series you kick yourself for skipping out on. I've been speeding through all of the books (just started the fifth and final instalment today), and Drowning In The Dark is by far the darkest in the series, which is saying something. If you're looking for a new urban fantasy series that takes demons and puts them in the new light, trust me, this is what you're looking for. The world-building is unique, the characters are strong and complex, the action is wickedly intense, and the stories are freaking fantastic. Don't miss out on this one. 


All these covers are absolutely gorgeous, and there's a bonus one inside the ebooks!


“I wasn’t demon enough to defeat my brother before. Things have changed.”

As the veil begins to fall, and the demons bleed through onto the streets of Boston, Muse knows the battle is lost before it’s even begun. 

To make matters worse, Adam and the Institute have captured Akil at a time when the city has never needed him more. Muse believes Akil’s incarceration is a ruse, because if he truly is at the mercy of the Institute, she must choose which side she’ll fight for. Human or demon? 

The princes are coming. Valenti, Muse’s immortal half-brother, leads the charge. The Institute is not ready, the people of Boston are not prepared, but one man is. Stefan knows what it will take to beat back the netherworld. Will his demon allow him the freedom to right his wrongs?

Muse’s loyalty will be tested. To save those she loves, she must give up that which she cherishes most. Her humanity.

The Mother of Destruction is about to go nuclear.



Our main character, Muse, just can't catch a break, and Drowning In The Dark is no exception to her ongoing struggles. The story kicks off at the speed of sound (as they usually do, a style that I love), and doesn't slow down even when the characters aren't fighting for their lives– and their humanity. 


There's so much to talk about, but let's start with the world. I love stories that take their own twist on demon hierarchy, and the version DaCosta takes is one I haven't seen before. It's brutal, violent, and damages those who get to close to it.


Speaking of damaged, Muse is one of the strongest female characters in the genre. Having started from the very, very beginning, it was clear she'd been through hell– literally– and back. Watching her grow as a character into the powerful force she is now is nothing short of breathtaking, and she has never been stronger than she is in Drowning In The Dark. She's packed full of emotions and turmoil, doing what she can to protect those she loves, facing her fears, losing herself to darkness and drawing herself out when to be even stronger than before. I love strong female characters, but they are even more incredible when they're not Mary Sue's. Muse is an epic character, and I'm genuinely going to miss her when the series is over.


I'm also going to miss the side characters– Stefan, Akil, and Ryder. Ryder had a lot more character development, which is great because I love him. A stubborn, tough human you don't want to mess with, I genuinely wanted to know more about him. He better make it to the end! I like Akil a lot, though I don't agree with him as a romantic interest. Yes, he's helped Muse time and time again, and his development was thorough, but in my view, he's betrayed Muse's trust too many times. And Stefan? Stefan I love. I loved him the moment he entered the series, and will likely love him when it's over. He's battled his own demons– literally and figuratively– and has come so far. I find his relationship with Muse, while complicate to say the least, is more genuine and deserves to have its day. 


The action is wicked. Muse has formidable enemies, and DaCosta knows her way around a magical action scene. Every battle is visceral and nail-biting, the kind of thing that keeps my eyes glued to the page and begging for more. I can only imagine what the final battle will be like, and I doubt I'll have any nails left when it's done.


There's so much to these books, genuine works of heart that are clearly loved by the author. I fell into them immediately, and will be buying the paperbacks as part of my newly restarted book collection. I could honestly go on on and on about all the things I loved about them, but we'd be heading to major spoiler territory and I don't want to do that. I want urban fantasy lovers to seek this series out, start from the prequel novella, and enjoy the same wild ride that I have. All of DaCosta's other books are now on my To-Be-Read List, and I can't wait to see how she rounds out Muse's adventures.