Monday, March 5, 2012


Veiled by S.B. Niccum

My sweet neighbor’s daughter recently published Veiled, a young adult novel. (Don’t you love teen lit?) It was an easy hook and the premise is quite interesting: the story follows a group of spirits in the preexistence (before life on Earth). We are introduced to Tess and her “clan,” and learn about their participation in the war in heaven and other preparations for coming to live on Earth. The members of the clans are paired off and hope for a continuation of their relationships on Earth. Nope, this book isn’t “LDS fiction,” and the author states quite emphatically that Veiled isn’t LDS doctrine. 

Many of the ideas in Veiled are, of course, just that: hopeful and beautiful ideas. For example, in the Eternals’ (or the gods) court reside all the children from Earth who die before they reach adulthood. They are in a state of “suspended development”; they play and wait for their parents to die and return to finish raising them. What a beautiful and encouraging concept. I also like the way the spirits (excluding those special children) are in their early twenties, or what would be their “prime” in life. They act and talk and joke like young adults would. I like the thought that as spirits, we had our unique personalities and interests that carry over into life. As Tess embarks on special missions and observes living people, she longs for those human experiences—wondering how it will feel to drink a cup of tea or kiss a boy.

My critiques (just to keep it real): The punctuation and spelling errors are a distraction. What is with . . . all . . . those . . . ellipses? I am such a geek about typos and misspellings.* Plus, the “Eternals” (re: the gods, including Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I presume) are mostly detached, impersonal, even robotic in their interactions with the spirits. I don’t understand why they were written this way and I found it a bit disappointing. I like to think of Heavenly Father as warm and approachable. It isn’t until the very end of the book that they display any love and warmth to Tess. However, the story flows well, the setting and many of the concepts ring true, and I congratulate the author for a clever idea! I am “exited” for the next installment! (Sorry, couldn’t resist—that’s one word that was often misspelled.)

* Although, no one is perfect and I might and probably will make the occasional spelling/grammar/punctuation error. Jist in kase.

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