Venators

Through The Arch Volume 1

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
414 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Devri Walls is the best-selling author of six YA fantasy novels. She is a theater major with a flare for the dramatic and wishes more than anything for a magic wand. Devri is from Boise Idaho where she lives with her husband, two kids and the cutest mutt of a dog the world has ever seen. When she’s not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, trying to resist the urge to sell her two beautiful children to the circus, and cooking. Because…. food. Mmmmmmm.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Venators: Through the Arch is a supernatural/epic fantasy written by author Devri Walls. There's no such thing as vampires, and werewolves are a tale spun from the imaginations of authors. The supernatural does not exist. At least that is what Rune thought and hoped. Yet every time she saw something portraying this mystical nature, her body instinctively responded. She wanted to act. She knew something was missing in her life, but she just didn't know what. There was another person like her, an old school friend by the name of Grey. Unlike Rune, he didn't suppress his desire, his thirst for knowledge on all creatures thought myth. He poured tirelessly over books, his obsession forcing him to become an outcast. But he knew something the others didn't. The tales were true. The creatures were real. He had seen them with his own eyes. Years ago his path had crossed with Tate, someone from another realm, a person to whom he owed his life. Their meeting was anything but accidental.

Tate had been searching for someone just like him. But at the time he had been too young, and he had needed to choose wisely. The fate of his realm depended on the decision he made. The council, since separating their world from that the Venators resided in, had grown corrupt, wanting more power, more loyalty. But with the rising of a new and powerful nemesis, the only way they can keep the reins of control is to employ those their people most fear. The Venators. They must bend them to their will, display their talents as a fear stoking trophy of their supremacy. Tate could not let this be; his choice of which two Venators to return to his world could be catastrophic. He had to hope, pray, they would not fall to the councils' manipulation. The two he chose, Rune and Grey, face a hard decision - to work for the people, the innocents being victimised, or protect their own lives by conforming to the councils' desire.

I will hail Devri Walls' talent with four simple words. I loved this book. These words I do not utter lightly. This tale has everything that makes an epic fantasy great. I was hooked from the first paragraph. The manner in which the tale is spun is magic itself. I loved the characters, the hardships, the pressure, both real and imagined, and their own personal journeys through the tale's progression. Brilliantly written to evoke the perfect balance between descriptive writing and imagination as a new realm, thought only fable, is brought to life, everything from the magisterially pure to the hauntingly dark. There is much to this world, and Rune and Grey must learn to understand it and its ways quickly. As a huge fan of fantasy works, I highly recommend Venators: Through the Arch. It won't leave you wanting for anything, except the second book in the series. This book gets my highest possible praise; it is a masterpiece, well deserving of five stars.

Kim

Venators is going down as my favorite Devri Walls novel so far! When I talked to Devri last fall, she said her next book would have a little bit of everything in it... and she wasn't kidding! Vampires, dangerous werewolves (not like the kind I see in so many other novels lately), fairies, goblins, dragons.... you name it, it's there! But, it's not "too much" either. Devri creates the world in a way that it all fits together, so it's not just a pile of mish-mash thrown together hoping to reach a variety of readers. It really does work well together, and the world feels real to me. It's intriguing, intimidating and honestly a little frightening!

Venators is well written, was easy to get pulled into (and hard to put down!), and full of twists and mystery. It sets the stage nicely for the series and makes me want more right away. The story is a fast paced ride full of adventure, mystery, and danger. The whole story takes place over a short span of time, but the characters personalities shine enough that you can "see" them, quirks and all, by the end of the story. It's easy to like Rune and Grey when they are the stars of the story, but Tate, Verida and Beltrain helped bring the story to life in their own way, too. Actually, I think Beltran was my favorite character... he's a prank-loving trouble-maker who thinks rules don't apply to him. He's also a shapeshifter, with a touch of softness somewhere deep within him. Enough to help strangers, and care... really care. I look forward to seeing him develop in the series. There are secrets with Tate and Verida's lives that I think will come out later in the story, too, and add depth to who they are. The mystery of those two kept drawing me in, begging me to pay closer attention, just in case I could pick up on more of them.

The story moved very fast, and there were scenes that definitely had my heart pumping. It was not your traditional girl-runs-into-danger-boy-goes-to-save-her and everything ends light and happy. There is manipulation, deep wounds that need cleaned out to heal, and bartering that may cost lives. I probably sound like nerd-fan girl but I can't wait for book two already. Thanks for taking me on another great journey, Devri! I love your style!

Kerry

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of this book with the promise to post a review before Oct 10.

This is the third book I have read by Walls, and I am becoming quite a fan of her work.

I have to be honest, I was a little weary of reading this because it screamed "shadow hunters" at me and I was sorely disappointed in Cassandra Clare's series, especially as it progressed.

There are a few similarities--but this is completely different. There is nothing about this that really goes in that direction, as I happily discovered, and the world is more fae-like than your typical "paranormal" world.

So, there are a few things that bugged me--such as how easily the Venator abilities were accessed, no training, and progression that was very, very convenient. There are quite a few players in this story, but not enough information about any of them, really. This really bothered me because all of them are interesting characters! They all have a story behind them, and you just don't know how few and far between these things are given anymore. I sure hope more things will come to light as the series continues.

What I did like, and have so much respect for, was how not everything that took place in this book was easy or just fell into place. That made this all the more enjoyable to read. It made it unpredictable because you just don't see this style of writing anymore--especially in YA or NA, which is why I have mostly written them off, save for a few authors I know I can trust to at least entertain me. The realism of reality in dangerous circumstances was so much appreciated, I was practically humming with delight.

I'm not a fan of Rune, but I do like that she bumbles along as she should given her nonexistent experience. Grey's an admirable character and I just know he's going to have a rough ride in this series and I am already feeling sorry for him.

But anyway, I really enjoyed this book. I was very engrossed when I didn't have homework, class, or work. I'm also anticipating the next in the series! Very excited to see what else Walls will come up with as she gains momentum as an author.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read the book. It was exactly what I needed.

Reatta

This was a pretty good story and a little more "grown up" than Devri Wall's previous books/series. I enjoyed reading this book and like ths interesting world that this story takes you too. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series as they are released.

Faith

Once again, I am blown away by Devri Wall's writing style and how she weaves these amazing stories with such creative and unique worlds and such interesting characters. First The Solus Series, then The Wizard's Heir and now this- Venators: Through the Arch- all which I have enjoyed immensely.

Venators was such a fun and captivating read. Such a unique take on the paranormal/fantasy genre. I really enjoyed every thing this story had to offer- the unique world building, the characters that continue to develop in such a beautiful way, and just how fast paced it is.

Venators follows the stories of two characters; Grey and Rune. Where in the beginning, the are living the usual college life but then are called to jump through an arch into a different world. A world that has every kind of mythical creature you can imagine - vampires, werewolves, faeries, elves, Wizards, dragons, goblins and even Giants. And they are called to be what is known as the Venators, which is Latin for hunter. And they are called to be basically the Warriors and law of the land.

This was such a fast paced and thrilling story I didn't want to put it down.

Now let's talk about how awesome the characters are. Because the way Devri creates such awesome characters is something to be discussed.

Rune- Rune is our female protagonist. For a while, it took me while to connect or really enjoy her character because she kind of starts out as a weak character. The whole reason , she agreed to enter this strange world is because her twin brother Ryker has been taken. And she's always been the one to look after and take of him and she's got to get him back. But she constantly freaked out in most situations. I don't think it was until more towards end of the book that I began to like her because she's slowly shedding that weak and scared girl she was in the beginning and she's starting to become really badass and I love it.

Grey- Aw Grey. Where do I begin? Grey is an amazing character. Very handsome too. Six years ago, he was already introduced to this new world by an attack from some of the creatures that came through to his side. And he's always been curious to go to this other world. And no matter what the situation is, he really knows how to handle it. He's sweet and compassionate and a fast learner. And he handles everything in such a calmly matter. He really thinks things through instead of caving into pressure. He's just an all around amazing guy and I can't wait to see how he continues to develop throughout.

Beltran- my personal favorite. I love Grey, but the minute this character was introduced, I knew he was a keeper. He's kind of your troublemaker , bad boy not entirely certain you can trust him kind of character which I absolutely love those kind of characters. He's witty, and fun but he's also really smart and kind. And I call dibs on this guy so nobody else gets to have him .

This story is also told from other point of views aside from the main two which I really enjoy because I love seeing the different thoughts and getting to know all the characters .

I would really recommend it to those who love fantasy and looking for something that's a little different then your usual story.

I really enjoyed this book so much and I can't wait for more!!!! Thanks Devri again for yet another exciting story and such amazing characters. Can't wait to see how this story progresses! Beltran forever!!!

Brooke

First things first: I received an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have read all of Devri's previous books, and have to say I've seen more growth in her as an author than in anyone else I've read. Ms. Walls clearly has a lot of talent - some of which is still developing - and each book is better than the last. She's definitely someone to keep an eye on.

On to my review: The first book in the Venators series was a short but enjoyable read. The characters were appropriately complex and easy to relate to, and the storyline was enjoyable and at times difficult to put down. As usual, Devri does a great job building the characters' world in a way that is vivid without being overwhelming. There are less spelling and punctuation errors in this book than in her earlier ones, although I still saw at least one or two per chapter (she could really do with a better editor). The ending of this book felt a bit rushed - almost like she'd already written book two and, rather than develop a proper ending for the first book, simply stuck a divider into a random chapter ending and decided that was good enough.

All that aside, what really matters is whether the book was enjoyable. The answer to that is a definite yes. This is a book any fantasy lover would appreciate. I don't think its appeal would stretch to those who prefer general fiction to fantasy, but for those like myself who read primarily within this genre, it's definitely worth picking up. I look forward to reading the rest of this series, as well as any other books Devri writes in the future, and encourage other fantasy readers to check them out as well.

Hobart

So this is a strange double-portal fantasy -- six years ago Tate and some other creatures come into our world and run into Grey Malteer and some others, and disappear soon afterwards. Tate (and some others) comes back to check up on Grey and let him know about his destiny. In the meantime, Grey's discovered he has some strange supernatural abilities -- and has been teaching himself to use them in secret -- he's also been doing some research into the supernatural in the open, which is not such a great idea for a socially awkward teen -- he might as well attach a "Kick Me" sign to his back himself.

About the same time, Rune's twin, Ryker starts acting a little strange (and definitely takes advantage of the metaphorical "Kick Me" sign). Rune starts to feel differently about her brother and the supernatural, but there's nothing she can put her finger on -- so she bows to parental pressure and devotes herself to three things: academics, sports, and keeping Ryker from self-destruction. She excels at all three.

Six years later, the three are in college and Tate returns to bring Rune and Grey back to his world. A world where they are Venators (hunters) -- keeping the vampires, werewolves, goblins, elves, fae, dragons, etc. in line. Eon is home to pretty much every mythological creature you can think of -- and a few that Walls has invented on her own. The Venators are a line of human hunters supernaturally immune to the various abilities and magics of them all, whose duty it is to keep order in the land.

For various and sundry (largely undisclosed) reasons, most of the Venators are dead and gone -- only these two remain. Tate and some of his allies, under the watchful (and not entirely corrupt) eye of the Council will train them to fulfill their destiny and restore the Venators to their rightful place.

Throw in a distrustful populace, a mysterious and powerful enemy, and a couple of super-powered impetuous and idealistic youths and you've got yourself a heckuva story.

Walls writes with a confidence and flair that helps the reader trust that she'll be able to make sense of a fairly jumbled beginning (not bad, but could've been easier to navigate). Once we get into Eon, she balances plot, character work and worldbuilding to create a foundation for a promising series. I wondered a couple of times if the characters could've been developed a little more fully, but the work as a whole was strong enough that I was willing to roll with it and assume she'll give us fuller characters next go around.

A quick-moving introduction to an interesting new reality. Give this one a shot -- Walls will entertain you.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest thoughts -- and I'd like to thanks her for it.

Sheilah

My only question is, when is the next in the series coming out?

I'm not sure what it was specifically about this story that made me crave more, perhaps it was the portals, or the mystical world, or maybe it was the characters. Either-way at the end of the book, I just felt deflated because I wanted more.

This was an excellent read. I truly enjoyed it. The characters were great, with gentle Grey who hides from the world and protective Rune who is trapped by her familial obligations. And of course, my favorite, Beltran! Oh what a mysterious creature you are. A shifter with unknown motives, but what an intriguing addition to the story.

Walls outdid herself with this story. A true storyteller, with a gift for the magical side.

If you like the fantasy in life then this story is for you!

Lauren

He waded in, glancing back to make sure she followed. It wasn’t long before he felt bony fingers wrap around his ankles. Grimacing, he jerked his leg free. Rune shrieked. “Keep moving!” Tate shouted back. “If you stop, they’ll pull you under.” Fingers continued to grab at him, and then something pinched. The abuse grew more violent the closer they got to the other side. Something kicked the back of his knee so hard his leg buckled, and he was grateful he’d left his arms free for balance. Teeth scraped down his leg, deterred only by the thick fabric of his jeans. Then something tore the coat from his waist, and his most prized possession vanished beneath the muck. He swore under his breath as he twisted away from another attack.

Fantasy can be so creative! The more creative and original the author is, the better the read as well as the surprise that comes from not knowing the world in which the story takes place. Walls has an entire world that has just unfolded in this first installment. This is a world filled with everything unimaginable, but some prominent appearances are humans, vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, incubi, dragons and something new…called Venators.

Throughout this read, there are inviting entities and others who work for themselves. Starting out in our world, two siblings struggle against their nature…knowing that something is coming. Riley starts drinking, making his sister Rune, watch after him. There is only one person that Rune feels the most comfort when around, Grey Malteer. Grey loves everything supernatural, which Rune detests, but in order to understand herself more…she feels drawn to Grey and in finding out what he knows about them. After a mysterious man by the name of Tate walks into both of their lives, nothing will ever be the same. Suddenly, everything they hold dear is in danger and goblins are chasing them through the streets. Their only escape is a portal that Tate opens. With no idea where the portal leads, Grey and Rune must make a near impossible jump into the unknown, trusting a blue man that may or may not have their best interests in mind. What they find on the other side and who they trust will either save them or be their ultimate demise.

Walls has a superb story-line with fantastic character development. All of the characters in this story are unique, interesting and entertaining. They all have such depth that will intrigue the reader and allow them to feel emotions like desperation, determination and hopefulness. The pace is fast, making an easy and absolutely satisfying read. There were little to no errors, making the story that much more enjoyable for the reader. If you are a reader of young adult fantasy and paranormal, you may be interested in this adventure. Since this is the first installment in the Venators series, you are able to jump right on in.

A copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by the author, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written.

Beth

I enjoyed this book. It was interesting, kept me coming back for more. I am excited to read the next book.

Stephanie

I really enjoyed this book by a new author (to me) my daughter met the author and recommended the book. Looking forward to the second book.

Promisary

Note : I was given a free copy for review purposes by Ms. Walls. This, however, does not influence my opinion and thoughts of this book in any way, form, fashion, or anything distinctly possible in this vast world we call Earth today. The words following this note are all my own opinions and thoughts.

I am truly blown away by the amazingness of Devri Walls' writing style. This was such a fun and captivating read for me, especially with the amazing story that has been blended with a beautifully creative world. It is unique, and I truly enjoyed every page of reading it. It is fast-paced, and it is absolutely thrilling. I didn't put this book down until I had read the last page, as I was hooked into the world and the story line from the very first page. Do you enjoy something that's slightly unique in the fantasy world, but still just as captivating? Do yourself a favor, and get this book on your shelves. You will not regret your decision.

I cannot wait for more and to find out more about this captivating world and the characters that live within in. Thank you SO MUCH, Devri, for allowing me to read such an amazing story and review it. Beltran forever~~~~~~~

Until Book Two....

Rachel

In Devri Walls' latest book, Venators (which would appear to be the first volume in an exciting series) two young heroes, Rune and Grey, are pulled into an alternate dimension only to find that they are fated to be chosen hunters of the enemies of the mysterious Council.

Unfortunately in this world, as well as in ours, greedy and ambitious politics frequently hold sway over objective leadership. Rune and Grey find themselves caught between a dangerous Council and their own personal morals.

This is an exciting fast based book that has the perfect balance of action & adventure and teases at a blossoming romance. It had me hooked and at the conclusion of this first volume it left me craving the next.

Lora

I loved this book and I'm not a huge fantasy fan. She hooked me from the first page and I was up half the night reading it! Complex characters, great world building, and some killer action. Sure to keep you entertained to the last page and on pins and needles waiting for the next installment!

Paranormal Trance Reviews

Attention readers! We have a new favorite on the block! Venators is a fun, modern-day fantasy readers of all ages can enjoy. The plot is unique, the characters are realistic, and the book is a fun read. The world building is highly imaginative and I received a fun, "goes bump in the night" vibe as soon as I jumped into it. The author did an amazing job capturing the male protagonist's essence when dealing with the aftermath of dark trauma. So many elements toward the end of the story threw me for a loop. Not knowing what to expect is refreshing in the Indie Author Realm. I'm ready for more and cannot wait to introduce this new series to my children.

Sarah

I was super lucky to receive an ARC copy of Venators from Devri. Being a major Solus series fan I was like, "how are you going to top them?". Well she did? I was instantly drawn into the book and Rune and Grey captured my attention. I don't want to give too much away but there's vampires, hunters, werewolves and shapeshifters (Oh lord will you love Beltran) he needs a book all of his own. So sit down and be prepared to not move until it's finished.

Melanie

I absolutely loved this book, I can not wait for book 2 so I can continue my journey with Grey and Rune :) This book keeps you captivated right from the beginning of chapter 1 all the way to the end of the book. All the supernatural beings are very interesting and nothing like the ones we are used too allready, so many little twists keeps you glued to the book. Very well written, now bring on book 2 :D

Justin

I read this book in a day, it was so good! Devri Walls creates the most impressive characters and the action never stops. Can't wait for the next book to come out!