Showing posts with label The Edge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Edge. Show all posts

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review: Bayou Moon (The Edge, Book 2) by Ilona Andrews

Last year I fell in love with Rose, Declan and the boys when I read On the Edge and was quite curious about William the Wolf, as well as life on the Edge. Bayou Moon continues two years with William's story and takes the readers to the Mire, a swampy bayou on the Edge that's full of magic, great characters, family feuds, evil, and life and death situations.

Bayou Moon is a long book and I must admit that it didn't grab me from the beginning with the same force as On the Edge, yet I liked it just as much. Andrews' well-defined and fascinating worldbuilding continues in this story. The Mire, a place within the Edge, is detailed and described so well you can almost smell it, taste it and feel it. Ugh! There are creepy crawlies and characters in that bayou that will definitely make your skin crawl, and they fit the story and the setting perfectly. The Mire is on the border with the Weird's Dukedom of Louisiana, becoming a natural dumping ground for exiles and criminals alike. Magic flows strongly, not only from the new criminal and villainous element, but also from the exiles' families and descendants.

This is the world that William walks into and he hates it -- all the damp, mud, rain and weird creepy crawlies, he just wants dry socks lol! For the past two years he has been living a boring and lonely life. He's reading a letter from Jack and George and talking to his action figures (yes, action figures) when Mirror agents, the top Andrianglian spies or special ops, show up at his doorstep. William agrees to spy for them again once he finds out that his archenemy Spider is at the Mire seeking a weapon hoping to start a war between the Louisianans and Andrianglians.

While the Mirror is recruiting William, Cerise Mar is having troubles of her own. Her grandparents home has been taken over by a feuding family and her parents have been kidnapped by the Hand, a criminal gang feared for its powerful and dark magic. Until her parents return, Cerise is head of the vast Mar clan and needs to make some quick decisions or none of them will survive, but first she must go into the Broken. On her way back, she meets William.

William and Cerise embark on a dangerous journey through the bayou as strangers and soon become allies through necessity. William hates the bayou and Cerise knows it and can't help but use it against him. He hates being dirty, the mud, the dampness, the strange creatures -- his internal thoughts on the subject had me laughing and agreeing with him through much of the story. I enjoyed Cerise and William's dialogue and loved the combination of acerbic comments with light banter and fast paced action, as this couple begins by taking each other's measure and not liking what they see, moving on to admiration, then lust and later on to love. The development of their relationship is not an easy one, as they're quite busy fighting evil or often ruthlessly interrupted by Cerise's vast family, but the Andrews team manages to do it quite well.

I liked William in On the Edge and I liked him even more as Bayou Moon unfolded. He's a man full of contradictions -- a natural born killer, ruthless, cold, loyal, loving, tender, and also a man attempting to recapture a childhood that was stolen from him. I also loved Cerise as the strong and powerful leader of her family clan, with her uncertainties, vulnerabilities and vast responsibilities. She carried it all quite well. Cerise was ruthless when necessary and I loved how she used her powerful magic, and her absolute belief in her abilities. The way Cerise fell for William fit her character perfectly too. She was passionate about him and fell in love with eyes wide open -- no rose-tinted glasses for our Cerise.

I could go on and on about the secondary characters, they were all excellent. Kaldar and Richard, Cerise's cousins stand out in this story, as does her sister Lark. I hope that the Andrews team will write their stories in the future. I did have a question about the family in the end that was not answered and that was a bit of a disappointment.

With Bayou Moon, the Andrews team continues the outstanding worldbuilding they began with the first installment of this series, as well as with excellent central and secondary characters that carry a fast paced story full of romance, action, creepy villains, battles, victories and deaths.There were a couple of interesting open-ended threads that I'm sure will be addressed in the next installment (no cliffhanger). And believe me, I can't wait to read the next book.

Category: Fantasy Romance/PNR
Series: The Edge, Book 2
Released: September 28, 2010
Grade: A-

Visit Ilona Andrews here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

The Broken is a place where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is nothing more than a fairy tale.

The Weird is a realm where blueblood aristocrats rule and the strength of your magic can change your destiny.

Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, the place between both worlds. A perilous existence indeed, made even more so by a flood of magic-hungry creatures bent on absolute destruction.

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews got my attention at hello. I started to read the first few pages just to get a feel for the book and that was it for me, I couldn't put the book down. The first section of this book is definitely an attention getter.

The characters became all around favorites. I fell in love with our heroine Rose without question. I love her personality. Rose is a strong heroine, with a great sense of humor and a direct way of dealing with those around her that I just love. Although Rose has been toughened by her past experiences, she is still giving and caring to her brothers and her community. She has been used badly by her neighbors and isn't a pushover but when push comes to shove, her strong leadership, caring qualities and sense of responsibility comes to the forefront. Rose is powerful enough to take care of herself but appreciates help when needed, something I always admire in a heroine.

Declan, the aristocrat who came from the Weird in a secret mission, is definitely the hero type. He knows his strengths and comes off as being charming, arrogant and full of himself at times. This makes for some great dialogue and situations between Rose and Declan that keeps this book more than interesting. I love that Declan is secure enough to recognize Rose's strengths and admires them, but doesn't feel insecure or threatened by her powers or her strength. I think the relationship he develops with Rose's brothers is lovely. I also like that even after he becomes enamored of Rose he is not a pushover -- the two of them become partners.

The children in this book, Rose's brothers Georgie and Jack, are an integral part of the story. Both of them contribute not only to Rose's characterization but to the plot itself. Georgie with his big heart and his powers is a character that I want to see developed in future books. Jack is adorable and fierce and I'd like to see how he turns out in future. I love the way Rose's maternal instincts and every day life concerns are weaved into this tale of magic and of good vs. evil. The other secondary character I hope to see in future books is William. His is an interesting story I'd like to see developed.

The world in this series is deceptively simple to explain. The Broken is a world without magic -- our world. The Weird is a parallel world to the Broken where all is done by magic -- one world doesn't know about the other. The people in these two worlds cannot see the boundaries between the worlds or cross over, with a few exceptions. The Edge is a strip that runs between these worlds and its inhabitants are aware of both worlds. Edgers possess some magic, although some are more powerful than others and they can cross the boundaries between the worlds. Most Edgers work and shop on the Broken. I kept thinking throughout the book... why are we the broken? It was explained that those who can pass through the unseen world boundaries lose their magic when they pass into our world and feel as if they are broken -- that's where the name comes from.

The Edge where Rose lives with her brothers is like a fictional southern lawless mountain town where the folk carry on feuds and take care of justice their own way. The fact that Rose's magic is the strongest found on the Edge acts as a double-edged sword. She can take care of herself and her family by using it, but at the same time it makes her a target not only within the Edge, but for some of the aristocratic members of the Weird who can cross over.

The plot was interesting and engaging from the beginning, I liked the way everything was revealed and not as easy to figure out as it first looked. There are twists and turns, evil magic-hungry creatures flooding the Edge and then uber-evil to fight, and Andrews excelled at putting this group of characters and this story together. If there's a complaint it might be that the end felt a bit like a fairy tale ending, but then I'm not quite sure how the next story will go... so, I'll wait and see about that.

I thought this was an excellent, fast paced read, set in a creative world with great characterization. I could not put it down until I finished it. Rose is definitely a favorite heroine and On the Edge becomes the first of an exciting new series by Ilona Andrews I'll be looking forward to reading.

You can find out more about the author here.