Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Review: On the Edge

Title: On the Edge
Series: The Edge Book 1
Author(s:): Ilona Andrews
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy, Geektastic
Publisher/Year: Ace/2009
-Webpage: Ilona Andrews
-Blog: One Crazy Dame

Synopsis: Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between two worlds: on one side lies the Broken, a place where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is nothing more than a fairy tale; on the other is the Weird, a realm where blueblood aristocrats rule and the strength of your magic can change your destiny. Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel between the worlds--but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought that if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn't turn out the way she'd planned, and now she works an off-the-books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life determined to have Rose (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge--a flood of creatures hungry for magic--Declan and Rose must overcome their differences and work together to destroy them, or the beasts will devour the Edge and everyone in it...

Review: That's the back cover blurb by the by, I had to type that up by hand since I couldn't find any other decent one around. So! For all you Kate Daniels fans--no this is not related to that series in any shape or form. Except that it shares the same author and publishing house and general genre umbrella. The really good news is--doesn't even matter because this book rocks.

Comic geeks and anime fiends take note--since this is set in a slightly more attuned to how the real world (shudder at the thought) works, we get to read about all that geeky stuff we love. Inu-Yasha is mentioned, the Green Arrow, DC Direct Action Figures...I spent a good part of the first half of the book squeeing until my dad looked at me weird.

On a more important to the book itself note, Rose isn't Kate. You can't compare the two because frankly their situations aren't the same. Rose is raising her two (hellion) brothers George and Jack (George who can raise the dead and Jack who's a feline changling) on a $7/hr wage, trying to give them some semblance of a good upraising so that they can go forth in the Broken world and make something better of themselves then she did. Her granddad is best considered a zombie (George resurrected him...he does that a lot. He's got a real soft heart and hates to see things die.) and her grandma has a spitfire personality. Their parents...well the mom is dead (after being...rather scandelous) and their dad ran off 4 years ago to hunt for treasure.

As you can see if nothing else, family life is complicated.

Declan took a little longer for me to warm up to, but there's mitigating circumstances after his introduction so I can't really hold this all against him. I do admit to falling somewhat in lustlove with him cause the man has a large array of pointy weapons. A veritable treasure trove of sharp, pointy swords, knives and everything in between. His interactions with Rose border on the 'how quickly before he says something to piss her off' more often than not, but there's no....malicious intent for either of them in their fighting. Its two entirely too similar personalities clashing repeatedly because they're too stubborn to learn better. He tries! I will give him props, he tries really hard to if not give in to Rose's demands, work with them.

Our cast of surrounding characters range from the typical backwoods oily sales car type to the ridiculously terrifying Bad of the book. Casshorn didn't just look terrifying, and it wasn't even his acts that terrified me the most. It was the way he talked. Exaggerated politeness while discussing flaying a person alive and sucking all their juices was then paired with the equivalent of 'I hope your family is doing well' Southern mannerisms. William, who has a variety of roles in the novel and I can't really go into all of them since some of it would include spoilers, is a loose canon. I liked him well enough at first, but like Rose he just seemed kind of...meh to me. Again good reasons.

The book had some really funny lines and the funniest to me was at the very very end, the VERY last page (309 in the mass market paperback edition), five lines down from the top. I can't post it because its a spoiler, but that line right there? I had to drop the book it made me giggle so hard. And sure I'm an easy person to make laugh, but for some reason that line made me really, really happy.

Bottom line is that On the Edge proves that Kate Daniels wasn't some fluke. Its fun, its gritty, its darkly humorous and leaves me wanting more. Unfortunately the as of yet un-named second book isn't due out until September/October 2010 (which of course can change). I'm working on my patience.

PS: For no reason I can ascertain Declan was played by Alexander Skarsgard in my head. Every time Rose (or anyone else) talked about his looks I had Alexander Skarsgard posing. It made for an enjoyable image (though I had pegged him for Curran originally...I guess he can be both :D).