on 23 September 2009
Once upon a time there was a girl named Rose who lived on the Edge between two worlds... the Broken and the Weird. The Broken is our world, a place where magic isn't real. The Weird is a realm of magic where blueblood aristocrats rule. The Edge is a strip of land between the two worlds where people who belong to neither congregate -- the worldbuilding is rather complex and it took me a little while to keep all the worlds straight, but after a few chapters I was fine. Those who live in the Edge have their own traveller like community and social rules; plus their own touch of magical power.
The novel opens with Rose attempting to keep together her fragmented family; having been left to fend for herself and her two little brothers, Georgie and Jack. Aside from their somewhat batty (but awesome) grandmother they're all alone in the world. Rose is the bread-winner and the pressure of responsibility weighs heavily on her shoulders. Something she spends much of the book dealing with internally. Compounded by the usual mundane issues Rose has magical ones too: Georgie can't help but raise the dead and Jack is a changeling who frequently runs off into the Wood not to be heard from again for days. Talk about problems. Rose is a worrier. She worries about money, about the boys, about her horrid job -- she is a heroine who can't seem to catch a break. It seems to be one bad thing after another for her. Indeed, she's barely keeping their heads above water when things suddenly go to Hel in a hand basket. A flood of magic-hungry creatures start attacking the inhabitance of the Edge and to make matters worse, a blueblood (Declan Carmarine) from the Weird has chosen this precise moment to trample into Rose's life determined to have her.
'On the Edge' is a well written novel that I would say is more of a romantic fantasy than an urban one. It's quite high fantasy-ish in places, which I liked. The characterisation is superb and the worldbuilding is absorbing and intricate. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the Weird, and the concept of the Red Legion makes me hopeful that these areas will be further fleshed out in the future.
The book is written in third person and swaps around to various perspectives throughout the narrative which I felt added a nice layer of complexity. Even though I adored Rose, found her life and past both sympathetic and interesting I liked hearing from the other colourful inhabitance of the Edge as well as her. In fact, I really loved Rose's little brothers Georgie and Jack -- the stars of the novel in many ways. Two boys who both grow wonderfully during the course of the story. Another character I liked was William who remains an enigmatic presence throughout. Apparently the sequel will be his story. Grandmother Drayton was the voice of reason and I enjoyed her reminisces; the words of a woman who one could tell had lived and loved and hurt and seen it all.
If you're expecting something similar to the Kate Daniels series then you'll be disappointed. The two are very different despite one or two shades of similarities. There's a lot more romance in Edge compared to the Kate series -- even though I love the highly unusual relationship between Kate and Curran, I really disliked Rose/Declan. I'm not much of a romance fan so I found the romantic parts to be quite the chore. I also never warmed to Declan. I didn't see anything in him that made him stand out/different from the myriad of other male characters like him. With Curran it never felt as if the authors were afraid to tow the line... to have him say and do things that might make you hate him. With Declan it was as if everything was designed to make you love him; it just didn't work for me. Rose is tough, self-aware and self-sacrificing like Kate. But they never felt like the same character to me: Rose isn't as vulnerable/loner-ish and snarky as Kate. She's a woman with familial obligations and people who depend on her. Also a lot of her issues are more mundane. While this book was lighter in tone than the Kate Daniels series it lacked the abundance of humour so prevalent in the Kate books. Edge is more rustic and fairytale like than gritty and dark like KD.
The writing itself was tight and all the plots wove together into a satisfying whole. I could have done without the romance, personally, but that was as integral to the progression of the overall arc as the magic eating villain. Overall, I enjoyed this book and read it quickly! Always a good sign. There's no way this series will replace the Kate series in my heart but I look forward to the sequel about William!
P.S. the first chapter of 'Magic Bleeds' the fourth Kate book is included at the end of the book.
Between the familiar, electric world of the Broken, and the magical Weird is the Edge. In appearances it's like the Broken, but with magic. It's a lawless, desperate place where even having the strongest magic might still leave you struggling to put food on the table, week after week.
Rose Drayton is this type of Edger, practising her magic in secret, working her fingers to the bone and trying to keep her young brothers - Georgie and Jack - safe. It's not much fun, but she manages. Just. Until something strange emerges from the Weird, something deadly. Close behind is Declan, a Weird blueblood, who wastes no time in registering his interest.
But no matter how handsome and impressive he is, Rose has seen it all before, and knows better than to trust a charming blueblood. As the danger mounts, however, she soon realises she might not have a choice. If only he wasn't so handsome...
Husband and wife team, Ilona Andrews, take a break from the excellent 'Kate Daniels' series with this fascinating world. As with Kate's world, they excel at presenting the familiar with a nifty twist. And magic thrown in. The Edge is no fairytale, and Rose is no princess. She worries about normal things - money for food and petrol, how her brothers do at school - as well as the abnormal - Georgie's habit of raising the dead, or Jack turning into a cat to chase leechbirds. With such responsibilities on her shoulders she's sceptical and guarded, but also loyal, strong and delightfully human. Not to mention magically powerful.
As a hero Declan could have strolled right out of a fairytale (or a historical romance novel), which make his culture clashes with Rose a lot of fun. What truly made this for me - other than the brilliant setting - was Rose's family. Her brothers are adorable (and different) and her Grandmother is impressive too - those curses!
No run-of-the-mill fantasy - from the magic down to the characters - this is a great balance between Modern Fantasy (can't fit the Urban tag, due to a distinct lack of cities) and Paranormal Romance (which for me wasn't that intrusive, and not much more than you'll find in many UF). The tantalising glimpse of the Weird at the end made me all the more curious for the future, as did the mysterious William. Andrews never disappoints.
on 25 September 2009
On The Edge is the first book in the new series 'The Edge' by Ilona Andrews, author of one of my most favourite series, Kate Daniels. So I was looking forward to this book with excitement.
Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, a place between the Broken (our world) where magic doesn't exist and is a myth, and the Weird, where technology doesn't exist and magic rules. Being an Edger gives Rose the ability to cross the boundaries from one world to the other, but she doesn't really belong in either.
An Edgers most powerful weapon is their flash, a bolt of magic like lightning. Everyone has it to a different extent, and Rose has the most powerful flash an Edger has had in 100 years. It makes her hated and envied amongst the Edgers, and wanted among the noble bluebloods of the Weird as a 'broodmare'. All Rose wants is to make enough money at her minimum wage job in the Broken to put food on the table for her younger brothers, 10 year old Georgie who's a necromancer and 8 year old Jack who is a changeling.
But bad stuff keeps happening to Edgers. There is a darkness around that's going after the most powerful Edgers, taking their magic, feeding on it. At the same time, Rose is approached by a blueblood from the Weird, Declan, who is determined to have Rose. But with her brothers and other Edgers at risk of being destroyed, he agrees to team up with Rose and the Edgers to fight the danger. If they can.
I love this book, it wasn't a disappointment at all. What did surprise me, is how much I loved it. It couldn't match the brilliance of Kate Daniels with a single book, but with more it may do. Rose is a strong character, with family at the center of her heart. She would do anything for her brothers, who she's raised since her father left them in search of some 'big treasure', years after their mothers death.
Told in third person, predominantly from Rose's POV but with snatches from others, it contains much more romance than the Kate series. But there is plenty of action too and is a well balanced plot, not too much of one thing before going back to the other. Like the Kate series, the characters are well formed with flaws and plenty of intelligence. The book contains plenty of witchcraft, changelings (shape shifters), necromancers and many other magical beings. All within a well thought out and developed world with boundaries and rules, where actions have consequences. Making for a great, realistic (as urban fantasy/paranormal romance can get) book to get your teeth in to. There isn't quite so much humor in this as the Kate series, or I didn't so, but there were some good moments, and the last page in particular made me crack up.
The first Kate Daniels book wasn't spectacular, in fact, it took a lot to get in to it and at the end it was still nothing more than 'okay', compared to Magic Bites alone, this is a better start to a series. The world building is done carefully without dragging on the plot in big chunks, instead you're fed it in bits as the book goes on, learning more as it goes on. There aren't so many twists and turns in this, and less surprises as a result, but that doesn't stop it being a very good read and a great introduction to a new world and series.
Whether you'd class the book as urban fantasy, fantasy or paranormal romance, I'm not sure. There isn't really enough 'urban' to it for it to be UF, but it's not true fantasy either. And although there is a strong romance plot, it's not the whole thing. Still, I suppose each is close enough as a guide of the basic genre. And it's a great book! I really look forward to more in this world.
on 18 May 2016
I came to this one after reading the excellent Kate Daniels series by the husband-and-wife duo behind the Ilona Andrews name. Wasn't quite as taken with this as the Daniels stories but this is the first in the Edge series so there is a lot of scene setting. Heroine Rose Drayton lives on the Edge (no doubt pun intended by the authors); a grey area between the Broken - our everyday world where magic doesn't work - and the Weird where magic stuff happens and various supernatural beasties exist including magically-powerful blueblood aristocratic ruling families. Rose has her own powers but these haven't helped her financially or otherwise. She's hiding her magic powers and working dead-end jobs in the Broken to provide for herself and her two much younger brothers Jack and Georgie. Their mother is dead and their father is in the wind, searching for a fame and fortune that has always eluded him. Now something nasty is coming from the Weird with an unhealthy focus on Rose and her little family. On top of that a Weird blueblood called Declan Camarine has turned up showing an equally unwelcome interest. What's his motive? Why the sudden interest in her? All is revealed as the plot unfolds. Talking of which I was reminded irresistibly of Cinderella - the heroine working her fingers to the bone rescued by the handsome prince. It is all pretty conventional stuff but as with most of the authors' work it rises above the usual fare in this genre. I enjoyed it and will seek out the later books in the series to see how it develops.
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Ilona & Gordon Andrews, their Kate Daniels series is one of my all time favourites and I loved Burn for Me too so I decided it was high time for me to start working my way through their back list. I'd heard a lot of great things about the Edge books so I had high expectations but once again these authors have managed to blow me away with On the Edge.
I can't think of a single thing I didn't like about this book - I loved the world, I loved the characters, I enjoyed the heck out of the plot and I swooned more than a little over the romance. Rose lives in the Edge, a world between two worlds - the Broken which is basically the same as our world and a place where magic no longer exists and the Weird which is a magical place full of dangerous creatures and ruled by the blueblood nobility. The Edgers are stuck between the two very different cultures but never quite able to fit into either of them and Rose has it harder than most. After her mother's death and her father's abandonment Rose has been left raising her two younger brothers, Jack and George, and she struggles to make ends meet. She is grateful to have her grandmother there to help with babysitting but she refuses to be a burden and takes responsibility for earning the money they need to survive.
Rose is such a fantastic character, she is the kind of girl you can easily picture yourself being friends with - smart, witty, independent, caring and loyal. She is also more than capable of protecting herself and her family and you do not want to get on her bad side. I loved the relationship Rose has with her family, in fact family dynamics is something that Ilona Andrews always excels at, their grandmother is hilarious and wise and the two boys are just so adorably cute that I wanted to pull them out of the book and adopt them. I could write pages about why Jack and George are so fantastic but I'd rather let you have the fun of meeting them all for yourselves so you're going to have to read the book if you're curious.
Declan is an arrogant ass, there are no two ways about it, in fact there were times I could happily have punched him in the face but you know what? He's a loveable ass and I couldn't resist him! He's my favourite kind of brooding, secretive hero who you just know has a secret agenda and you're never quite sure what he's really up to but you can still tell his heart is in the right place. The relationship between him and Rose is combustible, they are able to wind each other up in seconds but at the same time you can feel the chemistry between them and you're left just screaming at the book begging for them to give into it. Rose makes assumptions about Declan and to be honest I can't blame her for that so I did find myself a little irritated at Declan for the way he played up to her expectations but when we learn the reasons for the secrets he keeps I found it fairly easy to forgive him. I think one of the things that really convinced me he was a great guy was the way he interacted with Jack and George, he went out of his way to reassure them and I loved seeing them all together as a kind of adopted family unit.
I haven't said much about the plot but since this review is already quite long I'm not going to go into much depth now either. What I will say is that the story is fast paced and completely grips you from the very beginning and it's the kind of story you never want to end. I was kind of sad when I found out each book in the series is about a different couple until I realised that the second book, Bayou Moon, is William's story and now I'm just desperate to start reading it. I'm so relieved that I already own the entire series because I'm definitely feeling a binge read coming on.
on 1 May 2012
I have read the Kate Daniels series and this DOES NOT measure up. I was very disappointing by this book. I dont know what happened but its not anything like the other books. This book is written in third person, but it should have been first. It is not engaging. The main character is weak, her actions dont always make sense and the hero is an ass. He was so cliched. He was a perfect hulking, powerful man with no faults at all. He was an ass. Virtually everything he said or did upset me, especially the way the supposedly strong main character ate it up. The main character, had she been true to her character would have thought so too.
Apart from that there are obvious flaws in the plot. Things just dont make sense. The big plan they used to defeat the enemy was idiotic. The main character kept mentioning her 'flash' over and over, and I got bored about hearing it, also considering the trouble her 'flash' got her into I dont think it it was true to her character to be boasting about it/mentioning it repeatedly. Her flash was used as justification for her actions, when in truth, had she been true to her actions, she would have just been herself and not needed the justification. I feel this book could have been so much more.
In summary, dont expect anything fantastic. Its not Kate Daniels, and its not brilliantly written or edited. Its a modern day fairytale/romance with a splash of urban fantasy. You may or may not enjoy this, depending on your standards. If you have read the Kate Daniels series, avoid this book/series. If you have not read that series, do so immediately without hesitation - and THEN avoid this book/series. Readers of urban fantasy may also enjoy Mark of the Demon my Diana Rowland which is a good paranormal crime thriller.
on 14 March 2016
4.5 stars if we could give 1/2 stars
Amazon star ratings show 4 stars as "I liked it" and 5 stars as "I loved it". I would say I definitely more than liked this, but I'm not certain it deserves a full 5 stars.
This is a story about a mysterious world between the mundane and the magic. People who live in this world are not really part of any other community and are prey for anyone who wants them.
Rose is bringing up her two brothers but she has a gift that makes her very attractive to men of blue blood from the fairy realm. When Declan appears to claim her as his bride because of her talent Rose resorts to issuing three challenges, promising her submission if he can win them all. But Declan is not the only threat to Rose and her family.
I loved this book. It is a grown up fairytale told in a witty manner. If you like light fantasy you will be instantly involved in this story which thankfully is on the acceptable side of whimsical. The author remembers that true fairy tales have their dark side and there are threats and dangers for Rose to face as well as mysterious people who are not what they seem.
A quick and very enjoyable read. Great fun.
on 29 June 2016
“Grandpa?" Declan raised his eyebrows.
"We keep him in the shed out back," Jack said helpfully. "So he doesn't eat dog brains.”
All of the stars!!
I have no idea why Ilona Andrews is cursed with such hideous covers but despite them, I always adore the books inside and On the Edge was no exception.
As usual, the world building was awesome. Very unique, odd in the best of ways and just really well presented.
I don't even know where to start with Declan. I hated him, I loved him, I wanted to bear his children. He's just the perfect mix of all of Andrew's heroes yet still completely his own character.
I really loved Rose, partly because she's not a carbon copy of Kate Daniels and partly due to her own awesomeness. Cool flash power aside, she's witty, brave and genuinely nice. Rose was a definite winner for me.
I can't recommend this enough to fans of Ilona Andrews and/or Urban Fantasy. Just go read this... now.
“Eat slowly," the blueblood said. "Don't cut your food with the fork. Cut it with the knife, and make the pieces small enough so you can answer a question without having to swallow first."
Why me? "Right. Any other tips?" Her sarcasm whistled right over his head.
"Yes. Look at me and not at your plate. If you have to look at your plate, glance at it occasionally."
Rose put down her fork. "Lord Submarine..."
"You can call me Declan." He said it as if granting her a knighthood. The nerve.
"Declan, then. How did you spend your day?"
"It's a simple question: How did you spend your day? What did you do prior to the fight and the pancake making?"
"I rested from my journey," he said with a sudden regal air.
"You took a nap"
"I spent my day scrubbing, vacuuming and dusting ten offices in the Broken. I got there at seven thirty in the morning and left at six. My back hurts, I can still smell bleach on my fingers, and my feet feel as flat as these pancakes. Tomorrow, I have to go back to work, and I want to eat my food in peace and quiet. I have good table manners. They may not be good enough for you, but they're definitely good enough for the Edge, and they are the height of social graces in this house. So please keep your critique to yourself."
The look on his face was worth having him under her roof. As if he had gotten slapped.
She smiled at him. "Oh and thank you for the pancakes. They are delicious.”
on 23 December 2012
If I could give this book 6 stars I so would. I love love love this book. The plot is fab the edge is so unique! What goes into these books is passion a whole new world of imagination. The characters have depth and the story keeps the pages turning. Just wonderful. A must read. WORTH EVERY PENNY thank you for putting this series on ebooks ......