Published by Penguin Berkely Ace On the Edge (The Edge, #1) on Published October 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.
Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, 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 her (and her power).
But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.
This review may contain minor spoilers
It’s well known that I’m a BIG fan of Ilona Andrews work. Heck. All of the Book Pushers are. It’s also well known that Ilona and Gordon can create worlds that you will have never seen before in a book. For those who have read the Kate Daniel series, and Silent Blade, you will know what I am talking about.
On the Edge is more in line with a Paranormal romance, but it’s not a Paranormal romance. Confused? You won’t be when you read the book. I’m not sure what genre you can label it, but it has a deep core of magic, world building and romance that made this book a delight. There were some stages in the book where I thought there was too much info dump and it distracted me. Info dump is a tricky thing I believe. If you have too much it can drag and make the story that extra bit heavy. Not enough of it can make readers confused. I quickly grasped the world building in this book. So while I found the info dump distracting, others may find it a lot more beneficial.
The book is set in The Edge–a small strip of dimension between The Weird and The Broken. Two symmetric worlds, but somewhat different. The Weird is saturated with magic, changelings and nobles. The Broken is a world free of magic. It’s our world.
The majority of the population in these worlds don’t know that each other exists, except for The Edge. The Edge is an intersect between these two worlds. It’s filled with people who have some claim to magic and non magic. The people of The Edge are poor and they have their own rules to govern their land and people. There is no police or judge to keep order, but the families have their own way of dealing with issues and crime, usually an eye for an eye.
Rose, our heroine, lives in The Edge. She has been kicked down a lot by people figuratively, and literally. After the death of her mother and the abandonment of her father, she was left to raise her two younger brothers: eight year old Jack and eleven year old Georgie. They are poor, but Rose has worked all her life to make sure there is food on the table and that the boys are clothed. She’s literally had to put her life on hold at the age of eighteen and this has made her into a very strong, capable young woman. But a very life-weary woman, though. For Rose, all she has known since raising the boys is learning how to make ends meet, starving off unwanted suitors, and simply surviving.
In a Paranormal or Urban Fantasy book, very rarely do you see the heroine as the sole provider and caregiver for children. Children usually hamper a story when the heroine is battling evil, but this isn’t your typical Paranormal and Urban Fantasy story. Jack and Georgie manage to bring something to the story. These are not two ordinary boys. They are very special and have powers of their own, especially Georgie, who I have to admit really tugged on my heart strings. But the family are not totally alone for they have Grandma Eleonore who is their anchor, and she was simply a hoot!
We have a very unique family in not very happy circumstances but their humour manages to shine through. As always, Ilona Andrews manages to infuse wit and humour into their stories for light hearted relief against the dark creatures they create. And the hounds in On The Edge are horrid and very evil–just like their master. I found the villain to be creepy. He was completely bat-shit crazy, but his manner and demeanour when he talked was so pleasant that he was a truly frightening character. Each character in this book is fleshed out and has their own stamp. None so more than Declan.
Declan manages to arrive into Rose’s life quite spectacularly. He is a blond hunk of a nobleman. He is a blueblood, a very aristocratic blueblood who grates on Rose from the beginning. She thinks he is a stubborn, arrogant and infuriating ass. Declan thinks the same of Rose, but fancies the pants off her. Rose believes Declan is after her for her magic, her flash: magic power which has caused Rose a whole lot of trouble since that fateful day long gone past. Due to her flash, lots of noblemen and their families want Rose as a broodmare so her flash will be inherited by their sons or daughters. Rose thinks Declan wants the same. We soon find out that not all meets the eye with Declan.
Rose, while having a lot of pride, is not TSTL when it comes to the safety of her boys. She accepts Declan’s help and they both through their verbal jabs and reluctant attraction (on Rose’s half) manage to come together in a way that I thought was very sweet. It was a slow burn between the two and the mounting tension leading up to their coming together was worth the wait. Rose resists Declan until she is sure of him, and most importantly that he doesn’t pose a threat to her boys. Rose has a lot of admirable traits that make her very special, IMO. Young as she is, she longs for a more exciting and happier life and yet she doesn’t resent young Jack and Georgie.
Declan, despite his alpha maleness, was very sweet towards her brothers. There is a very important scene with him and Georgie that I thought was poignant and life changing for one of them.
There is another big character who was integral to the story and that’s William. William is a very tortured and troubled. I don’t want to say too much as I’m trying to keep this as spoiler free as I can. I equally liked William as much as Declan. Both are alpha males who have testosterone steaming out of the ears. *grins*
I think On The Edge will introduce new readers to Ilona Andrews work. It’s much more romance driven and even though some parts of it were dark in nature it has a lighter tone than the Kate Daniel series.
Keep an eye out in September. We are having a super giveaway. Numerous copies of On The Edge up for offer.