Reviewed: October 8, 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Series: The Edge, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars
Length: 309 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Disclosure: This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
I'm a fan of the Kate Daniels series (Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, & Magic Bleeds), and through it, a fan of Ilona Andrews as an author (or authors, as the husband and wife writing duo). Given that, when I was looking for something new to read I saw On The Edge and figured (rightly so) that it was a safe bet for a solid read and that I would enjoy it.
Ha. Solid read...enjoy it. Can you say understatement of the year??
I loved it. LOVED. It.
Synopsis reviews aren't my forte, so let me just tell you some of the things about On the Edge that, for me, put this book firmly onto the list of top ten books I've read all year (and to say I read a lot would be an even bigger understatement than before). World development, plotting, pacing, and character development - the true "meat" of every story, were just - put simply - flawless. Between the Weird, Broken, and Edge, the world building in On the Edge is original and incredibly imaginative, detailed without being oppressive, and absolutely fascinating. I could spend a lot of time between those three realms. The plot was a deliciously robust treat, without any of those "first book in a series" weaknesses that can get so tiring when you read as much as I do (like too much world building and not enough natural plot progression or character development just to name a couple), and it drew me in from the start with a cast of characters that I just absolutely fell in love with.
And let me take a minute to acknowledge those characters, because I swear, I wanted to shout out in glee when I realized that not once did I want to beat any of them for stupidity, lack of logic, ridiculous dramatics, or histrionics. They are all so amazingly, comfortingly, wonderfully real . And developed. And complex. And unique. I cannot say enough about how important the cast of characters are in a book and how, for me, they are what separates a book I really, really like to one I love and will recommend with almost fanatical intensity. Andrews didn't just hit it out of the park with Rose, Declan, Georgie (call him George now...and that scene just broke my heart), and Jack (Ooooh...shiny!), and the rest, she (they) hit it out of the stratosphere. And finally - a heroine who is proud, strong, wise, dedicated, loving, and intimately familiar with a very painful struggle to support a family while trying desperately to hold onto some sense of self and life, who not only understands the concept of a work ethic, but embraces it and works her butt off in everything she does - from work to raising her brothers to practicing her flash. She's also a woman who is intensely familiar with consequences - for both actions and power. I just love her. Without a doubt and with a completely clear conscience, I can tell you that Rose is a most complete, rounded out, layered, and realistic character, and my favorite heroine of any book I've read all year. And may even be my favorite character in total for the year.
On the Edge is a top-notch fantasy book with SO much going for it, that I will be telling everyone I know to get it, read it, love it. It can not be said enough: FANTASTIC!
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