On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Ace: September 29, 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Library
I’m a fairly recent addition to the Ilona Andrews bandwagon. I recently caught up on Andrews’ fabulous Kate Daniels series and was left with a void as I await the newest installment (coming September 2016). Luckily, Andrews has more books out in the wild that do not feature Kate Daniels and On the Edge is one such book.
On the Edge is the first in Andrews’ Edge quartet. In this world there are three worlds. First is the human world, the Broken, where magic doesn’t exist. Second, is the Weird, where magic is king and the world is ruled by the aristocratic bluebloods. In between these two worlds is the Edge. In the Edge magic is present, but its a kind of mixture of the Broken and the Weird. In the Edge, magic can cement your power, but the level of your power can come at a terrible price, a fact that Rose Drayton knows all too well.
Rose is a young woman simply trying to make it through each day. Since her mother died and her father abandoned her family, Rose has had the keeping of her two younger brothers Georgie and Jack. Both boys are precocious and have their own magical abilities. On top of magical worries, Rose also has to consider practicalities, like, you know, making sure that there’s food on the table each and every day. When a mysterious blueblood shows up on her lawn at the same time a terrifying monster attracted to the strong magic of Rose and her brothers, it’s clear that Rose’s problems just got a whole lot worse. Oh, and now the blueblood wants to marry Rose and take her off into the Weird.
On the Edge was entirely different from Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. Sure, the trademark snarky humour was there, but it is clear from the start that On the Edge is a very different book. Romance plays a much larger role in On the Edge, which I personally really enjoyed. With Kate Daniels much of each book is focused on a larger conflict; Kate’s relationship with Curran is a big part of the book, but the relationship is slowly developed over the course of the series. In On the Edge the romance aspect begins and resolves itself within the one book. I like lengthy series as much as the next person, but I will admit to really appreciating the fact that I can read the books of the Edge with the expectation that all conflicts will be resolves. Considering the pace I flew through Kate Daniels this is a very good thing. The romance between Kate and the blueblood, Declan was great. I loved the snarky humour of Kate’s reactions to Declan’s proper behaviour. The differences between these two characters led to a lot of humour and a few excellent misunderstandings.
For those that fear that On the Edge will be too romance heavy, don’t worry! While I would say the romance is stronger in this new series that does not mean that the plot focuses solely on romance. In On the Edge, Rose is preoccupied by hideous monsters attacking her and her neighbours for their magic. These attacks are at the forefront of the book as is Rose and Declan’s investigation into who is behind these attacks. This mystery serves as an effective means for the authors to explore and detail this new world to readers, and I must admit that I am now hooked. I loved the contrast between the worlds, especially as it was reinforced by the characters that inhabited each of those unique places. The Broken, the Edge, and the Weird are not nearly as separate as one would wish, leading too all kinds of crazy that readers will absolutely enjoy.
If you’re looking for a paranormal romance that combines its romance with fun world building and a magical mystery On the Edge is an excellent read. I’m ready to learn more about the Edge and the worlds that it separates as well as the renegade characters that live in such a challenging and ambiguous place.
If you enjoyed the world that Andrews created in On the Edge, you will be sure to enjoy the suburb world building present in Anne Bishop’s Others series. While I think Others more closely resembles Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series, I think readers that enjoyed the more rural aspect of On the Egde will also appreciate Bishop’s series that is rooted in it’s characters relationship to the land. Start with book one, Written in Red.
If you enjoyed Rose’s sarcastic attitude you will assuredly enjoy Jeaniene Frost’s Cat Crawfield, a half-vampire who’s mission in life is to kill vampires. At least it is until she falls in love with one. Start with book one, Halfway to the Grave.