From Ilona Andrews Website:
It’s a very odd story of a very odd place. The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny. It’s a place where poverty is real, life is hard, and fairy tales sometimes do come true.
This series came into being accidentally. I’d written a novella of the Edge, planning to put it on the website as a freebie. Jeaniene Frost happened to read it, and proceeded to call me and threaten me with the bodily harm unless I turned it into a full length book.
The first draft of the first book, ON THE EDGE, was written approximately two months in between Kate books and I loved working on it. The first hint of trouble came when Gordon edited it and took to calling it “rustic fantasy” as opposed to urban fantasy.
When I showed to our agent, she loved it, but she wasn’t quite sure what it was. Then our editor at Ace, Anne Sowards, looked at it. She called back next day saying that she wasn’t quite sure what it was, but she wanted to buy it. The art department was excited about the idea (and made the fantastic cover, which I love to death and it’s my precious) but they also weren’t quite sure how to classify it.
A few days before the first book came out, a prominent reviewer emailed me to say that she enjoyed the book a great deal but wasn’t sure how to classify it either.
I now present the unclassifiable ON THE EDGE. It’s like Twinkies. Everybody likes it, nobody is 100% sure what it is.
The series is now complete at four books.
(Personally, I’d classify these as more Rustic Romantic Fantasy)
Rose and Declan’s story. Rose is a young woman raising her two young brothers – a changeling and a necromancer – alone. Her mother died while she was younger and her father took off shortly after she turned 18. Since then, she’s taken responsibility for those two boys and worked below minimum wage jobs in the Broken – the world without magic – while they lived in the Edge – the boundary between the Broken and the Weird – the world full of magic.
The Edgers are a paranoid, hill-billy type bunch, with each family out for themselves. Into that mess walks Declan, a blueblood from the Weird, with mysterious reasons for traveling there and for courting Rose. Rose is one of the rare Edgers whose flash is white (an indication of power) and she is more than capable of looking out for herself. Until a hideous being takes up residence nearby and threatens to destroy the Edge and possibly the Weird itself. Since she must protect her brothers and as many Edgers as they can, they finally accept the blueblood’s aid, and a slow love blossoms.
What I really like about this story – besides Rose and the hotness of Declan of course – is the details, the craziness, the absolute hilarity that happens amidst the really stomach-turning horrors these authors have their villains envision. It’s awe-inspiring how depraved the ‘bad guy’ can be in an Ilona Andrews book. Luckily, you don’t get gory details too often, but they do not pull any punches on what the evil SOB will do to people, animals, the world… Ilona Andrews (one or both of them) have a twisted imagination and I love it!
Also, while the romance between Rose and Declan was slow to start, it was sweet to read. Though to be honest, this one isn’t my favorite Edge novel. It felt a little too drawn out with the whole Rose and Declan thing – although their interruptions were just freaking classic! 4 stars!
Get your copy on Amazon.
William and Cerise’s story. Cerise is from a place in the Edge called the Mire (think Louisiana swamp here, except with horrors instead of just alligators). Her parents get kidnapped by the Weird’s Louisiana’s secret police, the Hand. On her travels, she meets the changeling William who has been dispatched by the Mirror – another secret police whose country opposes the Hand – and sparks fly. After she changes out of her disguise, anyway.
Again, the horrors the villains come up with and how they’re even shaped are awe-inspiring in their absolute ability to create nightmares. The details the Andrews endow these villains with really do amaze me.
I loved William and Cerise’s love story a lot more than Rose and Declan’s, simply because it was more passionate. Especially from William’s point of view. I would probably give my left arm for a man to look at me like he looked at Cerise the first time she was clean. Seriously. Then I’d run.
Another thing I love about the story itself is that Ilona Andrews does not shy away from painful events in their stories. People will die. Some get broken. Things happen, just as they do in real life, and it changes them. Despite the fantasy-like setting, that was superbly realistic and adds depth to this already intricate world.
This has to be my favorite of the four novels I think. 5 stars!!
Get your copy at Amazon.
Kaldar and Audrey’s story. Kaldar Mar, from the previous Edge book regarding the battle with Spider and the Hand, and Audrey, a woman from a family of con men who would only like to get out of that life. After a moment of heartbreaking stupidity, her life is turned upside down and the world is once again in peril and Kaldar – a trickster and a con in his own right – must work with the best lock-pick he’s ever met, who’s hot to boot. Sparks fly and you get the idea.
I don’t know who I would have pictured for Kaldar, but once I read how Audrey interacted with him, I realized they were absolutely perfect for each other. Neither one of them could fool the other, and that only made them hotter for each other.
As usual, the Hand horrors dogged their steps, causing death of people close to them, and together they must find and keep a sacred object from those monsters. Led by none-other than Spider’s niece.
Again, the horrors the Hand (or Hound in this case) are willing to do are horrendous, but because they are bad guys, it’s necessary. I actually like novels that add some realism to their villains, so rather than simply “I want to take over the world” it is instead “I’ll take over the world and slaughter and eat people who stand in my way.” Much more satisfying when they go down.
Kaldar is honestly more likable in this book than in the previous, though I would have throttled George and Jack for the crap they pulled, and thrown Gaston under a train as well. Then again, I’m an aunt who really dislikes when kids don’t listen to the important “NO” you give them. And Jack’s lack of trying did get on my nerves a lot, but that really was the point.
All in all, a great novel. This series gets better with each installment practically! 4.5 stars!
Get your copy from Amazon.
Richard and Charlotte’s story. Richard Mar was first introduced in the second Edge novel and he, like his brother Kaldar, has a vendetta he chose to pursue. Except Richard felt anger towards Slavers for what they did to Lark years ago that had so damaged her. And part his anger was for himself for failing to protect her or save her sooner. Charlotte is a healer who fled to the Edge from the Weird because of her own demons and when slavers end up killing someone close to her, she also has a score to settle with them. Thus Richard and Charlotte team up and of course, fall in love.
I’ll say wow again here. I’m going to start off with the characters first. In the second Edge novel, Richard wasn’t really on my radar as a guy to like or dislike, too controlled, I guess with too little presence. However, he decided to take on the entire slave trade and that made him interesting. Throw in a healer who is fighting her darker side, but who is unmistakably a lady of fine breeding, and they are a good match.
I loved how Ilona Andrews was able to make it so that one could be a healer but they had the ability to cause great, great harm as well. It happens in a lot of novels with healers of course, but not to this extent. It was nicely done and I loved that detail. Charlotte could be a walking catastrophe of epic proportions and Richard wants her in the worst way. It was glorious. The romance was nice.
Again, the world of the slave trade and the machinations of those behind it were well thought out and executed nicely within the plot. I was seriously impressed. For character development, plot, and of course romance, I’m giving this one 4.5 stars as well.
Get your copy from Amazon.
Ilona Andrews does what few authors can accomplish in one novel. I seriously recommend reading anything by them.
However, so far, my favorite from them is the Kate Daniels series. Kate and Curran are absolutely psychotic, but they really do love each other and it’s the best dysfunctional relationship on the planet. I’m off to finish rereading that series now!
That review will be next from my personal reading list (not to be confused with the blog tour reading list and the yet another list: the requested reviews reading list).
About the Authors
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)
Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children, and many dogs and cats. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.
Author Stalker Links:
So fellow book lovers, what do you happen to think of this series? Have you read it?