Time to take a break from YA so I can tell you about a fantastic and fascinating book called On The Edge by Ilona Andrews. You may know Ilona from her Kate Daniels series. This book is kind of like those with the magic, but sooo much better (in my opinion, anyway).
To quote Caitlin from her review of Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan (another great book, btw):
“I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved this book.”
At the beginning you meet Rose Drayton. She’s in her early 20s and works long hours in order to take care of herself and her two younger brothers, Georgie and Jack. But they’re not an ordinary family because they live in ‘The Edge’, which is a strip of land between ‘The Weird’ and ‘The Broken’. The Broken is normal, everyday, non-magical Earth that we live on. The Weird is a parallel world to us, full of magic and with a government similar to Victorian England. The Edge is a mix of both. There’s magic there, but not much, and Edgers are the only ones who can enter into both worlds without it causing them serious pain (or death).
Things are pretty much the same from day to day for Rose and her brothers, until a blue-blood from the Weird, Declan, shows up. He is determined to have Rose and her power, which isn’t part of her plan, thank you very much.
But when a dark and evil danger invades the Edge in the form of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose find themselves working together to destroy them… before the beasts destroy the Edge.
And that’s just a hint of how awesome this book is. The world Ilona Andrews builds for Rose and the rest of the characters is nothing short of amazing. I found myself wishing I had enough magic in me to find the road that leads to the Edge and then I’d venture into the Weird, if only to see the Republic of Texas. (Texas is its own country in the Weird. Because it’s awesome like that.)
Rose is a strong heroine and one that I really liked. Her love and devotion to her brothers is endearing and made me tear-up a little during a scene where one of them is in danger. Her run-ins with Declan are funny and their back and forths made me grin. I even laughed out loud a few times. (High praise for any book.)
Declan is… mmmm, mmmm, good. Very masculine, but still caring and sweet. It’s a hard combination to write, but Ilona did a wonderful job with him.
But my favorite characters from this book are Georgie and Jack, Rose’s younger brothers. Georgie is very unselfish, which is rare in a child. He cares deeply for people and things around him, including Rose, Jack, and his Grandmother. He knows things sometimes without people having to tell him. He also has a magical ability which drains him (literally), and his reasoning behind it breaks your heart, even though you know it’s not natural. Jack is a sweetheart, but can sometimes get lost inside himself. He doesn’t always know how to interact with or around people, but there’s a reason for that. The few glimpses we get into his head are my favorite to read. I just wanted to hug him sometimes. Heck, I wanted to hug them both. They’re absolutely adorable. I want them to get their own books. (Hint, hint, Ilona. :))
Now, just to warn you, there is a bit of adult time, but it’s just two paragraphs and not graphic. Although I would still consider the book rather steamy, but that’s because of Ilona’s fantastic writing. Also, it’s alright if you read the scene where Declan’s stretching more than once. I did and I am not ashamed of y’all knowing that.
From the first page I was hooked. I re-read this book recently and stayed up waaayyy too late to finish it. Because it’s better than sleep. The mix of mystery, magic, romance and family captivated me. I love everything about this book.
Now, there is a follow-up book that came out last month. It’s called Bayou Moon. I own it, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet (it’s next on my TBR list). It’s centered around William, who is introduced in On The Edge, and I’m very excited about it because I really liked William and I think this book will be a heart-clenching tear-jerker. If I do love it, I’ll definitely be back to tell y’all how much I loved it and why.
So, if you like the magic side of the supernatural, want a new steamy man to fantasize about, or just want to read something new and great, I highly, highly, highly recommend this book.