On the Edge is a light, fluffy urban fantasy (rural fantasy?) from an author pair whose books rarely let me down (even if they hit a few of my red button issues). I’ve been struggling with insomnia the past few nights and this book really helped alleviate the midnight boredom when you can’t fall asleep but don’t want to get out of bed just in case you do fall asleep. Urban Fantasy is my comfort zone. Urban Fantasy that has shape-shifters is my crack, Ilona Andrews write my crack is what I’m saying.
Rose Drayton lives in an in-between place, a strip of land stuck between two dimensions. One of these dimensions has magic the other does not. This in-between place, the Edge, has a mix of magic and technology, but not a lot of either. The people there are hard-scrabble, hand to mouth survivors and not really citizens of either place. Rose is trying to raise her two brothers, after her parents have disappeared or died, when a stranger from the Weird (magic place) shows up on her front lawn. She thinks he’s here to claim her hand in marriage, because she has a unique talent for Edgers, however he is there tracking a evil that could destroy the Weird and the Edge if it is not defeated.
I liked a lot about the book. Rose is awesome; she’s , kind, stubborn, and a survivor. I loved her family, the Andrews write children very well. The world building is interesting and I thought it was a good take on the idea of a boarder area between Faerie and this world. The plot skips along quickly and nothing feels forced or over-explained. It’s a world filled with characters I would love to visit and visit with. Plus, there are shape shifters. They’re kind of on the sidelines in this one, but they’re there and yea.
Honestly, were it not for the fact that the Andrews consistently hit my feminist rage monster buttons (if only very lightly) they would easily be among my favorite authors. As it is, I went out and got a hold of the rest of this series because I needs it. I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeds it. They get just enough right that I can overlook the occasional background misogyny even if I have to make rage faces during certain parts of the book.
I don’t like Declan, the romantic interest in this novel, as he’s a lying, manipulative, controlling jerk. I don’t hate him as much as I hate Curran from the Kate Daniels novels, but I’ve had many more books to learn just how awful Curran is so chalk one up for Declan. It drives me crazy that this pair writes romances with male leads like this because their female leads are fabulous. I do like that Rose (and Kate in her books) stands up to Declan, but I really don’t see why she falls for him. He lies to her. All the time. Constantly. It is not OK. I can see how the authors (and Rose) justify it, the lying is brushed off because he never actually utters a lie, he just lets her think the wrong thing and plays along with it thus reinforcing the lie, or he simply misleads her. You know, LYING.
But lets talk about those feminist rage monster buttons. It kills me that this pair hits them, because they do so much so well that I know they could do better. For example, in one part of the book Rose takes Declan to Wal-mart to pick up some supplies. This could have been an absolutely hilarious fish out of water scene. Instead the pair are followed around by women who can’t help themselves because Declan is so hot. Women pull their shirts down, give themselves whiplash, and otherwise act like silly twits because OMG he’s soooooo gorgeous. Guys, outside of an actual star, have you ever EVER seen this happen in real life? Because I sure haven’t, and I’ve seen some guys on the street that definitely give me pause. I’ve only ever seen it happen in romance novels, and it’s just bad writing with really ugly misogynist undertones. I hate it. It drives me crazy that the pair included this scene because I know they can write women well, so why do I get the feeling that they divide their worlds into the good kind of women (the heroines and their female friends) and the sluts?
Oh well. At least Rose has some female friends who are her age and not viewed as competition, even if we don’t get to see a whole lot of them they exist. And I hate that I feel like I’m grasping at straws when I say that. In a female driven genre like paranormal romance, or hell any genre, female leads with lady friends shouldn’t be the exception.
Ahem. Sorry, got side-tracked. Loved this book. I’m already halfway through the second (thank-you insomnia) and I’m itching to delve deep into this world. Definitely recommend, even though my rage monster buttons were lightly pushed.