On the Edge by Ilona Andrews is the story of the space between two worlds, one magical and one not, and the tough village that lives there, minding their own business, until good and evil have to bring all of their drama to the Edgers’s lives. It doesn’t help that the good guy is so dang hot!
I love Ilona Andrews’s writing and am seriously flabbergasted that I have yet to review anything by this awesome husband and wife duo. When I was feeling the need for something easy and fast and yet refreshingly imaginative and enthralling, I knew what book to pick up. I just wish that I had started On the Edge (first in the Edge series) sooner!
Title: On the Edge
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre-ish: Urban Fantasy, but so original
Rating: ★★★★★ - awesome read, check it out!
Setting: A world similar to ours is called the Broken, and a world with the same continents but with magic as a common part of life, called the Weird, lie close to each other but only touching at one strip around the dimensions. It just so happens that they even overlap a little bit, and this overlap is called the Edge. The Edge is a place with some magic, but no where near as much as the Weird. Only certain types of people can live in the Edge, people who tend to have only one magical gift. The Edge has no police, no government, and Edgers tend to keep their heads down and scrape by a living as they can.
Premise: Rose is just such an Edger, who happens to have a very powerful magical flash weapon in addition to her cursing ability, and due to her above average amount of magic, she attracts a bit too much attention. Declan is not the first person from the Weird to come looking for the strangely magical Edger girl living on her own and raising her two brothers. Rose thinks nothing of this ridiculously attractive, but equally annoying, blueblod until truly evil beings start appearing in her small Edge town. It seems like Declan isn’t everything he wants her to believe after all….
- Believe me when I say that Ilona Andrews can write! Every book I pick up from them flows brilliantly from the pages and builds an amazing world and characters to fill it. I can’t get enough!
- Speaking of characters, wow! Rose and Declan are great and all, but there are a lot of books with great leading pairs. The part of On the Edge that really shined for me were the secondary characters and how their stories and struggles weaved into the plot. I didn’t cry when Rose and Declan were in trouble, I cried when poor little Georgie, Rose’s necromancer kid brother, was hurting! Rose’s family and friends and enemies are so well structured both for the plot and for the world building. I want to meet these people and cuddle those adorable little kids!
- The other thing that I love about Ilona Andrews books and On the Edge in particular is the originality. Urban fantasy is a genre that is getting very stale. There are only so many vampire and werewolf plots out there. On the Edge is so fresh with new approaches to the genre. Magical gifts in the Edge tend to be things like cursing people (ie setting a curse on them), raising living things from the dead and being born an animal who has to learn to shift to human. In addition, anyone can learn to flash. Depending on how strong a person is and how much practice they put in, their flash (which is basically just a magic energy weapon that can be shaped various ways) will be of a certain strength. This power is what Rose ends up relying on much more than the gift she was born with! This is so refreshing from the typical born-special protagonist!
- Rose is an eighteen year old girl who is dirt poor and trying to raise her kid brothers on her own. This makes parts of the book a bit stressful, since money worries were the last thing I needed to be thinking about ;-). Those sorts of real life struggles just were a bit too stressful for my reading-as-an-escape efforts.
- There is a sex scene, gasp I know. This book is fairly tame for an adult urban fantasy, but do be warned that On the Edge is probably not for a younger audience ;-).
The whole fact that those weaknesses are obviously a bit stretched shows how much I loved On the Edge. It was just what I needed this weekend, and I highly recommend it for anyone who has been feeling a little tired of all the books they have been picking up! On the Edge brings us back to the things we loved about urban fantasy: original ideas with magic, fast-paced and fun writing, lovable characters and a swoon-worthy romance that is well built up! I highly recommend you going to the library and picking up any Ilona Andrews you can find, especially On the Edge if you were a fan of Kate Daniels!