Saturday, October 24, 2009

On The Edge - Ilona Andrews


On The Edge
Ilona Andrews
Ace

Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

This is the first novel I’ve read by this author, but it certainly won’t be the last. The world she’s built here is as complex and realistic as any I’ve encountered. In fact, it’s a world in three parts. The normal, non-magical part is called the Broken. The magical world is known as the Weird. In between, there’s an overlap of sorts called the Edge. Those who live in the Edge possess varying degrees of magical abilities. They’re usually able to cross into the Broken, and they have to, in order to earn money to live. The people of the Edge are not wealthy. Most of them were born there, and with no birth certificates or Social Security numbers, they work low-paying, cash-under-the-table jobs just to feed their families.

Rose Drayton is an Edger with more magic than most. That makes her special, and it also makes her a target for other Edger families who would like her to make their next generation stronger. There was even an incident with a slaver from the Weird. With two little brothers to care for, Rose is determined to stay put and protect what little is hers. When Declan appears outside their ward stone barrier, she can tell by his clothing that he’s a blueblood from the Weird. That means he’s trouble.

There are more dangerous things in the Edge than a renegade noble who may have not very noble plans for her. There are creatures no one, not even the eldest and most magical residents, have ever seen. They look like hounds from hell, and they’re attracted to and consume magic. There are already Edgers missing. Declan wins Rose’s momentary gratitude by protecting her neighbors, but she can’t trust him. They agree on three challenges. If she can stump him, he goes back to the Weird empty-handed. If not, she’ll have to leave her home and go with him.

The narrative grabbed me in the first few sentences, and the swift pacing made it very hard to put down this novel. The first few pages see Rose dealing with her zombified Grandfather. He’s that way because one of her brothers can raise the dead and couldn’t bear to let him go. The energy it takes to keep things alive is slowly draining the life from him, but he can’t stop himself. Her youngest brother was born a cat and works very hard to overcome his instincts. Rose’s Grandmother is a witch of some power, and the matriarch of the family. This is urban fantasy with a good dose of horror/gore and more. The great news for readers new to this author is that this is a standalone and a wonderful introduction. Now that I’ve read this one, I may have to go back and start at the beginning of her Kate Daniels series, too. Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy.

Rating: 8 ½
October 2009
ISBN# 978-0-441-01780-5 (paperback)

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