Publication date: September 29th 2009
My rating: 4.5 stars
Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.
Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).
But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.
On the Edge was a unique gem from the amazing husband and wife writing team, Ilona Andrews. If you’re looking for a strong female character, clever banter, and romance that builds to a slow burn, look no further. Their Kate Daniels series won me over as a fan, and this story only increased my love of their writing.
Rose lives in the Edge, a world in between the Broken: our normal world, and the Weird: a world where magic dominates. She lives with her two younger brothers, having to take over the role of parent since her mother died and her father took off. Rose makes barely enough money in the Broken to care for their needs, and she struggles to keep her brothers behaving while trying to provide. Behaving takes special restraint when you have magic powers like Rose’s little brothers do. Rose is also gifted magically, not that this has made much of a difference in her life so far, other than make her a target for unwanted advances.
Enter Declan, an aristocrat from the Weird. He shows up demanding things of Rose and with his striking green eyes and looks that make any girl go weak in the knees he might be hard to refuse, but Rose is not about to lie down and take anything from him. Least of all his bossing around! But there’s something in the Edge killing, and it seems Declan and Rose must work together to defeat the threat.
This was such a strange and different story, in the very best way. The magic and world described felt like no other I’ve read about. Granted, I haven’t read very many Urban Fantasy novels but this was definitely unique to me, yet easy to grasp. One thing I’ve noticed about Ilona Andrews’ writing is that they do not mire their stories down with endless descriptions that make your eyes glaze over in boredom. Rather, they give you just enough to set the world up perfectly. This was the case with On the Edge.
Another area where this story shines is in the smart and witty banter. Both Rose and Declan are strong characters so when they come together there is a wonderful push and pull between them that will have you cracking up:
“If you touch me, I’ll hit you with this chair,” she ground out.
“I had no idea you enjoyed rough courtship,” he said with a straight face. “It was never my particular favorite, but I’ll do my best to play along, provided I’ll get you in the end.”
Rose opened her mouth, but nothing came out.
“If you kiss me, I promise to be quiet for a very long time.”
Many exchanges like this had me laughing throughout the story.
Rose is a wonderfully crafted heroine. There is no frustrating or stupid decision making, no whining that make you grit your teeth. Just a woman that works with what she has and tries to get by. This woman is not without defenses either, she has some pretty cool powers. There’s also a sweet side to this story: Rose’s relationship with her younger brothers. She was so caring always putting their needs ahead of her own. The boys as well as Rose’s grandmother were well fleshed-out secondary characters that you grow to love.
This is a first in a series but this story wraps up nicely, and the next one focuses on another secondary character. I have to say you really can’t go wrong with Ilona Andrews. So far I’ve loved everything they’ve written.