Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews


Title: On the Edge (Edge, #1) 

Author: Ilona Andrews

Rating: 4.5 Stars

You know, in life there are moments when you think your emotion towards someone or something cannot possibly increase more than what it already is, but then they do or write something that makes you eat your previous words. With Ilona Andrews, I feel as if I am constantly in a state of, “I love them; this is their best book yet…it can’t get any better than this!” and then it does. I’ll tell you right now, it’s a terrific feeling. If there’s one duo I can count on to make me laugh, swoon, or get me out of a bad day, it is Ilona Andrews and, believe me, you want these two on your side. (Or, you know, locked up in a basement writing more books for you to devour!)

On the Edge is the first book in the Edge Chronicles, a series of Urban Fantasy stand-alones that take place in a realm called – you guessed it! – the Edge. Unlike the Kate Daniels Series, where the world-building takes its own sweet time to become properly defined and realized, the world-building in the Edge Chronicles is shockingly clear and concise, proving to be ever bit as original and captivating as it sounds. We have the Broken, or the human world, the Weird, a world fueled by magic and ruled by aristocrats, and the Edge, right in between them both. It is in the Edge that our protagonist, Rose, lives with her two younger brothers, struggling to make ends meet with a low-wage-earning job in the Broken. With her mother dead and father gone, the sole responsibility for her two younger brothers rests on Rose’s young shoulders.

Enter: Declan. Declan is a blueblood aristocrat from the Weird, searching for a bride with strong magical abilities – like Rose. Although Declan resolves to woo her by fulfilled any three tasks she so wishes to set upon him, Rose has bigger threats to worry about – especially with a strange new beast in the Edge. It is clear from this set-up itself that Ilona Andrews has a bit of a formulaic set-up here: a loyal kick-ass heroine who is relatively alone in the world, an alpha male (and very rich!) hero who wants her, and mystical threats for them to combat together. Yet, despite this recipe, Ilona Andrews always manages to make it work and add a few twists into it as the same time.

Rose is a heroine I instantly liked, connecting with her strong nature, fierce protection of her younger brothers, and need to be perfect all on her own. As the novel progresses, we slowly uncover her past; the destruction of any family life she’s ever known and her mistrust of men, love, and bluebloods from the Weird. For them, strong magical bloodlines are all that matters and Rose is convinced that Declan wants her for her potent abilities, not who she really is. Furthermore, Rose is a struggling woman in a world with other struggling people. It is her who is forced to make tough decisions, such as to buy new shoes for one brother while forgoing a gift for the other. In addition, her brothers have their own magical abilities, one as a necromancer and the other as a shapeshifter. Yet, despite her obvious difficulties in taking care of her siblings, the bond between the three is strong and unbreakable. Rose is, to her brother, a figure they can lean on and trust. In fact, the only problem is that Rose has no one to lean on herself.

It is Declan, though, who slowly makes his way into her heart and life. With the trials she sets for him, he becomes closer and closer to her family, the most important part of her existence, and subsequently, her as well. No one writes Adult Urban Fantasy Romance like Ilona Andrews – no one – and that much is evident from this story. Declan and Rose’s romance, although not as long and drawn out as Kate and Curran’s (which spans over four novels before they finally get together), is just as rewarding, meaningful, and heartfelt. Ilona Andrews keeps everything real – or as real as it can be with magic around – and the true-to-life struggles that these two faced in their relationship made it come alive for me.

All in all, On the Edge is not a book to be missed, both for fans and newcomers to the writings of Ilona Andrews. In many ways, I find that this series is more accessible than Kate Daniels, simply because its beginning starts out so strong. Yet, whatever it is readers pick up by this duo, it is certain that they won’t be disappointed, whether by the romance or the action-filled plot line itself, full of mythology and heavy lore. Furthermore, the world Ilona Andrews has created, one with shapeshifters, necromancers, and magic co-existing in a secret world next to our own, is just as memorable as their futuristic Atlanta with vampires, shapeshifters, and mercenaries. Honestly, I just don’t think “disappointment” is a word in the repertoire of this fantastic duo.

17 comments:

  1. Fantastic review, Keertana! I only recently discovered this series, but I already know I'll be reading it. I still need to catch up with the Kate Daniels books though. I'm ridiculously behind now! Still, I'm looking forward to reading about Rose and Declan. I'm glad that they (and this book) made such a great and positive impression on you. :)

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  2. YEAH KEERTANA! I'm so happy you enjoyed this one too! It's funny, as much as I enjoyed this book for some reason I still haven't picked up the remainder of the series. I'm behind on Kate Daniels too. I FAIL!!! I need to get caught up immediately! I agree this series definitely started stronger than KD, and I was sucked right into this world:) Awesome review my friend!

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  3. All the books in the The Edge series are great! I love how Ilona Andrews picks minor characters from earlier books and brings them out front and center as the series progresses.

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  4. Yay! I'm excited to read this one! Great review!

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  5. Before blogging I didn't even realised Urban fantasy as a genre existed. I just thought it was all Paranormal Romance to be honest.

    Still, I haven't read much in the way of Urban Fantasy, but your love of Ilona Andrews is definitely convincing me to check her out as an author. She sounds really great.

    This book sounds really good too and I admit, the cover has me intrigued.

    Awesome review, Tana! :)

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  6. Ilona Andrews has now been added to the very top of my list of adult authors to read! And a 4.5 rated book? I think I'm going to need to get this one asap! I'm glad you liked everything (from characters to the romance) because sometimes it doesn't work.

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  8. So I'm a bit sleep deprived at the moment (I can barely keep my eyes open, but I still have homework left to do, and am currently taking a mini-break from it) so please do forgive me if this comment is utter craziness and complete crap, Keertana.

    But when you first said the Illona Andrews duo, I was thinking: ?!?. It took a little bit for the fact that the name is a pseudonym for two authors to settle in. Yeah, I'm pretty slow at the present moment.

    But anyways, I'm so glad that you loved this book to pieces! The world-building sounds phenomenal, I mean, I absolutely want to read about a place called the Weird. Call me weird, but that sounds enticing! (Yes, that was an extremely bad attempt at a pun.)

    And the romance. While I'm surprised to hear that the other series this duo has written had a romance that spawned 4 (?!) books, it seems as if this romance is pretty slow-burning, which is something that I'm loving the sound of. Far too much do I see insta-love, so I think something much slower is going to be such a welcome change from the norm.

    Fabulous review as always, Keertana! <3

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  9. I think you're right about this series being more accessible, but I never really connected with the characters as much. Still, one can always count on Ilona and Gordon to distract, amuse and entertain. I'm not really fond if these PNR-type series in which main characters change with each new installment, but if someone can pull it off, it's them.
    Great review, hon!

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  10. Oh wow I didn't even know that Ilona Andrews had a separate series to Kate Daniels, but this sounds fantastic! I love how they've managed to mix it up so well with a well driven plot but also a sweet little romance. I also love it when I fall in love with a book or series, which I hold in such high regard but the author manages to top it with something even more brilliant! This is an awesome review Keertana, I'm glad you're having fun devouring Ilona's books! :)

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  11. The romance, mythology, the different paranormal "species" and the action all make this sound like a winner.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  12. I got later books in the series for review but never read them because I hadn't read the first book. Sounds like I really need to get busy and read this series though! I'm really curious about this world, especially. And I kind of love the name Declan.

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  13. I am a big fan of Kate Daniels, but for some reason I still haven't picked up this series yet! But I must amend that immediately if you rated this so highly and liked the characters so much. Thanks for that little nudge, Keertana. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  14. I must read this immediately if not sooner, Keertana!! I'm so excited about anything Ilona Andrews puts out after going completely gaga over Kate Daniels. I'm thrilled to learn this is a stand-alone. It will be a nice change to have the romance and story develop and end in one book. Excellent review, my dear!! :)

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  15. Seriously, this review makes me ridiculously happy. You know how much I love this series, and I was so excited when you picked it up and loved it as well. I just love Rose and her family, and I love that they have REAL problems (like using the gas money to buy shoes) that so many people out there really have but are so rarely reflected in books. I love their focus on family in general, and I really can't get enough Ilona Andrews. Ever.

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