by Ilona Andrews
Series: Novel of the Edge #2
Publication Date: September 28, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
I’d been told ages ago that The Edge series got better as it went along. And this second entry was certainly different from the first.
We start off with just one of the characters that played a part in On the Edge, the werewolf, William. He’s approached by the Weird’s version of the CIA to retrieve something from another clan in another part of the Edge, in the Louisiana territory, where shifters are killed on principle.
Cerise’s family is old and used to part of the aristocracy of the Weird, but was banished generations ago. They live in a constant state of feud with another old family, and her parents have been kidnapped in the feud’s latest volley. But there’s another hand running this latest skirmish and it’s after the knowledge Cerise’s grandparents took with them to their graves. Or maybe not.
This book has a much more sci-fi feel than any of Andrews’ other books save for the Innkeeper series, which came along later. It’s not science fiction in the strict sense, because what’s done by the antagonist of the story is done entirely with magic, but the scientific processes are applied to these magical ‘experiments’. The results are cryptozoological creatures that are a horrifying mix of plant, animal and human. I’m not, generally, a fan of this kind of thing, and it was the part of the book I liked the least.
The characters overcame this though. There was just something about Cerise’s huge family that was endearing; all of them vastly different from each other and as a whole a lot of fun to read about.
The final battle was … unsatisfactory. The thing they overlooked seemed too big a thing to overlook, especially for William who fought this antagonist twice before. And the ending was too fairy tale for my tastes, coming within sight of being twee.
It’s sort of a weird book for me, because I was enjoying it as I read it, but after finishing remembered as many of the bits that I didn’t like as I did the bits I did. But overall, a good read.
I read this for Halloween Bingo 2021 and it definitely fits the Cryptozoology square, with its characters that are human/plant/animal hybrids. It would also work for Mad Scientists and Evil Geniuses, as well as Terror in a Dark Town, and Shifter.