On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Synopsis from GoodReads:
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.
This was a quick, entertaining read. Definitely an improvement on Magic Burns, the first Ilona Andrews book I read, especially in terms of romantic relationship dynamics.
Both Rose and Declan, the main characters, had moments of maturity and immaturity, which I thought suited them well considering what we later learn of Rose’s background and how her tantrums and changes brought out Declan’s less mature side. Speaking of background, the later explanations cleared up the character inconsistencies I noticed throughout the first two-thirds of the book, explaining why Declan, in particular, seemed to be all over the place character-wise, making it clear that there was a method to the madness.
Back to the romance for a bit, since this is a paranormal romance. So usually in PRs, there’s a power imbalance, one that usually favors the male. And, yes, that was present in On the Edge but it was nowhere near as bad as it usually is thanks to Rose’s dedication towards practicing the Flash, the offensive magic everyone is capable of accessing. Her dedication combined with what is likely natural talent leads to her being able to pick up Flash techniques quickly and, while she can’t compete with Declan, at least in this case it’s implied to be more because he was black ops for seven years while she wasn’t.
It’s not mentioned in the summary, but Declan makes Rose give him three challenges. If he loses one, he walks away from her forever but if he wins all three then she’s his. Fairy tale logic at it’s finest. And, yes, that probably sounds horrible, and I was all ready to be pissy about it, but later developments fully cleared up why Declan went about ‘courting’ Rose this way.
On the subject of the challenges, I thought Rose’s first two were good, family-oriented tasks, but the third one was the one I was most impressed by. She took her trust issues and her grandmother’s concerns and figured out a way for Declan to definitively answer them. I wasn’t happy with his response to the challenge – the silent treatment, really? – especially because he’d seen how Edgers lived and heard about Rose’s background and her grandmother’s at that point and should have been able to understand where Rose was coming from.
I wish more had been done with William, as I feel he got a bit underutilized. I get that he’s going to be the ‘star’ of the next book in the series, but considering his relationships with Rose, Declan, and the main antagonist, I expected to see a bit more of him.
And I want to see more of the world. I liked what we did get to see, but I’m hoping for more of the Weird in the next book. I mean, the historical changes alone sound fascinating, not to mention the politics and what-not. And of course I want to see more Edger magic. Curses, raising of the dead, and more.
Finally, I wish we’d gotten Declan’s POV. Since this is third person limited with rotating narrators (although mostly Rose and her brothers), it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to give us that and it would’ve helped me at least sympathize with him a bit more. Even if it had come late in the book I would’ve appreciated it.
3.5 out of 5 stars. A nice, quick paranormal romance.