On The Edge is the first book in the new series 'The Edge' by Ilona Andrews, author of one of my most favourite series, Kate Daniels. So I was looking forward to this book with excitement.
Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, a place between the Broken (our world) where magic doesn't exist and is a myth, and the Weird, where technology doesn't exist and magic rules. Being an Edger gives Rose the ability to cross the boundaries from one world to the other, but she doesn't really belong in either.
An Edgers most powerful weapon is their flash, a bolt of magic like lightning. Everyone has it to a different extent, and Rose has the most powerful flash an Edger has had in 100 years. It makes her hated and envied amongst the Edgers, and wanted among the noble bluebloods of the Weird as a 'broodmare'. All Rose wants is to make enough money at her minimum wage job in the Broken to put food on the table for her younger brothers, 10 year old Georgie who's a necromancer and 8 year old Jack who is a changeling.
But bad stuff keeps happening to Edgers. There is a darkness around that's going after the most powerful Edgers, taking their magic, feeding on it. At the same time, Rose is approached by a blueblood from the Weird, Declan, who is determined to have Rose. But with her brothers and other Edgers at risk of being destroyed, he agrees to team up with Rose and the Edgers to fight the danger. If they can.
I love this book, it wasn't a disappointment at all. What did surprise me, is how much I loved it. It couldn't match the brilliance of Kate Daniels with a single book, but with more it may well do just that. Rose is a strong character, with family at the center of her heart. She would do anything for her brothers, who she's raised since her father left them in search of some 'big treasure', years after their mothers death.
Told in third person, predominantly from Rose's POV but with snatches from others, it contains much more romance than the Kate series. But there is plenty of action too and is a well balanced plot, not too much of one thing before going back to the other. Like the Kate series, the characters are well formed with flaws and plenty of intelligence. The book contains plenty of witchcraft, changelings (shape shifters), necromancers and many other magical beings. All within a well thought out and developed world with boundaries and rules, where actions have consequences. Making for a great, realistic (as urban fantasy/paranormal romance can get) book to get your teeth in to. There isn't quite so much humor in this as the Kate series, or I didn't so, but there were some good moments, and the last page in particular made me crack up.
The first Kate Daniels book wasn't spectacular, in fact, it took a lot to get in to it and at the end it was still nothing more than 'okay', compared to Magic Bites alone, this is a better start to a series. The world building is done carefully without dragging on the plot in big chunks, instead you're fed it in bits as the book goes on, learning more as it goes on. There aren't so many twists and turns in this, and less surprises as a result, but that doesn't stop it being a very good read and a great introduction to a new world and series.
Whether you'd class the book as urban fantasy, fantasy or paranormal romance, I'm not sure. There isn't really enough 'urban' to it for it to be UF, but it's not true fantasy either. And although there is a strong romance plot, it's not the whole thing. Still, I suppose each is close enough as a guide of the basic genre. And it's a great book! I really look forward to more in this world.