"The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people 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...
Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swath of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan's long-time rivals are suspect number one.
But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge - and Cerise's life. William, a changeling soldier who'd left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation's spymaster.
When William's and Cerise's missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly - but they'll have to work together if they want to succeed...and survive."
Bayou Moon is the second book in The Edge series by husband and wife writing team, Ilona and Andrew Gordon under the pseudonym Ilona Andrews. Ilona and Gordon's Kate Daniels series is one of my favourite series full stop, so of course when they started The Edge series, it was a must read for me. The first book, On The Edge, was very good and I loved it, but it is very different to the Kate series. While reading On The Edge I had a feeling, much as I liked it, that (rather like the Kate series actually) that I'd enjoy book 2 even more. I wasn't wrong, I adored this one!!
Bayou Moon follows William, the wolf changeling from On The Edge, in his continued hunt for his old enemy Spider. He was quite possibly my favourite character from OTE, despite not being the main role or the hero of the story. He's so deeply damaged, no family, a trained killer, someone who wants nothing more than a family of his own. There is something heartbreaking about reading the first chapter of this book, seeing him playing with the action figures he's bought himself to try and have some of the childhood he was denied.
William is hunting Spider in the Edge when his path crosses that of Cerise Mar. The Mar's are land rich but cash poor and her parents, head of the family, have just disappeared. It's thought that their long term rivals are responsible, but she soon learns that Spider has a hand in it as well. Cerise has to lead her family against their rivals knowing not everyone will survive. She realises William will be a valuable asset going up against Spider, but with sparks flying between them and secrets that could ruing everything, nothing is simple.
I didn't have any problems getting in to this book, I was hooked from the start. It's written in third person, mostly from William and Cerise's POV's but the occasional snippet from others as well gives a fuller view of what's going on. I already loved William and my love for him just grew through the book. Cerise is a new character to the series and it didn't take me long at all to like her as well. She's pretty awesome actually. She's completely dedicated to her family, smart, brave and a hell of a fighter. Cerise is no damsel in distress and I love her for it. I love her snark and how she insists on calling William 'Lord Bill' despite his constant 'it's William'. So funny watching them rile each other up. The chemistry between them was played pretty perfectly. Misunderstandings crop up as well as some big secrets and while my heart ached for them at times, they were just as likely to crack me up with their attempts at flirtation.
But the romance is only half the plot. The other half is taken up with Cerise's hunt to get her parents back, and William's determination to find and kill Spider. There is plenty of action and tension as they try to figure out exactly what's going on, what Spider is after and such. I was hanging on the story all the way through wanting, needing, to know what happened and if either or both of them would succeed in their aims, and of course if they'd manage to make things work between them.
Like all of Ilona and Gordon's books it's a vividly drawn story with such well rounded characters that I find easy to care about. One thing that shines very brightly through their books is the semblance of family. Children/teens and parental type roles don't play a big role in urban fantasy/paranormal romance etc. books, but it's an aspect I always feel adds something extra, something more real to a book. It's a complex issue to add though and it doesn't always work, but so far Ilona and Gordon have gotten it spot on every time and Bayou Moon is no exception. I love the family relationships in it and how they change and grow with the issues faced.
Another big hit from a favourite author. Bayou Moon is spectacular, intense, sweet and funny as well. The mix of magic and real world felt more settled and solid than it did in On The Edge, maybe just because I already understood the world, but whatever the reason, it did feel more solid than book one. It was fantastic from beginning to end and let some interesting things open for future books. I can't wait!