Saturday, January 19, 2013

On Grifters: A Review of Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews

Fate's Edge (The Edge, #3)Ever feel like you're just reading something in order to finish the series, but you're no longer that deeply invested? I felt that way with this book. That's not to say that there aren't good things about this book, but oh gods, I had to fight myself a bit to see them.

If you aren't aware, this is actually book 3 in The Edge series. It's hero and heroine are Kaldar and Audrey, respectively. We've met Kaldar in the previous book--he's a cousin to Cerise. Audrey is a former lock pick/thief from a family of con-artists, who now desperately wants to turn straight. But she agrees to do just one last job, steals something huge, and Kaldar ends up charged to get the item back. He enlists her help, and of course, romantic things ensue. He also ends up taking George and Jack, Rose's little brother's from book one, along for the ride. And Gaston, who I honestly still can't picture. But whatever.

So, what works in this book are the elements that always work in Ilona Andrew's books. The action is tense and fun. The fantasy elements are used creatively. The characters are clever, feisty folks that have walked in a lot of morally grey areas and come out mostly good.

The dialogue and chemistry between Kaldar and Audrey is...well, it's there. It's dropped into the book like the authors thought it had to be, "We have to have a hero and a heroine, and they have to make each other's naughty bits tingle. But we can't focus on that too much because, obviously, big world threatening primary plot..." It's probably unfair for me to complain that the romance didn't work for me in a book that is obviously not a romance, and no one promised it would be (accept for Mr. Cover-Art, there's something inexplicably romance-ish about that. But honestly, that's kind of my point. Why have that subplot if you can't or won't take the time to do it justice?

At the same time, I mentioned that I did like the characters, and I did. A lot. I like Kaldar especially. He's a scoundrel in the best possible way. He loves to steal, and get the better of people, but there's no malice in it. He's the best of both worlds in that way.

I liked the decision to include Jack and George in the story. They make interesting side-kicks. For me, they are two of the most natural and interesting characters included in the series. I sort of find myself wishing they'd just skip ahead and give them a book or two. I'd get excited for that.

As for the plot itself...I don't know, it's not poorly written, but I just don't feel that invested. The stakes weren't high enough for me. As I stated in my review of Bayou Moon, the world building is adequate, but it's never been my favorite universe to visit. I almost wanted to see something huge and terrible happen, just so that the overarching world would develop a bit.

For me, these books, this series, has just been okay. I wouldn't say that they're the worst reads you could pick out of the urban fantasy pile, but they aren't the best either. 3 stars.

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