- Title: On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1)
- Classification: Adult Fiction
- Genre: Paranormal Romance
- Format: Paperback; 336 pages
- Publisher: Ace; Original edition (September 29, 2009)
- ISBN-10: 0441017800
- ISBN-13: 978-0441017805
Rose Drayton and her family live in a world in between. It resides on the edge of this world (the Broken) and one where magic dwells (the Weird). "Two dimensions, existing side by side like mirror images of each other. In the place where the dimensions "touched," they intersected slightly, forming a narrow ribbon of land that belonged to them both--the Edge. In the Weird, magic pooled deeply; in the Edge it was a shallow trickle. But in the Broken, no magic shielded them at all." Most who lived in the Edge were not of purebred magic lineage and were thought of as mongrels or a mixed breeds.
In the Edge and in the Weird, people could use their magical abilities. Some could raise the dead, others could put a curse on you, some could foretell the future, some can change form, but any who had magic within them could learn to flash. A talent which required you to harness "the magic inside you and channel it from your body in a controlled burst that looked like a whip or a ribbon of lightning." The lighter the color of your flash, the more powerful it proved to be, and if strong enough, it became a powerful weapon which could be used to kill or maim others.
Rose was born to two Edgers and when she flashed white at her graduation she thought she'd finally get the respect she deserved. That she'd be offered a high paying job and all her families financial problems would be solved. She, however, thought wrong. Instead of the high paying job offer she was seen as a means to breed children with magical abilities greater than the average magical person. So instead of being greeted with the steady flow of job offers that she was hoping for, she was offered only a flood of marriage proposals and proposals of an indecent nature, by those who wished not to soil the family tree with a marriage to someone they considered low bred. So a whole new can of worms was opened where men and their families sought her out with less then noble intentions seeing her as little more than a broodmare. You'd think knowing what she'd could do would scare them off, but it only made some more determined. In a world where magic was power and power is a much sought after commodity. So when she finds a stranger on her property, she knows what he's after. When he confirms it by stating that he won't leave until he gets what he wants, he proposes the following:
"There's a traditional way to resolve this. Challenge me."
"What?" Rose blinked.
"Give me three challenges," he said. "Three tasks. I'll excel at each one. When I succeed, you'll come to me willingly and you'll obey me."
"And if you fail?"
He permitted himself a half smile. "Don't concern your self with that possibility. I won't."
On the heels of this proposal, it becomes clear someone is targeting families who live in the Edge. People are disappearing and magical creatures are found to be lurking in areas they shouldn't be. The Edge appears to be under attack, and maybe Rose can use her suitor to her and the other Edgers' advantage.
I have to confess that while I loved the concept of two dimensions living side by side, one normal and one magical, I didn't really love the name 'Weird' being used to refer to the magical realm. To me, well, it was just too generic a name and I just didn't care for it. I would think anyone with magical abilities wouldn't think such a place was weird, but that's just me.
I loved Rose and how she took over the care of her siblings after her mother and grandfather died and her father went missing. I kept wondering why Rose's grandmother didn't take over their care or move in with them to help out, but I liked that Rose stepped up to the plate. To her, family was everything. I liked how she was strong and kept a level head even when most would probably would have lost it. I also admired how even though she had every right not to, she still kept a positive, while being cautious, outlook on things and didn't sweat the little things.
Declan was a fun character. He started out seeming to be a bit of a stuffed shirt blueblood who thought a little too highly of himself, but slowly, as we got to know him, he started to grow on me. His initial statement, "you'll obey me," made me think he was a bit behind the times and not what Rose needed. I liked how he took the time to get to know Rose, and how he looked out for her and her younger brothers. I enjoyed how they managed to work together to combat the forces that were trying to annihilate those who lived in the Edge. I also like the little twist about who he was at the end.
Georgie, Rose's brother, was an interesting character who could bring things back to life. It reminded me a little of pet cemetery--a little less scary but just as creepy. I liked how Declan was able to reason with Georgie when Rose and everyone else couldn't. I felt it was a rather sweet moment when Georgie finally understood what everyone had been trying to tell him about his powers.
Overall, I gave it a 4 out of 5 roses. I loved the world building that went into this book and look forward to finding more about the Weird for which we only got a brief glimpse of in this book. I sneaked a peek and the synopsis of following books and see we were already introduced to William, Declan's former best friend, who will be a main character in Bayou Moon. I'm looking forward to his story and loved what we already know about the shape shifting man. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scored a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.