This is a book I bought when it came out but I’ve been saving it for a reading drought (Am I the only one who does this?). I finally indulged last week, secure in the fact that after I read this, Andrews’ newest book, Gunmetal Magic, is available for my Ilona Andrews fix.
This is part of a series of UF/paranormal romances, each book with its own couple set in a world where a magical world overlaps our mundane one:
Book 1: On the Edge (my review: )
Book 2: Bayou Moon (my review: )
The Premise: Audrey Callahan is an Edger trying to go straight. She’s just been hired full time at an investigation agency, she owns a little house in the Edge, and she’s far away from her disappointing con artist family. Audrey is fed up with her parents enabling her brother by using her magical knack with locks to pay the costs of his drug addiction and continually choosing his safety over hers. When he father tracks her down to do a job with big bucks and big risk, this time to pay for a fancy rehab facility, Audrey gives him an ultimatum: either stop bringing Audrey into his schemes, or she helps him steal what he wants and he never contacts her again. As always, her brother’s welfare is chosen over Audrey, but stealing the item isn’t the end of it. She’s soon dealing with the consequences of her bargain when Kaldar Mar shows up. He’s a member of the Adrianglian Mirror, and tracking down the stolen item is his latest assignment. A trickster and thief himself, Kaldar is surprised by how well he works with Audrey. He wouldn’t mind taking things further, but Audrey has had her fill of con artists and rebuffs him at every turn.
My Thoughts: Kaldar was first introduced in the second Edge series book, Bayou Moon, as the fast talking, quick acting cousin of its heroine, Cerise Mar. The family lawyer and matchmaker, Kaldar is a family leader Cerise. He struck me as the type of rakish character that was a shoo-in for his own book, and here we are. Back in Bayou Moon his smarts in the courtroom and his skill with a blade (a Mar family trait), were the traits I remember him for, but in Fate’s Edge, it’s his tricking and thieving that come to the forefront.
At the core of Fate’s Edge is getting back the stolen item, but there are a lot of elements that make it more than your typical quest story. There’s the burgeoning romance between Kaldar and Audrey, trouble in the form of teenaged stowaways George and Jack, elements of horror and action with the Mirror on their tail, and a big keeping scoop of hustling to get the stolen object back.
I am a fan of caper stories, so all the conning and elegant manipulation was fun, and there was plenty of it in Fate’s Edge. It also proved to be a way of showing Audrey and Kaldar’s compatibility – each easily adapting to the other’s lead and balancing out any weaknesses. Brothers George and Jack are included in the cons and they had just as interesting a chemistry (if not more so). If you’ve read the first book in this series (On the Edge), you’ll already know George and Jack as the younger brothers of its heroine, Rose – and a couple of my favorite characters (one is a necromancer, the other a shapeshifter). I was delighted that these two got quite a bit of page time. Their struggles and individual reactions with being seen as ‘Edge rats’ in the Weird were creatively folded into the story. Likewise, there were other cameos from previous characters that didn’t feel gratuitous. We got a chance to see previous couples past their HEA, but also to get an update on old enemies.
As you can tell, there was a lot in this book that was not about Kaldar and Audrey. On one had I loved the non-romantic additions to the plot, but on the other hand, this left less room for romance. Fate’s Edge was the book in the series where the spotlight wasn’t just on the hero and heroine, and this meant the romantic plot felt shorter than in the other Edge books. There was less space to show a slow build up in interest in each other, and it felt like this book relied more heavily on some Romance short-cuts like the hero’s appreciation for the heroine’s butt to show the growing attraction. For the most part, the courtship really happened in what dialogue the two had (a lot of banter – mostly Kaldar making overtures which Audrey smoothly rebuffed) and in their partnership. This was mostly a straightforward woman-falls-for-the-Bad-Boy-despite-herself romance, and I think if there were more space, I’d have liked Audrey’s issues with con men to be deeper delved into. This is not to say the romance wasn’t sweet, just that it was I don’t think I quite got all the emotional impact I wanted because there were other things in the plot vying for focus.
Overall: Fate’s Edge delivers an entertaining story with devious scams, kick-ass fights, and further development of characters and long running plots, but while I felt like the romance was solid, it felt like it was less of a focus of the plot as it was in the previous Edge books. This was an installment where the plot was far more than a vehicle to propel a romance forward. Thus the romance was not quite of the same caliber as the previous books (at least in my mind), but this was balanced out by the elements that took focus from the romance: the extended cameos from George and Jack (first introduced in On the Edge), the thrill of the con, and peeks into what could come next.
Chachic’s Book Nook – positive
The Book Pushers – A
Lurv a la Mode – 3 scoops (out of 5)
Read. Breathe. Relax – “I was disappointed”
Fantasy and SciFi – “Fun, but contrived”
Tynga’s Reviews – “Fate’s Edge just might be my favourite book in the series so far.”