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Edge (Josh Cumberland #1)

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  182 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
The Tyndall Corporation has sold the world to hell. They've countered escalating knife crime by legalising duelling and made daily life into a reality TV show. The streets are red with blood. There are only two people left who can save us. This is their story.
Paperback, 380 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 13, 2011 Eh?Eh! rated it it was ok
This disappointed. I've heard others' excitement about this publisher (Angry Robot) and the blurb for this sounded fantastic, a blurb that caused me to lay down a Don LaFontaine voice as I read it with certain words and phrases punching out - knives!, duel!, blood!, hell!, legalised (because we're in Britain) knife fights!, blood!, black!, endless winter!, two people!, save!, this is their story!...cue the swelling strings and tourniquet off your limbs! Doesn't that all imply that knives will be ...more
The cover of this book is a lot cooler than the book itself.

I was kind of hoping for a Battle Royale / Hunger Games sort of thing. But with knives. There is some fighting with knives and there is a reality tv show that has knife fights in it, that seems an awful lot like the UFC reality TV show and England in this dreary future has professional knife-fighters who go at it in a cage, but that is all pretty much in the background.

Instead this is a sort of a run of the mill action novel starring
Scott Holstad
Jan 17, 2016 Scott Holstad rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
In a word: stupid. The book. And myself. Let me tell you how insipid I am. I got sucked in by the cool book cover. As did a ton of other people, apparently. As Eh?Eh! said in their Goodreads review of 2/14/11, “knives!, duel!, blood!, hell!, legalised (because we're in Britain) knife fights!, blood!, black!, endless winter!, two people!, save!, this is their story!” Yep, that’s pretty good. Someone named “Megan” wrote in her Goodreads review of 10/16/11, “I’m not going to lie, I bought this book ...more
Sam Kyle
I was really intrigued by the premise of this book. A futuristic dystopian society where knife fighting is legal?Count me in! I was expecting it to be a kind of Hunger Games style book, where the dystopian world was explored through the POV of a professional knife-fighter who has to kill people on live TV.

That is not what I got.

This book is about an ex-soldier, Josh Cumberland, who is hired by a rich guy to track down his missing kid, Richard. Richard is 'hoplophobic' which means he's afraid o
Nov 05, 2010 Greg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I thought this was a great book and hard to put down. The depiction of the near future felt right on. Any book that has a Firefly reference can't be all that bad, can it? :)
Travis O.
Dec 28, 2011 Travis O. rated it liked it
Due to school and other responsibilities, this review has been longer in the makes than I would have liked. That said, I’ve wanted to write a review about Edge since I started reading it. It was recommended to me by an editor at Electric Velocipede (send them well-wishes! Bring the Velocipede back!), and I’m glad for her recommendation. Though I had to put Edge aside a few times to read other stuff for school, I was always eager to come back.

I’ll start by saying this: Edge is much more than the
Oct 16, 2011 Megan rated it did not like it
(Re-posted from

I’m not going to lie, I bought this book for the cover. I didn’t read the blurb, I didn’t read the first page, all of the little steps that bridge the gap between a book and my bookshelves flew out the window in the face of that cover. Knife fights! Blood! Duels! Sounds most excellent to me.

When the book arrived I dared to think I had been rewarded for my rash purchase. The back blurb promised a dystopic future Britain where knife fighting had b
Lisa H.
Aug 04, 2012 Lisa H. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
First off, I looked at this guy's name and said, that has to be a pen name. I mean, come on - "Thomas Blackthorne"? Conjures up images of some suave, highly competent, rugged individualist, doesn't it? (I was right, BTW.)

For those reviewers who complain that the cover led them to believe the book was going to be something else entirely, I can only say I hope they weren't really anticipating that the whole story was going to be about the knife-fighting competition that features here, and which is
Jan 11, 2013 Steven rated it it was ok
I liked the idea, but this book could've been rated higher had it fixed a few issues.

First, while I liked most of the tech described in the story, there is one instance in which the novel places itself historically with great specificity (e.g., 40 years after Thatcher). That puts us at 2030, and the sheer scale of technology is unbelievable. A windfarm along the bank of the Thames and solar barges? Cargo airships? Nano-everything (clothing, shoes, etc.)? It's just too much to believe could happ
Roy Wagner 709
Ms51 Readin Response:ELA

After I read this book I was thinking about what the writer REALLY wanted me to take out of it. I think that the main point of this whole book is that one tiny fear, or disability can ruin your life sometimes. The whole chain of disasters that happened to Richard was somehow linked to his hoplophobia (the fear of weaponry). Saying that if you are afraid of one thing, even just a small thing it can limit your life and choices.

Richards’s hoplophobia has dimm
Jan 29, 2011 Kami rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
3 1/2 stars.

This novel started out so strongly, then degraded a bit into your run of the mill spy novel, which was disappointing to me. I was promised a sci-fi novel extraordinaire. Don't get me wrong, it's an enjoyable read; the characters are fun and snarky, the setting is brilliant (though like I said above, I wanted MORE of it instead of it just being a backdrop that was explored briefly and then assumed to be present through the rest of the story), and it moves at a quick, readable pace. Bu
Ryan Smith
Feb 10, 2011 Ryan Smith rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
What sold me on this book was the back flap and cover description. Unfortunately, they did for this book what the trailers do to M Night Shymalan movies. They painted a very different picture of what's actually coming, so that what you get is most certainly not what you thought you were getting.

I don't blame the author for this. He probably thought it would be properly marketed as a sci fi near future thriller, but ended up watching his book being sold as a duel-centric, gritty, dancing-with-dea
Kyle Maas
Mar 29, 2013 Kyle Maas rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
Part "Taken" part "V for Vendetta", a fast paced, urban science-fiction set apart by the quality of writing and depth of its characters. A great read.

A near future, post, well, not really apocalyptic, more economic downfall, book, "Edge" takes place in Britain and follows the disheartened and disenfranchised Josh Cumberland; an ex-special operative now searching for hope in a world where it is hard to find. And as cheesy as that may sound, this is exactly what makes this book work. Set against a
Sep 06, 2011 Kelly rated it it was ok
Weird book. I read another Goodreads review that mentioned buying it just because the cover design was so slick, and this did play a factor. Also, I'd just finished reading Lauren Beukes' two books and was feeling generally warm and fuzzy about the Angry Robot imprint.

I feel like there are many other versions of this book where the story is about a near-future dystopic UK and there are three separate narratives about a biofeedback trauma psychologist, an ex-Special Forces soldier with PTSD and
Jan 25, 2013 Deidre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes John Meaney
I see lots of people didn't really like this. I thought it was great. I like John Meaney's Tristopolis books.

This is set in the near future in the UK. The US has split into 3 aligned countries, and the president is a believer that the Apocalypse is almost here, and is pretty much destroying the US. The prime minister of UK is just a "nice" guy in the pocket of the corporations (not that the public knows) and the county is also falling apart, although behind the US in that.

Our hero is a former s
Feb 16, 2011 Tony rated it it was amazing
I finished reading this book in bed last night and my brain was working through what I wanted to happen in a follow-up so much I couldn't sleep for two hours.

From the opening chapter I was hooked. The sudden violence and description of rage was so easy to imagine and visualize that I was almost living the moment. The main character is Josh Cumberland a member of a specialist part of the Regiment (SAS to most of us) who specialize in high-tech methods to accomplish the same old special forces goa
May 07, 2011 Remote rated it it was amazing
Josh Cumberland's life is falling apart - his wife is about to leave him and his daughter is in a persistent vegetative state with little hope of recovery. Josh is also ex-special forces cyber division and personal trainer, so he has some unique skills to offer when the son of a prominent businessman goes missing in London. Against a background of knife culture, of hypnotherapy, political corruption and big business, this is very much contemporary cyber punk writing, shifting the ideas to a clos ...more
Tai Nguyen
Aug 04, 2014 Tai Nguyen rated it really liked it
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It actually deserved 4.5 stars because, while not a perfect book, it was certainly above a 4-star book. Thomas Blackthorne is a wonderful new writer who researches his material thoroughly and supports it with great writing that respect's the reader's intelligence. The world he paints, despite being quite a stretch of the imagination, is supported by enough fact and science that even the most skeptical reader like myself is compelled to go along with his visi ...more
Jan 31, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. It's set in a near-future that has a fantastically imagined world. There is a fair bit of world-building throughout the book but it is well-done and really fascinating. I had a bit of an issue with the shift the book took about halfway though, but it was entertaining in the end and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Basically the first half is "realistic story that gets you familiar with the world" but then it pretty abruptly shifts to "unrealistic ...more
Andy Haigh
Jul 26, 2011 Andy Haigh rated it liked it
The ideas of this book were potentially excellent. However I felt that there was alot of aspects to the plot that could have been developed so much more.
How the society had become what it was, the government, and the background TV show were all begging to be enhanced.
The writing was very casual, giving me the feeling that interesting plotlines were just developed on hindsight.
The story is pacy, frustrating at times, making me want to dislike it, however it didnt and I ended up liking it!
Oct 08, 2011 Kacey4kc rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I really enjoyed this book. The author captured a relatively near future that feels like it is possible if a little scary to think about. The characters are interesting and I care about what happens to them. I commented to another person that read it that sometimes I felt like the main male character was too capable. However as we were talking I realized that if I spent most of my time focused on two activities I too could probably be really good at those two things. I just have too many interes ...more
Jan 09, 2012 Lani rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi, kindle
Like most of the Angry Robot books I've read so far, they're interesting concepts lacking writing style. The idea of this book - a somewhat dystopian future where England doesn't allow guns but requires knives with formalized dueling rules - it's interesting. The Special Ops main character is of the magical Jason Bourne type, essentially a super man. There's a cheesy love story, of course, and a touching father-son moment or two mixed in with brutal 'MMA with knives' fight scenes.

I'd imagine thi
Dec 17, 2013 Wendy rated it it was ok
I struggled to finish this book--and ended up skimming about a third of it. The premise was interesting and there were some intriguing world building elements, but ultimately I didn't connect with the book. It could have been my mood or maybe this wasn't a good match from the start. I keep trying to figure out why it didn't land right for me. I think it had something to do with the characters and pacing. Or expectations I'd built up from the cover copy. I'm still not sure.

Oct 31, 2010 RoyWagner709 rated it really liked it
I think that Richards' fear of knives is really destroying him inside and outside of his body. When the guy at the bar pulled a knife on him, Richard was totally scared enough to run home to momma! He even fainted, in that situation he could have been seriously injured! It also limits him going to places like "The Golden Switch BLADE. It is just messing up his life in a lot of ways. If i was him i would be sad and commit SUICIDE!
Ben Kessell
Sep 21, 2012 Ben Kessell rated it it was amazing
I Read it in one sitting (on an overseas flight). If you loved Neuromancer or Snow Crash, read this now. You begin pitying the main characters and as you grow attached to them you find yourself rooting for them. Not only rooting for them but gripping the book tight, sweating when they do. During one of the final fight scenes I nearly leaped out of my chair and cheered, reveling in the bloody slaughter.

11/10 would stab again.
i think this book has a good plot but i think this author could have gone much deeper. i feel like this could be his draft. i also think there was a bit much violence. i love violence wich is what drew me to this book, but this is not right. i also think the violence is in all the wrong places. i think the autor should have done more. im kind of dissapointed
Karen Desmond
Nov 04, 2011 Karen Desmond rated it liked it
Not an easy book to read this is both thought provoking and slightly baffling (the unexplained techno elements) but worth a read. Although based in a world a few steps away from our own, the central theme is about redemption - a theme that translates well into today's world.
Apr 13, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
Great, weird near future dystopian book. It is definitely a love it or hate it book. I loved it. Lots of geeky technical talk and psychology talk that I found enjoyable. Will be picking up the sequel to read someday for sure.
704 leo
Feb 24, 2013 704 leo rated it it was amazing
This book is simply amazing, i love how it takes place in the future yet has a negative image and the new reality that Blackthorne creates is just incredible. MUST READ.
Jan 18, 2011 Summer rated it really liked it
Go get this book.
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