Lexidreams's Reviews > On the Edge

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
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Feb 20, 2012

did not like it
Read in January, 2011

I like this author. I am waiting for the next Magic book to come out and so I buy this. The premise is interesting. The three previous books I read from the author were great. This should be goood. In the way a warm cup of hot chocolate is on the dawn of a snowy day.

But I really hated this book. In fact about 2 weeks after reading it, I find my overwhelming dislike for it surprises myself. After all I really like the author team's Magic series. I am counting the days until the next one comes out with all the family drama, a kick-ass heroine, and Curan. The Magic series has a truly strong main female character, an original setting, and an interesting plot. I know I'm getting carried away here but I'd much prefer to talk about the books I really liked, than this horrible boring, boring book which I had to force myself to finish.
There are people who do not read bad books. If they find they aren't liking something, they simply stop, and oh, I do admire their will power. For me, I always think if I just read a little more it will get better. I can never take away a books chance to be good and simply stamp it with a "Bhah" and chuck it half way through. So I read the ending of this book. Actually the speed I read this book should tell you a lot of what I'm trying to convey as nicely (or not) as possible here.
I read a good 50 pages at first go. I had some problems but I had faith the book would explain them away. On the second go I read about 100 pages. When school intervened between me and further reading, I was very, very upset. Finally, I was free to read again and zoomed through another 50 pages before the book started to really get to me. I started having a fear that those little problems I had with it were actually quite big and that they were not ever going to be made better. I made it through the rest of the book though. I did it. Even though those last 50 pages were read by someone who barely cared and wanted to die of boredom.
Where to begin? In the beginning we are introduced to two potential love interests. One plays with action figures and has a creepy look. The other is sexist. I figured guy with the creepy look and action figures would get the break. However, it is of course basic romantic policy to introduce the true love interest first, and so I began to have those little notions of something not being right. Ah, you're one of those people who take offense at everything, you say. Well, let us examine the quote:
"You're rude. I find it unattractive in all people, women especially."
When I first read this quote I did a bit of a double take and had to consider for a moment whether I found it truly offensive. On closer examination I found that I really did. The insinuation that women above all others were to be held to this standard and far more because of just their gender. And so the love interest was set up as a sexist chauvinist, and yes, herein lay my big problem with this book. Because this storyline could only go one way. The man would have to have his views changed, by the woman. I know this storyline works for some people but it doesn't for me. He had lived his entire life under these views, they were his life, and bringing him into the story with the thought that he would be changed just doesn't work. Even a thousand page book dedicated to it as a theme would have trouble convincing me to like this subject. I knew I could not really find that here. His character was repugnant to me and I did not believe in the power of two weeks in this type of book against a life time.

"Take little bites."

I kid you not. This little gem came from the beloved love interest, in the beginning of his stay at her house. What you're reading is his treating her like a small, very stupid child. Through out the book he also makes several references to how uneducated she is in comparison to his fine breeding. So let's recap. Someone from a higher up bringing who believes women should be treated differently because of their gender, and who can not believe the lack of education his bride to be has had through the filter of his own privilege. Oh and did I mention?

"I find you much more attractive when you don't scream and throw a tantrum like a child."

Ooh. The need to punch this guy in the face. Ooh. This comes after she finds out he has been staying with them under false pretences. Oh, and using her family as bait for evil, unkillable monsters. It's the little things. But more than that is her response to his chastisation. That she had overreacted and she shouldn't have yelled at him. Wtf? She then agrees that she shouldn't have thrown a "tantrum", as if her feelings weren't perfectly understandable. She has no respect for herself and I am wondering how the author could have gone from writing such a strong character like Kate Daniels, to this.

There was also the way he treated her little brothers that just rubbed me the wrong way. I know they live in a magical world, maybe it is considered normal, but just... The way he emphasised that the boys needed to be strong when they grew up. Just the fact that he did emphasise it, as if there was no other way, struck me as fanatic. And then there's the fact that on his side of the world in the Weird, shape shifters are considered second class citizens- not even that. They're not even considered human. Her little brother is a shape shifter and yet their qualms about bringing him into a world that is so obviously racist, seem very small. Lover interest man, or I suppose if I must call him Declan, promises the boy will be safe and that's that. It's not like, you know, he can't really protect the boy from the entirety of his world.

But I can't rant anymore about this so lets move on. Was it because of the lack of any admirable characters that the premise and plot of this book fell apart too? Or was that all on its own? It became so boring. The premise I once found so interesting was never made alive enough. After the concept of the three worlds had been explained I waited for something interesting to be done with it, but it just never really happens. Near the end of the book there seems to be a desperate attempt to give The Edge some atmosphere by throwing in a description of them passing a meth house that had been briefly mentioned about 100 pages before.
I had to force myself to finish this book. I had to know if it would address the problem of Declan being an elitist douche bag. But no, not really.
Just so tiring, writing about it. Organizing all the old thoughts I had. It was bad. Really bad. I didn't like it. Basically.

I'll continue to like this author. So the male lead was horrible. He had to be in order to change. It's not the book's fault the level of his horribleness is too much for me and that I have problems accepting that someone's entire personality can change in two weeks. Or worse. That it didn't change at all.

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Dayna Wadge Finally!! someone who feels the same way about this book as me....


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