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Bayou Moon par [Andrews, Ilona]
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Bayou Moon Format Kindle

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Chapter 1

William sipped some beer from the bottle of Modelo Especial and gave the Green Arrow his hard stare. The Green Arrow, being a chunk of painted plastic, didn't rise to the challenge. The action figure remained impassive, exactly where he'd put it, leaning against the porch post of William's house. Technically it was a shack rather than a house, William reflected, but it was a roof over his head and he wasn't one to complain.

From that vantage point, the Green Arrow had an excellent view of William's action figure army laid out on the porch, and if he were inclined to offer any opinions, he would've been in a great position to do so. William shrugged. Part of him realized that talking to an action figure was bordering on insane, but he had nobody else to converse with at the moment and he needed to talk this out. The whole situation was crazy.

"The boys sent a letter," William said.

The Green Arrow said nothing.

William looked past him to where the Wood rustled just beyond his lawn. Two miles down the road, the Wood would become simply woods, regular Georgia pine and oak. But here, in the Edge, the trees grew vast, fed by magic, and the forest was old. The day had rolled into a lazy, long summer evening, and small nameless critters, found only in the Edge, chased each other through the limbs of the ancient trees before the darkness coaxed predators from their lairs.

The Edge was an odd place, stuck between two worlds. On one side lay the Broken, with no magic but plenty of technology to compensate. And rules. And laws. And paperwork. The damn place ran on paperwork. The Broken was where he made his money nowadays, working construction.

On the other side lay the Weird, a mirror to the Broken, where magic ruled and old blueblood families held power. He was born in that world. In the Weird, he'd been an outcast, a soldier, a convict, and even a noble for a few brief weeks. But the Weird kept kicking him in the teeth the entire time, until he finally turned his back on it and left.

The Edge belonged to neither world. A perfect place for the man who fit in nowhere. That was how he first met the boys, George and Jack. They lived in the Edge, with their sister Rose. Rose was sweet and pretty and he'd liked her. He'd liked what they had, she and the kids, a warm little family. When William watched them together, a part of him hurt deep inside. He now realized why: he'd known even then that a family like that was forever out of his reach.

Still, he tried with Rose. Might have had a chance, too, but then Declan showed up. Declan, a blueblood and a soldier, with his flawless manners and handsome face. "We used to be friends," William told the Green Arrow. "I did beat the shit out of him before he left."

The joke was on him, because Declan left with Rose and took the boys with him. William let them go. Jack required a lot of careful care and Declan would raise him well. And Rose needed someone like Declan. Someone who had his shit together. She had enough trouble with the boys as it was. She sure as hell didn't need another charity project and he didn't want to be one.

It had been almost two years since they'd left. For two years William had lived in the Edge, where the trickle of magic kept the wild within him alive. He worked his job in the Broken, watched TV on weekends, drank lots of beer, collected action figures, and generally pretended that the previous twenty-six years of his life had not occurred. The Edgers, the few families who lived between the worlds like he did, kept to themselves and left him alone.

Most people from either the Broken or the Weird had no idea the other world existed, but occasionally traders passed through the Edge, traveling between worlds. Three months ago, Nick, one of the traveling traders, mentioned he was heading into the Weird, to the Southern Provinces. William put together a small box of toys on a whim and paid the man to deliver it. He didn't expect an answer. He didn't expect anything at all. The boys had Declan. They would have no interest in him.

Nick came by last night. The boys had written back.

William picked up the letter and looked at it. It was short. George's writing was perfect, with letters neatly placed. Jack's looked like a chicken had written it in the dirt. They said thank you for the action figures. George liked the Weird. He was given plenty of corpses to practice necromancy on and he was taking rapier lessons. Jack complained that there were too many rules and that they weren't letting him hunt enough.

"That's a mistake," William told the Green Arrow. "They need to let him vent. Half of their problems would be solved if they let him have a violent outlet. The kid is a changeling and a predator. He turns into a lynx, not a fluffy bunny." He raised the letter. "Apparently he decided to prove to them that he was good enough. Jack killed himself a deer and left the bloody thing on the dining room table, because he's a cat and he thinks they're lousy hunters. According to him, it didn't go over well. He's trying to feed them and they don't get it."

What Jack needed was some direction to channel all that energy. But William wasn't about to travel to the Weird and show up on Declan's doorstep. Hi, remember me? We were best friends once, and then I was condemned to death and your uncle adopted me, so I would kill you? You stole Rose from me? Yeah, right. All he could do was write back and send more action figures.

William pulled the box to him. He'd put in Deathstroke for George—the figure looked a bit like a pirate and George liked pirates, because his grandfather had been one. Next, William had stuck King Grayskull in for Declan. Not that Declan played with action figures—he'd had his childhood, while William spent his in Hawk's Academy, which was little more than a prison. Still, William liked to thumb his nose at him, and King Grayskull with his long blond hair looked a lot like Declan.

"So the real question here is, do we send the purple Wildcat to Jack or the black one?"

The Green Arrow expressed no opinion.

A musky scent drifted down to William. He turned around. Two small glowing eyes stared at him from under the bush on the edge of his lawn.

"You again."

The raccoon bared his small sharp teeth.

"I've warned you, stay out of my trash or I will eat you."

The little beast opened his mouth and hissed like a pissed-off cat.

"That does it."

William shrugged off his T-shirt. His jeans and underwear followed. "We're going to settle this."

The raccoon hissed again, puffing out his fur, trying to look bigger. His eyes glowed like two small coals.

William reached deep inside himself and let the wild off the chain. Pain rocked him, jerking him to and fro, the way a dog shook a rat. His bones softened and bent, his ligaments snapped, his flesh flowed like molten wax. Dense black fur sheathed him. The agony ended and William rolled to his feet.

The raccoon froze.

For a second, William saw his reflection in the little beast's eyes—a hulking dark shape on all fours. The interloper took a step back, whirled about, and fled.

William howled, singing a long sad song about the hunt and the thrill of the chase, and a promise of hot blood pulsing between his teeth. The small critters hid high up in the branches, recognizing a predator in their midst.

The last echoes of the song scurried into the Wood. William bit the air with sharp white fangs and gave chase.

William trotted through the Wood. The raccoon had turned out to be female and in possession of six kits. How the hell he'd missed the female scent, he would never know. Getting rusty in the Edge. His senses weren't quite as sharp here.

He had to let them be. You didn't hunt a female with a litter—that was how species went extinct. He caught a nice juicy rabbit instead. William licked his lips. Mmm, good. He would just have to figure out a way to weigh down the lid on the trashcan. Maybe one of his dumbbells would do the job, or some heavy rocks…;

He caught a glimpse of his house through the trees. A scent floated to him: spicy, reminiscent of cinnamon mixed with a dash of cumin and ginger.

His hackles rose. William went to ground.

This scent didn't belong in this world outside of a bakery. It was the scent of a human from beyond the Edge's boundary, with shreds of the Weird's magic still clinging to them.


He lay in the gloom between the roots and listened. Insects chirping. Squirrels in the tree to the left settling down for the night. A woodpecker hammering in the distance to get the last grub of the day.

Nothing but ordinary Wood noises.

From his hiding spot, he could see the entire porch. Nothing stirred.

The rays of the setting sun slid across the boards. A tiny star winked at him.

Careful. Careful.

William edged forward, a dark soft-pawed ghost in the evening twilight. One yard. Two. Three.

The star winked again. A rectangular wooden box sat on the porch steps, secured with a simple metal latch. The latch shone with reflected sunlight. Someone had left him a present.

William circled the house twice, straining to sample the scents, listening to small noises. He found the trail leading from the house. Whoever delivered the box had come and gone.

He approached the building and looked at the box. Eighteen inches long, a foot wide, three inches tall. Simple unmarked wood. Looked like pine. Smelled like it, too. No sounds came from inside.

His figures were untouched. His letter, pinned down by the heavy Hulk, lay where he'd left it. The scent of the intruder didn't reach it.

William pulled the door open with his paw and slipped inside. He would need fingers for this.

The pain screamed through him, shooting through the marrow in his bones. He growled low, shook, convulsing, and shed his fur. Twenty seconds of agony and William crouched on human legs in the living room. Ten more seconds and he stepped out on the porch, fully dressed and armed with a long knife. Just because the box seemed benign didn't mean it wouldn't blow up when he opened it. He'd seen bombs that were the size of a coaster. They made no noise, gave off no scent, and took your leg off if you stepped on them.

He used the knife to pry the latch open and flip the lid off the box. A stack of paper. Hmm.

William plucked the first sheet off the top of the stack, flipped it over, and froze.

A small mangled body lay in the green grass. The boy was barely ten years old, his skin stark white against the smudges of crimson that spread from a gaping wound in his stomach. Someone had disemboweled him with a single vicious thrust and the kid had bled out. So much blood. It was everywhere, on his skinny stomach, on his hands, on the dandelions around him…; Bright, shockingly red, so vivid, it didn't seem real. The boy's narrow face stared at the sky with milky dead eyes, his mouth opened in a horrified O, short reddish hair sticking up…;

It's Jack. The thought punched William in the stomach. His heart hammered. He peered closely at the face. No, not Jack. A cat like Jack—slit pupils—but Jack had brown hair. The boy was the right age, the right build, but he was not Jack.

William exhaled slowly, trying to get a handle on his rage. He knew this. He'd seen this boy before, but not on the picture. He'd seen the body in the flesh, smelled the blood and the raw, unforgettable stench of the gut wound. His memory conjured it for him now, and he almost choked on the phantom bitterness coating his tongue.

The next picture showed a little girl. Her hair was a mess of blood and brains—her skull had been crushed.

He pulled more pictures from the box, each corresponding to a body in his memory. Eight murdered children lay on his porch. Eight murdered changeling children.

The Weird had little use for changelings like him. The Dukedom of Louisiana killed his kind outright, the moment they were born. In Adrianglia, any mother who'd given birth to a changeling child could surrender her baby to the government, no questions asked. A simple signature on a piece of paper and the woman went on her way, while the child was taken to Hawk's Academy. Hawk's was a prison. A prison with sterile rooms and merciless guards, where toys and play were forbidden; a place designed to hammer every drop of free will out of its students. Only outdoors, the changeling children truly lived. These eight must've been giddy to be let out into the sunshine and grass.

It was supposed to be a simple tracking exercise. The instructors had led the children to the border between Adrianglia and the Dukedom of Louisiana, its chief rival. The border was always hot, with Louisianans and Adrianglians crossing back and forth. The instructors allowed the kids to track a group of border jumpers from Louisiana. When William was a child, he had gone on the same mission a dozen times.

William stared at the pictures. The Louisianans had turned out to be no ordinary border jumpers. They were agents of Louisiana's Hand. Spies, twisted by magic and powerful enough to take out a squad of trained Legionnaires.

They let the children catch them.

When the kids and the instructors failed to report in, a squad of Legionnaires was dispatched to find them. He was the tracker for that squad. He was the one who found them dead in the meadow.

It was a massacre, brutal and cold. The kids didn't go quick. They'd hurt before they died.

The last piece of paper waited in the box. William picked it up. He knew from the first sentence what it would say. The words were burned into his memory.

He read it all the same.

Dumb animals offer little sport. Louisiana kills changelings at birth—it's far more efficient than wasting time and resources to try to turn them into people. I recommend you look into this practice, because next time I'll expect proper compensation for getting rid of your little freaks.

Sincerely yours,Spider

Mindless hot fury flooded William, sweeping away all reason and restraint. He raised his head to the sky and snarled, giving voice to his rage before it tore him apart.

For years he'd tracked Spider as much as the Legion would permit him. He'd found him twice. The first time he'd ripped apart Spider's stomach and Spider broke his legs. The second time, William had shattered the Louisianan's ribs, while Spider nearly drowned him. Both times the Hand's spy slipped through his fingers.

Nobody cared for the changelings. They grew up exiled from society, raised to obey and kill on command for the good of Adrianglia. They were fodder, but to him they were children, just like he had once been a child. Just like Jack.

He had to find Spider. He had to kill him. Child murder had to be punished.

A man stepped out of the Wood. William leapt off the porch. In a breath he pinned the intruder to the trunk of the nearest tree and snarled, his teeth clicking a hair from the man's carotid.

The man made no move to resist. "Do you want to kill me or Spider?"

"Who are you?"

"The name is Erwin." The man nodded at his raised hands. A large ring clamped his middle finger—a plain silver band with a small polished mirror in it. The Mirror—Adrianglian Secret Service—flashed in William's head. The Hand's biggest enemy.

"The Mirror would like a word, Lord Sandine," the man said softly. "Would you be kind enough to favor us with an audience?"

Présentation de l'éditeur

Cerise Mar and her clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands. When her parents vanish, her clan's long-time rivals are suspect. But all is not as it seems.

Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge-and Cerise's life.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3708 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 480 pages
  • Editeur : Ace (28 septembre 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0040895H2
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires client
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Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Résumé succinct : Le monde est divisé en trois parties : le « Broken », notre monde, qui est cassé, presque sans magie. Le « Weird », étrange, où la magie est extrêmement présente. Et entre les deux « The Edge », où vivent ceux qui ne sont à leur place ni d'un côté ni de l'autre.
William, est un « changeling », qui se transforme à volonté en loup. Dans le monde magique où il est né, il aurait pu être tué à la naissance. A la place, il a été dressé à tuer dans une académie militaire. Après avoir aidé son ami Declan à vaincre le méchant Casshorn dans « On the Edge », il se retrouve seul. Rose, la jeune femme pour laquelle il avait un faible, et ses deux petits frères sont partis vers le « Weird » avec Declan.

Il vivote, habitant « the Edge » et travaillant dans notre monde, jusqu'à ce que lui tombe dessus Cerise.
Cerise, bien que très jeune, est le chef de sa famille car ses parents ont disparu. Ce clan survit dans le Marais, une partie isolée de «the Edge ». Une vendetta vient de recommencer entre eux et un autre clan et ils risquent l'annihilation.

Je vais commencer par ce que je reproche à ce (très bon) livre.
Le premier point n'est absolument pas de la responsabilité de l'auteur mais ... l'héroïne s'appelle Cerise. J'ai eu beaucoup de mal à cesser de penser aux assurances, et j'ai honte !
Le second point : il m'a fallu du temps avant d'accepter le héros, William Wolf, comme personnage principal, après son second rôle dans le premier roman de la série.
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2 commentaires 9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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On retrouve William qu'on avait découvert dans le premier livre. J'ai beaucoup aimé le personnage de Cerise et toute sa famille. L'histoire est prenante, avec beaucoup d'éléments tragiques.
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Un univers intéressant et des personnes avec des capacités variées. Un peu trop sanglant pour moi, mais je l'ai quand même lu et même aimé, parce que l'histoire est bien conçue.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5 217 commentaires
93 internautes sur 100 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 AdMIREd the Heck Out of It 6 octobre 2010
Par Tracy - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
~* 4.5 Stars *~
William Wolf is a changling. Feared and hated by humans of the Weird - and sometimes killed at birth - his kind is cursed as demons and known for having a nearly unquenchable thirst for violence. He's not and will never be 'normal.' He was raised at Hawk's Academy, a cold place that trained him to be a killer for his country, then spit him out into the military. Until a court marshal and a death sentence took everything he knew away from him. Now, almost two years after helping his old friend/rival Declan defeat the evil Casshorn in On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1), he's living life as a solitary wolf, with a small home in the Edge and a construction job in the Broken. Until Mirror agents come knocking and offer him a job and a chance for revenge on his greatest enemy, a Louisianan Hand agent named Spider.

Cerise Mar is Mire born and bred, and with a large family to take care of and little money to be had, she's learned to scrape and scrounge out a life in the swamp of the Edge. With little legacy beyond an 80 year old family feud and magic of the old ways, she's thrust into assuming the responsibility of leading her entire family when her parents go missing and the Sheeriles, the rival Mire family the Mars are feuding with, take over a house on Mar land. Soon Cerise realizes there is a traitor in her midst, and the Sheeriles have crawled into bed with the magically twisted Hand and instead of facing a family feud, she and her family are staring at genocide the likes of which can hardly be conceived. And she's the one who will have to lead her family to it.

They meet up in the Broken, William and Cerise, these two lost and damaged souls on two separate missions that, in the end, are inexorably linked. They survive through the Mire and end up in the Rathole - working together in the hopes that at least some of them survive. But life isn't easy in the Mire and nothing in the Edge is ever guaranteed.

The husband and wife writing team that is Ilona Andrews has managed to do it again. When I first read On the Edge a year ago, I was - quite bluntly - blown away by the originality and uniqueness of the hard to classify series opener. I hadn't read anything quite like it before. I was familiar with Andrews' skill with plotting and character development from the Kate Daniels series, but I wasn't prepared for the depth and breadth of character and story they produced in that first book. I thought I was prepared for this one.

I was wrong.

Without a doubt, and despite the intricate, wonderful, and detailed plots, it is the characters that earn my highest marks in both books in the series. In Bayou Moon in particular, I was floored by the brilliant complexity of William's character. He is so delightfully and deliciously OTHER - and consistently maintained as such - that each aspect of his personality, from the echoing loneliness to the ferociousness of a warrior to the stark wolf-like needs to the endearing innocence, was brilliantly executed and exquisitely defined to build a phenomenal character that resonates with realism. He is at turns fearsome and heartbreaking, and so charming when bowled over by his struggle to seem human in the face of a complete lack of understanding of humanity. William Wolf will forever be one of my favorite protagonists.

I didn't want to stop reading about him. I didn't want to stop knowing him. In fact, when I finished the book the first time, I did something I have only done one or two times in my life. I went back to the beginning and read the entire book again.

Of course, Cerise was also extremely well drawn, and in typical Andrews fashion, secondary and ancillary characters are also just as complex, just as deep and fully realized that each feels like an old friend...or at least leery the time you're done reading. I shared Cerise's heartbreak for Lark, her hopeless feeling of wasted opportunity for Lagar, William's frustrations with Kaldar, and even...though it's disturbing to admit...the cold passion of patriotism in Spider. There are no cardboard cutouts here, no two dimensional or cliched characters, no megalomaniacal, bent-on-world-domination bad guys...just complex motivations and complicated responsibilities, heavy burdens of obligation, chilling determination to succeed, fleeting glimpses of hope and yearning for something better.

It is a stunning world. With breathtaking characters. Heartbreaking and triumphant at turns. Fantastic in almost every way. And I was most appreciative that Andrews took the time to detail all the various layers of the plot during the body of the book, and loved the attention to the most minute detail and the nod to continuity in some of the smallest but most telling ways. Like the chocolate. Nice touches throughout that just made sinking into this book such a phenomenal experience overall.

I wasn't totally thrilled with absolutely everything, however. One particular turn of the plot made no sense to me given the definition of Cerise and William and dialogue they'd had through the book. I'm not going to mention specifics to prevent spoilers, but there was one thing that seemed to contradict a previous agreement and vow and it was so significant to the plot that it jarred me out of the story. That one particular turn, and just one other scene that seemed significant during, but never got fully rounded out by the end (and left me just as confused as William professed to being at the time concerning it) are the two aspects of the book that kept me sticking with a 4.5 rating instead of a five.

Overall, I felt Bayou Moon had a much meatier and significant plot than the previous book in the series, with characters, William in particular, that will stick with me long after the book is done. I'm dying to know what happens from here, and desperately want some closure on Lark's tragic issues, even Jack and George (who make an appearance here, and thank you for that!).

I've read other books throughout the years that have left me wanting more. This, however, is the first book - and the first series - that has me demanding (however impotently) more of the lives of these characters - all of them: primary, secondary, and ancillary - and the world they inhabit. I want more of their personalities, want to experience the passions and the rivalries and the revelry. To feel it, to triumph and suffer with these people I've come to know. It's a visceral, painful, yearning sensation with which I was previously unfamiliar.

The Kate Daniels series is a favorite of mine. I can't deny it. The Edge series, though...I think it may be even better. Please, please, give us more.

Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
43 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great mix of action, suspense, mystery, humor and romance 1 octobre 2010
Par Shannon C. - Publié sur
Format: Poche
Bayou Moon is the second book in The Edge series. We met William, the wolf shapeshifter, in book one. He is living as a recluse in the Edge--the border area between the Weird (magic) and the Broken (not magic) worlds. High ranking members of the Mirror (secret service) show up at his door to tell him his nemisis the Spider is back. The Spider is a murderer runs a group known as the Hand--magic altered, very creepy and tough bad guys. William goes undercover into the Mire, swamp land in the Edge, to track him down and discover an elusive journal that Spider is hunting.

The Mar family is a land rich, cash poor family living in the Mire. They've had a long running feud with the Sheeriles, a rival clan. When Cherise Mar's parents go missing, she is shocked to discover that the powerful Hand helped the Sheerilies with the disappearance. What does the Hand want with her parents? The Sheerilies are trying to take some of the Mar's land. Cherise must find a way to take back their land and save her parents. While on a mission to the Broken to track down some key legal papers, she meets William. At first they do not trust each other, but over time they learn that the Hand is an enemy of both. They agree to work together in the fight against the Hand.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book--it is definitely better than the first book. It has a highly imaginative, fast paced, suspenseful storyline. Highly entertaining mix of action, suspense, mystery, humor and romance. The original world building was very well done.

I loved the main characters and found many of the supporting cast interesting. Cherise was a strong lead female who runs her clan in her parent's absense. I loved her kick a$$ sword abilities--some great fight scenes. I liked William when he was a side character in the first book, and liked him more as his character was developed in this book.

Only negative to me was a part towards the end, which I didn't buy--can't say more because it's a spoiler. It seemed like a contrived conflict (like what you'd find in some romance books) and didn't seem to jive with what we knew about William & Cherise's characters. But that was only one small part of the book, and ultimately this book has a happy ending. I liked the setup for the next book and hope William & Cherise's story will continue.

If you are looking for simliar books, here are others I enjoyed if you want to check them out. Top favs are marked with an asterisk.

Mercy Thompson* and Alpha & Omega* series by Patricia Briggs (Don't miss the anthology in On the Prowl,which is a prequel to Cry Wolf)
Kate Daniels* series by Ilona Andrews
Night Huntress* series by Jeaniene Frost
Sookie Sackhouse* by Charlaine Harris
Cassandra Palmer and Dorina Basarab Dhampir* series by Karen Chance (I like Dory better than Cassie, but from a timeline perspective Cassie comes first. Dory is a great kick butt character reminiscent of Kate Daniels.)
World of Lupi series by Eileen Wilks
Guild Hunters by Nalini Singh
Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill
October Daye series by Seanan McGuire
Kara Gillian series by Diana Rowland
Black Jewels trilogy and The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop
Jane True by Nicole Peeler
Fever series by Karen Moning
Circle series by Linda Robertson
Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep
55 internautes sur 67 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Moon Doesn't Take It To The Edge 8 décembre 2010
Par Snark Shark - Publié sur
Format: Poche
There seem to be two camps in the urban fantasy market. The first are books which focus on blending the mundane with the sublime, using the juxtaposition of what we know as "our world" with invented elements of magic/fairies/vampires/what-have-you to tell stories about inner conflict, exploration, and identity. The second camp is something I like to call Badass Chicks Fight Evil With Hot Guys, Or Evil That IS A Hot Guy.

Not that there isn't (significant) overlap between the two, especially in the current market. But you can tell, when you read a book, which aesthetic it aligns with in its heart of hearts. "On the Edge" was in the first camp. "Bayou Moon" is squarely in the second.

A lot of "Bayou Moon" reads like someone sat down with "On the Edge" and sketched out a rough outline of what made that book so enjoyable. Independent heroine? Check. Focus on family dynamics? Check. Clash of cultures in the romance? Check check. Add a Wild-West-ish atmosphere to the setting of treacherous landscape, we're ready for takeoff.

And if what gets you going is a romp where two heterosexual lovers pair up against the odds, with downtime to simmer and smirk at each other, "Bayou Moon" is just the ticket. Watch out for some elements of darkness -- necromancy, murder, and hints of cannibalism -- but this is Ilona Andrews. If you've read the Kate Daniels books, you know Andrews doesn't stint on gore.

But for the rest of us, "Bayou Moon" is just going through the motions. I kept comparing it to "On the Edge" in my head, and it kept falling far short of that standard. Some of you may protest that's unfair, as it's a different book, but since there are so many parallels to the story structure (see above) I'm not sure how I could have avoided it. I didn't want "Bayou Moon" to be the SAME as "On the Edge," but I would have liked it to be able to hold its own. But while you admired Rose for successfully navigating the conflicting worlds of the Edge and the Broken, we never see Cerise outside her comfort zone. Rose was an outcast, Cerise is the favored daughter of a powerful family. Rose has intimate and often fraught relationships with her two brothers, Cerise has a huge family that she appears to get along with fine.

I'm not saying "Bayou Moon" suffers because the choices made in creating Rose were more my taste -- that would be a personal call. But there's a vital flaw in Cerise's situation: lack of conflict. All the choices made for her were boring, because they never force her to make hard decisions or sacrifices. This isn't just a problem with the protagonist, this is a pattern reflected throughout the whole book. We have no idea why the Big Bad is after something that belongs to Cerise's family, just that he is. (And he's a Big Bad.) Her family is also caught up in a vicious feud with another -- why? Whatever, it's a feud! Instant plot! Andrews even throws in a Romeo-and-Juliet-esque element in there, which feels insulting in its half-heartedness.

A lot of "Bayou Moon" felt tacked-on, honestly. Remember that gore I mentioned? Sure, a lot of vicious things happen, but none of it to characters we get to know as people. (Lark is not a character. She is a big-eyed, vulnerable plot device.) We only care because Cerise cares. But if we don't care all that much about Cerise... well, I addressed that problem, didn't I.

Don't even get me started on the romance. Listen, I don't hate on the debt the Badass Chicks camp owes to paranormal romance, but if you ARE going that route, pay your frickin' dues. Deliver up sensuality and a complex, even angst-filled relationship between your leads. Not... whatever's going on between Cerise and William. One wince-inducing sex scene, an easy triumph over reservations (The phrase "He won't hurt me because he loves me," is used, and: really, Andrews? REALLY?) and a last-minute "misunderstanding" which is insultingly juvenile.

I was so excited when I heard "On The Edge" was only the beginning of a planned series. But you know what? It might be better to avoid it altogether, rather than risk seeing characters I once adored in books so depressingly mediocre. I mean, if that's the experience I wanted, I could go back to LK Hamilton.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Stellar addition to the series; expands the world of The Edge 14 octobre 2010
Par Karissa Eckert - Publié sur
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
I read this book on my Kindle. It is the second book in The Edge series by husband and wife book writing team, Ilona Andrews. There are four books contracted for this series. You don't really have to read the first book, On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1), to enjoy this one; although some characters from the first book do make an appearance in this one.

Cerise Mar and her family own tons of land in the Mire, the Edge Swamplands, but they are poor. When Cerise's parents are captured by a feuding family; she is now the family's leader and will stop at nothing to get her parents back even if it does mean rekindling an ages old feud with the competing Mire family. But things are more complicated than Cerise could imagine. William, the changeling from the first book in the series, has been hired by the Mirror to track down an agent of the Hand (both factions represent nations of the Weird) named the Spider. William and Cerise find that their paths will cross and that Cerise's family feud may be connected to a silent war being waged between the Mirror and the Hand.

I actually liked this book quite a bit more than On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1), and I liked that book a lot. The plot for this book is a lot more complex, there is more battle and more intrigue. This book also ties in more of the politics that are happening in the Weird and it was great to see more of the infrastructure that makes up the Weird; we never got to see much of the Weird in the first book.

William and Cerise are wonderful characters. Cerise is tough and shoulders her responsibilities to her huge family well; she has some weak moments but that only makes her easier to love as a character. William is a wonderful match for Cerise, he is just as tough as Cerise and comes with a lot of baggage which makes him a realistic and lovable character as well. The chemistry between these two characters is amazing; you are really rooting for them the whole book. Even the side characters are unique and well developed. There are a number of side characters in the group of the Hand and in Cerise's family that could hold a story all their own; they are wonderfully complex and interesting.

This book is more of an urban fantasy than a paranormal romance. There are a couple steamy scenes between Cerise and William. William is one of those "Mate-for-life" alpha males which makes the story lean a little to the romance side at some points. That being said there is a ton of action and some truly awesome fight scenes in the book, and it is these type of scenes that make up the majority of the story. Nothing ever gets overly serious in this book; the characters have a great sense of humor and the dialogue and banter does an excellent job reflecting this.

As with ever other book I have read by the Andrews; the plot is tight, the fight scenes well done, the romance scenes well done, the book very engaging, great world-building, and lovable characters. Just a great book overall.

Overall this was a wonderful addition to this series. This book broadens the world we were introduced to in the first book, On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1), and has a more complex story than the first book did. Cerise and William are tough characters who really kick-butt but are at the same time lovable. I can't wait to read the next book in this series to see what it adds to the story. Ilona Andrews has quickly become an author who can do no wrong as far as I am concerned...everything I have read by this husband and wife team has been wonderful. Definitely check out their Kate Daniels series; I love that series just as much as, if not more than, this series. If you enjoy this series and the Kate Daniel's series I highly recommend the following Jaz Parks by Jennifer Rardin, Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep, Dorina Basarab by Karen Chance, and Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. All feature tough female characters and highly developed, creative worlds that lean more towards urban fantasy than paranormal romance.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Intense action, interesting characters with a few lazy, distracting errors! 28 novembre 2010
Par Mcfynnan - Publié sur
Format: Poche
I enjoyed this book and was glued to it but was impatient for the two main characters to meet. I wouldn't have had it any other way, though. Authors and publishers seem to think readers have attention spans of kids on their DS and I believe many have higher capabilities. The delay provided time for the authors to paint a decent picture of Cerise and William's personalities, current circumstances and introduce some secondary characters.

I agree with other reviewers about the depth of the plot and variety of characters. Great! I particularly enjoyed how detailed they painted the main and secondary characters and their inner turmoil. I appreciated the deliciously ghastly villains. There was no attempt to make them anything other than evil, but sometimes a known evil, that of war. Basically, saying it's for the good of my country can explain away a multitude of actions. They were endowed with certain, insurmountable powers and I would have enjoyed being more horrified by watching them actually employ those powers. Later, they seemed to become more and more mundane,making their relatively easy vanquishing anti-climactic in the fight scenes. For instance, at one point after meeting the villains:

Cerise becomes so terribly ill just viewing the one genetically altered member of the Hand from a distance, until William took her into the Broken. He mentioned being ill in the past himself many times for the same reason. However, this did not seem to hamper anyone else who met the HAND during fight scenes. Shouldn't their reactions have hampered their fighting skills even more since our heros are the the strongest of the good guys? Did I miss something?

Anyhow, there were a few issues in the book that I overlooked and suspended my disbelief about anyway, as a reader sometimes must to appreciate fiction. One of those I could not overlook was a lame misunderstanding between these two at the end. Even if the authors could make us believe these two would suddenly lurch out their simpatico with each other, their reactions to the misunderstanding were also opposite of how they had been acting up until then, especially Cerise's. It seemed like a lazy "old-fashioned Harlequin romance" plot device toss-in by the authors. If they had to throw in a last minute bit of turmoil, it should've been better thought out.

Still, I eagerly await the next installment, especially if the evil characters are scary and alien to us. However, I would prefer more of an explanation of why/how they became villains. This should make the books more multi-dimensional. A few more reviews/drafts of the book to iron out inconsistent actions committed by the characters would also benefit the next installment. I still highly recommend this book for action and interesting characters!
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