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Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

October 9, 2010

As always, the description:

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.

For those of you familiar with Ilona Andrews, you know that this is not one female author, but a husband and wife team that write together. In my opinion, they do an awesome job. You already know that I’m a Kate Daniels fan, but my first introduction to this (these?) author(s?) was On the Edge. But, wait, before I go on, I want to explain about the Edge. In these books, there are three distinct places: The Broken, which is pretty much the modern world. It has no magic. Then there’s the Weird. In the Weird, magic reigns supreme. In between the the two, there’s the Edge, a place that is both magical and not. It’s a place of swamps and poverty. To get between the three worlds is painful for those that possess magic. The more magic a person has, the more painful it is. The most magical people cannot pass into the Broken at all. 

Bayou Moon is the second book in the Edge Series and features one of the characters from the first book, William. In On the Edge, William was a quasi villain and possible third corner in an almost triangle. In reality, William never had a chance with Rose and he knew it. It turns out that was for the best, as William meets his true mate in this book. She comes in the form of Cerise Mar an Edger from a land rich, cash poor family with origins in the Weird. This is werewolf week, so I better tell you now that William is the wolf in this story, although he is referred to as a changeling. William is from the Weird, where changelings are abhorred and their only perceived use is to be made into trained killers for the military. We learn a great deal of William’s backstory in On the Edge but Bayou Moon tells readers enough for the latter to stand alone.

I wasn’t that crazy about this book. I liked it. It’s good writing, but it didn’t have the spark that On the Edge had. Both William and Cerise are good characters, and they seem well-matched. I buy them together as a couple. I liked that Cerise was such a strong female character. They seem to be a trademark of Ilona Andrews. And William was fierce and protective while also letting Cerise do her thing. Their romance occurs at a slow burn, which I also liked. And the plot is both compelling and intricate. It had me guessing until the end. Another point in the book’s favor was that we get to catch up with the characters from On the Edge.

The thing is, this wasn’t a book I was very excited about. I didn’t have that compulsive desire to pick it up in every possible free moment. In trying to reflect on why that might be, I think it was really that I never completely connected with the characters. Cerise is a Edger and Edgers, especially in the part where she lives, are sort of notoriously brutal. Cerise is no exception. I just couldn’t get behind a character who was willing to risk so many family members for the sake of a family feud. I understood William’s motivation a lot more and should have been able to connect with him a lot better, but I didn’t. I got tired of his “I’m not worthy” thoughts. I mean, I get it. It makes sense. Changelings are treated so vilely in the Weird, how could William not have issues. I still wanted him to get over it already.

There were also too many fight scenes for my taste. My favorite parts were when Cerise and William were with her family but they were too few. There’s a great cast of characters and I liked them enough that it pained me when some of them died. The ending was also a bit too tidy for me and I still have a lot of unanswered questions. It was a relief to be finished, though. Bayou Moon is no novella. It has 447 pages. I’m hoping that some of my questions are answered in the next book in the series. I’m assuming there will be one and I’m hoping it will feature Lark, Jack, George and Gaston. I look forward to revisiting the Edge–but with some different characters.

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