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.
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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 Georgethe 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 figureshe'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.
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 eyesa 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 litterthat 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.
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 Jackslit pupilsbut 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 brainsher 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 birthit'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.
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 fingera plain silver band with a small polished mirror in it. The MirrorAdrianglian Secret Serviceflashed 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?"
Excerpted from "Bayou Moon"
Copyright © 2010 Ilona Andrews.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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"[Renée Raudman] uses pace and intensity to keep up with the struggles of the characters, who are caught up in old feuds to protect their land and family." -AudioFile
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The Adrianglian Secret Service asks William Sandine the Changeling to stop Spider from possessing a weapon of mass destruction that will lead to war. Loathing his long time enemy, William agrees to go to the Bayous of Louisiana to challenge Spider and his insidious ring of operatives. When Spider abducts her parents, Cerise Mar becomes the clan chief. To save their property the Mire swamps of the Edge, Cerise visits the Broken. Returning to her home, Cerise and William meet. The outsider realizes she and her kin may be the tool to prevent Spider from achieving his nefarious scheme and perhaps ending his terrorism all together. However, William's biggest problem is his attraction to his hostess; a foreign feeling to the Changeling who belongs nowhere and to no one. This is a powerful swamp romantic fantasy starring a harassed heroine, a hermit hero, a vile villain and the mad Mar mob. The story line is fast-paced with a sort of Scottish historical Highlander feud feel to the Mire while the Spider weaves his web. However, the fun in this delightful tale is the return to Ilona Andrews's Weird world of the Edge (see On the Edge) where malls and magic converge. Harriet Klausner
Hoping to basically fade into the woodwork living in working in the Broken (the non-magical world) for the last few years, William is startled when he is approached by an agent of the Hand - a group of spies who serve Adriaglian in the Weird - to once-and-for-all destroy the ruthless killer known as the Spider. Having dealt with the Spider before, William absolutely understands the importance of taking down the deranged killer for good. The Spider's trail leads William directly into the Mire - a portion of swampland that separates the Weird and the Broken called the Edge - and straight into the path of the warring Mar clan. At the head of her rag-tag family is Cerise Mar and she's currently only holding her rough and tumble family together by sheer determination. Cerise's parents were kidnapped and as the oldest and best-trained fighter, it's now up to her to make sure her fiercely proud family of Edgers can protect themselves. So even though she knows it's a bad idea to bring William into her family's conflict, she can immediately see him for the trained fighter he is and knows that he just might be the only chance her family gets. Thank heavens Ilona Andrews decided to return to the fascinating world of the Edge, this time with a story for William. William played a bit part in ON THE EDGE as Declan's shape-shifting army buddy and I just knew from the start that he'd be buckets more interesting than Mr. Perfect Declan could ever hope to be. For starters, William is a bit damaged. He's got these dark corners in his past and already is a bit behind emotionally due to his being born a changeling -- in this case a man who shifts into a wolf. But man, is he ever so likable. For the outset, it's obvious William's got himself on this tight leash -- he refuses to become the 'animal' so many people believe he is. And then that's not even going into how much I loved Cerise and her off-beat family. Their magical talents range from deadly flashing sword skills to limitless good luck which can only be tapped after a bet has been placed upon the outcome. And once again Ilona Andrews showcase their trademark wit in the character of Cerise. She's smart and tough and I immensely liked her. I could have spent much more time in the Mire with the Mars family but was still immensely pleased with what I got. Whereas ON THE EDGE often felt a little too formulaic and fluffy, BAYOU MOON has some grit and substance to it -- The Spider and all of the Hand's minions are some scary dudes -- plus it's hefty. 447 pages hefty people! I'm not one to complain about that sort of thing. All total, BAYOU MOON is a fabulous second novel with plenty of good things to recommend it. I for one am already waiting to see where Ilona Andrews will take us in the Edge next. Even if, once again, Ilona Andrews got shafted in the cover department. Admittedly, BAYOU MOON is light-years better than the artwork for ON THE EDGE, but this one would be greatly improved by the removal of the pensive floating head of William.
Knowing the quality of Ilona's work I was very excited about this book and I wasn't dissapointed. There are so many books out there that seem to be the same story over and over again. Ilona manages to take urban fantasy (or in this case, what they have taken to calling "rustic" fantasy) and make it feel like something new and fresh. The world she creates is so different from anything else I have read and her characters are superb. They are well developed and real. The villians in this story were done very well and they are very distubring. They definatly gave me the creeps! The romance was also very well done, there are so many romance/fantasy books out there that seem to just be focused on the "girl meets boy, girl and boy have sex" and that gets old, REALLY fast. With Bayou Moon, you could actually take the romance and smex out of the book and you would still have a superb plot. The romance only serves to enhance the plot and the well written characters. In the end I was cheering for the characters, especially William, he was my favorite. I very highly recommend this book. Ilona's imagination will blow you and away and keep your attention the entire time.
I don't find it extremely necessary have read the first book in the series (On the Edge) prior to reading this book. This is the second "Edge" book, however, IMHO it can also function as a standalone. I really procrastinated when it came to reading this second installment. I wasn't overly impressed with Williams character from the first book and had my doubts that this installment could be any good. However, the author did a great job at delving into the sleek and edgy side of Williams character. At first I had a hard time getting into story. I was fearful that this book would consist purely of the romantic aspect but I could not have been more wrong. The story reeled me in slowly, as oppose to drawing me in right away. Once the story hooked me, I was completely immersed into it. I couldn't put this book down and at the odd times when I was forced to put this book down, I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I enjoyed this installment a bit more than the first book. One negative though, at times all the different zones between the different worlds were very confusing. Besides that issue, this story was darker with more action and mystery and I love that the heroine was as sharp and deadly as a razor. SF fans, even though this story takes place on two other worlds, with "The Broken" being the earth we know, I wouldn't necessarily called this a hybrid between dark urban fantasy and Sci-Fi. However, it is still a great and exciting read. I highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy fans, and look forward to the next book Fate's Edge due out in 2012.
4.5 stars rounded down to 4.Loved this one even more than On the Edge if that is possible. After finishing the first book I immediately started this one. If I stopped to read the summary I would have known it featured a different couple. Instead of Rose and Declan, this book is on William and Cerise. I usually avoid series where they focus on different couples, but I had no idea till I started reading. Plus it's Ilona Andrews which usually for me means automatically add to TBR list. And I am very glad I read it because it was just awesometastic.William, who first appeared in On the Edge is the male protagonist in this book and I just loved him. Maybe because shifters are my favorite type of paranormal creature, but I just adored him. And Cerise with her super cool sword was amazing. I wish the next book was focused on them too, but I think the next book is about Cerise's cousin, Kaldar.Plot was once again fast-paced and fun. Again a little predictable, but there were still plenty of surprises and original ideas thrown in. This book is also set in the Edge and that is where all the action and romance takes place. This book was full of typical Ilona Andrews humor which I love.If you liked On the Edge or maybe even if you didn't, you should definitely read this book.
William Wolf is a changeling - he can change between his human form and a wolf form. But there's more to being a changeling than that. It affects the way he thinks, acts, and perceives the world around him - it's like the human and wolf mentalities are mixed together. In Adrianglia, the Weird country he's from, changelings are either killed are given to the state run Hawk's Academy. There they are raised in a violent, ruthless, and methodical system aimed at creating perfect killing machines. William grew up in a bare white room, not toys, no affection. Once he "graduated" from Hawk's he joined the Andrianglia military - he really didn't have a choice. He befriended a lord named Declan (from The Edge, The Edge book 1). A few years later William refused to follow an order and he was sentenced to death. The military probably would have chosen a different sentence for a human, but changelings aren't viewed as actual people. Declan's crazy uncle adopted William, making him a lord and saving his life. Unfortunately, the crazy uncle also wanted William to kill Declan. The rest of that particular story is covered in The Edge, but it helps to know how life has shaped William.William expects no good things for himself. He expects no friends (even though Declan still considers him a friend), no love, no family. He is a changeling, something reviled and killed on site in other Weird countries. He has retired to the Edge, the boundary between the magical world of the Weird and the un-magical world of the Broken (our world). He holds a construction job in the Broken, buying beer, comic books, and action figures then going home to his quiet cabin in the woods of the Edge. He is approached by andrianglia's spy master to help them prevent their enemy, the country of Louisiana, from getting hold of a powerful weapon that's somewhere in the broken. They don't know what the weapon is, but they know that a Luisiana agent named Spider is after it. In Luisiana they kill changelings at birth, and William has hunted Spider since he killed eight changeling children (students from Hawks) while they were on a training exercise.William takes the job and his path crosses with Cerise Mar. Cerise's parents have been kidnapped by Spider. She doesn't know why Louisiana has sent him after her parents, but she has to rescue them. In her part of the Edge, life is even more hard-scrabble and a tough reputation equals safety. In order to save their image (and their lives), Cerise must risk the rest of her family to save her missing parents. Their paths cross, they need each other to survive the trip to The Mire (Cerise's part of the Edge), but neither know that their problems are one and the same.I liked Bayou Moon so much more than The Edge. The world was grittier, the bad guys were better and badder, the danger was more... dangerous, and the entire cast of characters were just great. Andrews seemed like she was still figuring things out in The Edge, but she hit her stride in Bayou Moon. I sympathized with Rose and the boys, but never really warmed up to Declan (Andrews talks a bit about this in the last paragraph of this post). William, however, was simply adorable. Well, yes, he was also very deadly, but he would be so lonely, or terrified of being turned out by Cerise, then to suddenly be so delightfully happy... It's hard to explain, but the following interaction was one of my favorite parts of the book:William stood on the rail. The damn thing was two inches wide. He padded along it like it was solid ground and made some shooing motions at Kaldar's back.She tried to ignore him. "I never do anything rash."William mouthed, "Bullshit.""She saw you leave with the blueblood."Cerise raised her eyebrows. "I had myself a nice long cry and then I fell asleep in the chair. Did you expect to find me on the floor, making out with him half -naked?"William nodded several times, a big grin painted on his face."I wouldn't put it past you, " Kaldar said. "Or him. Who knows w
In this second novel of The Edge, the boundary between the Weird and the Broken, Andrews introduces us to a swamp called the Mire where feuding clan inhabitants fight on opposing sides of an impending territory war. I really enjoyed the world building. The characters are well drawn and interesting, especially a secret assassin group called the Hand. Augmented genetically they are equal parts creepy and fascinating. The relationship between the protagonists works but it's the story that keeps your interest. I thought the end was a bit rushed but at 480 pages more might have been too much. Recommend.
With On the Edge, I had read it expecting a more Kate Daniels-esque type with the emphasis on world-building and dark forces clashing instead of romance, which made what I got a delightful surprise. Knowing now that the Edge series revolves more around the romance, I was slightly more critical and expectant going into BAYOU MOON. Fortunately, my expectations were well met. Cerise is my favorite kind of independent, sword-wielding female totally capable of taking care of herself and others. William was slightly harder to like, considering his behavior in On the Edge, but in BAYOU MOON we really get to see more of his "puppy" side, which is utterly heart-melting. I don't like it as much as I do On the Edge, for there is less romance and more epic battle-ness, but still, Ilona Andrews doesn't do wrong: she just does *different*.
Bayou Moon is the second novel of Ilona Andrews's The Edge series. It follows William's story two years after the events of On the Edge. William is sent on a mission by The Mirror to find the object that Spider, the villain, is looking for. On his way to the Mire, a swamp area in the Edge (where Spider is), he is forced to travel with a homeless-looking girl, Cerise. He later finds out that it was only a disguise. As soon as he sees what she really looks like, he wants her. Then, when he sees how she fights, he wants her more. Cerise's parents were handed over to Spider by her family's enemy. After running into several creatures and hunters looking for her, William decides to stick with her, for the time being anyway. Nothing is as it seems. Lies, blood, and death surround Cerise as she tries to find her parents and destroy those that get in her way. Ilona Andrews floored me with the amazing characterization in this book. William was so complex! He is a changeling-both human and wolf. There are times when he acts and thinks like a human. However, with every strong emotion, the wolf comes out-maybe not physically, but mentally. Whenever this happens his thoughts go from normal and rational to "I want...." and "Must have....." Very primal. Cerise notices when he switches to wolf-mode. She can see it in his eyes, but she doesn't know that he is a changeling. Andrews juggles the two mind-frames very well. Changelings, in their fundamental nature, act on instinct, not thought. William always has to remind himself that he is also human and he cannot just take what he wants; he has to ask for it and be ready for rejection if it comes. This was very sad yet admirable. He really wanted to be with Cerise for most of the book. He always reminded himself that women didn't want him; he was a monster that could not be loved. William had to deal with a ton of inner conflict, besides the wolf/human one. He was always scared that once Cerise found out who he was, she wouldn't want him anymore. Before he can be with Cerise, he has to come to terms with his past and that it does not define him-his actions define him. I felt so bad for Cerise. After her parents are kidnapped she has to lead the family in a battle not only against their rival clan, but also Spider. Meanwhile, her younger sister is slowly going insane-thinking she is a monster who deserves to live in the woods. Because she is the new head, she has to hold her emotions in so that the family respects her. The only person she truly lets in is William. She trusts him, and loves him. Because he looks like a Blueblood, noble of the Weird, she calls him Lord Bill when she first meets him. Even though it was just used to mock at first, she continues to call him this as the story progresses. I love the nickname, its so cute. It has a teasing/flirty edge to it in the book. There were a lot of different elements mixed into Bayou Moon. First, there was a lot of gore, violence, and family feuding going on. The action is suspenseful and bloody. The fight scenes were depicted with a great attention to detail. I felt like I was in the middle of them. There were times when I was definitely shutting my eyes and muttering "ew." Second, there was romance. William and Cerise's relationship was intense. There were a lot of "almost" scenes. They were both obviously attracted to each other. Cerise even admits to her family that she loves him, but he can't take a hint. William is very straightforward and doesn't understand flirting. He also doesn't believe she wants him so he always pulls himself back when he wants to kiss her (or more). This leads to many tension filled scenes that had me screaming "Just kiss her already!" I liked On the Edge a bit better than Bayou Moon. Not too sure why, but Bayou Moon is still a great book. It's emotional, action-packed, and romantic. The other characters, besides William and Cerise, are for the most part three-dimensional. There were so many, I thought I'd get confuse
This was a fun book to read. It had action, romance, and a consistently built fantasy world. I recommend it.It starts with William the Wolf, a secondary character from the first book in the series. He lives in the Edge, in the strip of land between our world, called the Broken (because magic is broken here), and the realm of magic known as the Weird. William is a changeling - a wolf in human guise - who grew up in the Weird as one of the despised members of society (changelings), and trained in the Kingdom of Adrianglia as a soldier. Now he lives in a trailer in the Edge, by himself, supporting himself with construction work in the Broken. A man appears with a task for him - find Spider, a bad-man-with-significant-upgrades from William's past, and a magical object rumored to exist in the Mire, which is another area within the Edge. This gives William a purpose and a chance for action.The story then switches to Cerise Mar, a resident of the Mire, who, along with her large extended family, is feuding with a neighboring family. Her parents have just been kidnapped, leaving her in charge. Their land-holdings are being nibbled away, and a fight is coming. Her family all have various magical powers and problems. The story is about the two of them - they meet and discover that their tasks put them on the same side of a big coming fight, and perhaps there is a bit of mutual attraction, as well. This book is clearly flavored with the romance genre, but manages to keep it from overwhelming the characters' motivations and actions. I found myself galloping through the nearly-500-pp. book in an evening and a little bit more. The characterizations of minor characters as well as major ones are sharp, the plot is clear, and there is decent magic and fighting action. Recommended.
I have been reading Ilona Andrews since before the publication of her first book thanks to the Online Writing Workshop, and I enjoyed those rough drafts enough to become a dedicated reader. That said, Bayou Moon is hands down the best work Andrews has put out so far in a career of books that are among my favorites.Curran, a character in the Kate Daniels series, has appealed to me for more than just his lion aspects, but I always felt the character had not gone far enough. Well, William in Bayou Moon breaks through that barrier, bringing us a full-fledged reluctant hero who thinks, okay knows darn well, that he¿s a monster. Add in Cerise, a young woman with both strength of character and magic who has the burden of her whole family on her back, and there¿s a delightful clash that is foreplay with both of them unable to see what¿s happening.The characters are both complex and conflicted. This is no fairytale land where the hero steps off his shining white charger to save the damsel in distress. This novel is gritty, literally mucky, and every person in it has something to hide, and much to lose.On the Edge introduced us to a lovely new world that I had hoped to explore further, but Bayou Moon is more visceral. The troubles are huge, personal, and trip the characters up in ways they cannot imagine, or rather only surface in their nightmares. No one is completely forthcoming, and yet there is no contradiction or hypocrisy when indignant rage is the answer to a secret uncovered. It¿s appropriate for the characters and just works.Okay, I think it¿s clear that I loved this book. I read an interview or blog post from Ilona Andrews which revealed that On the Edge was supposed to be a standalone. However, by that point Bayou Moon was already in the planning stages because William didn¿t feel he deserved the treatment he received within those pages. That¿s William. He¿s certainly not a flashy hero. Best say he¿s efficient. But he¿s persistent and dedicated. Once he¿s figured out the path to follow, off he goes no matter what stands in his way, with one small exception. He doesn¿t believe he has the right to love, for very good reasons.And that¿s where I¿m going to stop before I break my rules and spoil something purely by accident. Don¿t hesitate. Run, don¿t walk, to the bookstore to pick this up. Though a little of On the Edge is spoiled in Bayou Moon, for the most part they are shared world rather than direct series novels. You don¿t have to read On the Edge first, but I¿d be stunned to discover you didn¿t want to after getting a taste of Bayou Moon. I hope Andrews finds other characters like these to explore, because William and Cerise bring out the best in this already talented author (okay authors since it¿s a husband and wife team, but that makes it very hard to write about).
I've read many of Ilona Andrews books now and can tell you a few things: this writing team is extraordinarily talented at world-building. The process is dense and can be laborious at first (took me 4 attempts at Magic Strikes), but, I PROMISE YOU, you will be rewarded with a deeply-imaginative version of Louisiana and the swamp. The swamp in the Edge is a terrifying, malevolent place---you would scarcely go outside during the day, let alone venture out at night. There are man-eating plants and dead animals that stalk you. Secondly, all the Edge characters so far seem to have deeply troubled childhoods. Buried alive, chained to a wall, starved, abandoned, burned, watched their parents/siblings/loved ones die. Dr. Phil's head would explode. The evil is this book was a bit overwhelming. After I finished the book I had a lingering feeling of "ick" for a couple days. The disturbing topic of human mutation squirms throughout the book. Two families and a faction of evil are battling. Each sides first move is to effect the other side by capturing a beloved family member and torturing them.But you will love the characters. Cerise and her sister, Lark, are strong female characters. William is a damaged changeling (who just happens to look like an Abercrombie and Fitch model). Their romance spools out slowly, but is a bit rushed at the end even though Cerise's aunt explains that, for William the Wolf, it is all or nothing and he mates for life.This book is a visceral experience. You will smell the swamp rot.
This is the 2nd book in Ilona Andrew's The Edge paranormal romance series. I must admit that I wasn't all that enamored with the 1st book, On the Edge. It did not engage & excite me as much as I had hoped it would, especially considering how much I totally adore the Kate Daniels series. Fortunately, this followup installment improved upon its predecessor and reminded me why I'm such a huge fan of Ilona Andrew's writing.Bayou Moon was fairly well paced, and I did not think there were any moments when the plot dragged. In fact, there was always something interesting going on, with emotional & physical conflict present at every turn. There were also some fight scenes dispersed throughout the story. For the most part, they were well written, but I felt that they were a bit too short and too easily resolved for my liking. I'm an action junkie, so I love elaborate fight sequences.The standout aspect of this book is by far our protagonist duo. I will admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for love-hate (or rather hate-love) romantic relationships. I think it's a fun ride to see the main leads go from pushing each other's buttons to slowly (and a bit reluctantly) falling in love with one another. Cerise and William have sizzling chemistry practically from the very first instant they meet. I thoroughly enjoyed the way they got under each other's skin, how they bantered, and the way they tried to resist their perpetually growing mutual attraction.Both William and Cerise's characters were well-developed and easy to connect with. What I really loved about them was the fact that despite having supernatural abilities, they are both very real. They have flaws, insecurities, secrets, fears, dreams, vulnerabilities, and plenty of emotional baggage. They make poor choices and sometimes follow their hearts when they should be following their heads. And as their relationship evolves, so do they. The love that develops between Cerise and William is entirely believable and makes sense. They have a lot in common, and their romance grows in stages, rather than jumping from point A straight to point Z. There was a fun push-pull dynamic between them and some truly titillating tension that had me glued to my seat.I only had two real qualms with this book. My first issue has to do with the other characters. I found the two primary villains of the story to be underdeveloped and somewhat caricature-like. Also, the side characters, despite being unique, were not as well defined as I would have liked them to be. Some of them popped in and popped out of the story very abruptly and made me question their purpose. My other issue was with the changing perspective. I liked reading the story through Cerise and William's alternating points of view. I even appreciated getting more direct insight into the main villain's thoughts & machinations. However, at rather random moments in the second half of the book, certain chapters would switch perspectives to that of a couple of the supporting characters. I found this to be a bit disorienting, and I did not feel like it contributed in any significant way to the development of the story.Bottom Line:Bayou Moon was an enjoyable read that had me engrossed from start to finish. The main protagonists were easy to relate to and endearing. The romance was well developed and enthralling, with strong chemistry and fun dialogue. I would have liked the side characters & villains to be more refined, and I would have preferred fewer alternate points of view. Nevertheless, I'd highly recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance.
I loved The Edge; it was a perfect book for me in terms what I'm into in pacing, plot, humor, and characters.I loved Bayou Moon too, but it was slightly less perfect. The two main characters were more complex, the tone was a little darker, the plot moved a little slower, and the supporting characters were just a little less charming. About half a star less. Purely a matter of taste. Bayou Moon is an excellent book.
Yay, new Ilona Andrews! This is another Edge book, the idea here apparently being to create a new main heterosexual pairing with each book, here by bringing to prominence a minor character/disappointed suitor of the heroine of the previous book. Also, we repeat the pattern of powerful outsider male (physically powerful and also with connections to the nobility/power of the rulers of the fully magic lands on one side of the Edge) matched with physically/magically powerful female who¿s in a socially disadvantaged position because she¿s from the denigrated Edge and has significant family burdens. This all makes it sound like I didn¿t like it; not true! Andrews has found a pattern and executes it well, and the guy¿s extraordinary powers are not offputting because he¿s well matched, and this time he also has some chewy Angst (he¿s a shapeshifter and has a history of abuse because of it, and is convinced he¿s unloveable). You¿ll like it if this is the kind of thing you like.
I enjoyed the characters William and Cerise and adored the huge supporting cast, although sometimes the interactions between the villains and the heroes made me feel like I was reading X-Men comics. (Not that that's a bad thing, but IA usually has a bit of a lighter touch.) The plot was huge, well-paced and mostly coherent. (The whole search for the Mar family traitor element should have been cut, though, imo-- it was kind of clunky and the way this person's identity was unveiled made me think "how did you know about that, but didn't know about that?" And I can't say more without spoiling it.)Overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit; stayed up too late to finish it and was dismayed to realize that I'm going to have to wait another year to read the next in the series. While I wish there had been more time spent with just William and Cerise (and agree with logically that Cerise was like Rose version 2.0), I would still highly recommend this to fans of romantic fantasy, whether or not you've read the first in the series.
I like the cover - the swampy background - the sword.... the dark hair and different looks to the woman on the cover. They guy is kind of blond (The darker the better for my tastes), but he looks okay. Like the long hair. Wild.The Book - What can I say? Thoroughly enjoyed the book. There was just the right amount of wildness in the characters. Just the right amount of crazy. Just the right amount of steamy....(normally, I can do without the steamy, but Gordon and Ilona do a good job of not going overboard, and yet getting the point across that two characters are pretty hot and bothered for each other...) Bayou Moon is set in the swampy area of The Edge, and features a character from the novel The Edge. William is a changeling that has been living in the Edge, ever since the events in the novel (previous novel featuring Rose and Declan). He's approached by the special ops of the Weird's citizens to help capture...or rather KILL an operative of the opposing country in The Weird. If you've read The Edge, you know a bit of the background, if you haven't then you'll learn a bit when you read Bayou Moon. William travels to find and kill this operative (Spider) and has a run in with Cerise Mars......and later her crazy family. I LOVE her crazy family. I love the way they are brought to life by Ilona Andrews. The dialogue, the narration, the different points of view....all blends so well together that there is not one boring or "down-time moment" in this novel. I love the edgy, dark personalities of Cerise, her family members, and William. There's a scene set in the town that just gives a glimpse of the different ways of the Edge families.I also love the different animals that are described in both Bayou Moon and The Edge (the book). There are some seriously strange animals and wildlife in this series. Plants also - there are some crazy plants that come into play throughout this series.William finds that his mission and Cerise's family issues have a lot in common. Cerise, with her crazed clannish family is the perfect fit for William, which brings us a dark and mildly twisted romance - the best kind of romance to have. (lol). Part of the courtship of Cerise and William is swordplay - real swords.As with their other novels, Gordon and Ilona Andrews gift us with entertaining narration, great dialogue, twisted plots and some great fight/action scenes. They can also write very good "steam" scenes, that are pretty intense, and yet don't leave me with the feeling that I've just read porn that's been inserted into the book to sell copies. There are also appearances by the main characters in the previous novel, The Edge. Rose, Declan and Rose's brothers all have short and interesting scenes in Bayou Moon. Can't wait to see what they'll come up with next for an Edge novel.If you enjoy urban fantasy, or fantasy set in strange settings, with edgy characterizations that manage to contain a lot of humor, you're going to love this book. It has it all. Funny, Heartwrenching, action, fighting, steam, .....PLOT! An Excellent Read.Just in case....Ilona Andrews also writes the Kate Daniels series
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, 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, 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 Wierd; 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 responsibilites 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 boo, On the Edge, 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.
The Mire, deep and deadly, the Edge's version of Louisiana bayous: you can almost hear the banjos....In the heart of the Mire, Cerise Mar and her tight-knit clan are finding their feud with the neighboring Sheeriles rough going. The Sheerlies suddenly have some powerful allies. The Hand, spies from the Weird with their own agenda: getting their hands on a Mar family secret. A secret buried so deep, most of the Mars don't even know it exists. But if they don't keep what's theirs, they won't survive.After the events in The Edge, changeling William has been living a tentative existence in the Broken, coming to terms with himself. But when Mirror agents from the Weird come calling, William can't resist taking one more shot at delivering justice to a bitter enemy - even if wolves do HATE getting wet. When Cerise and William cross paths, sparks fly - for William and the Mars life is about to change - if it doesn't end first.Loved this! Well-executed, creative and occasionally humorous, with lots of action.
I enjoyed reading this. I liked it better the the first book in the series. Cant wait to see what comes next.
"Bayou Moon" continues Ilona Andrews record of quality, well-written and enjoyable paranormal novels. Like her Kate Daniels series, the Edge books seem to be getting even better. "Bayou Moon" is a thicker book than "On The Edge" but its so packed with adventure and romance that it feels over far too quickly. William and Cerise live in different parts of the Edge. William is on a quest to hunt down an enemy who is on a quest for something related to Cerise and her family. The two band together in an effort to combine forces to get rid of their common enenmy and hopefully rescue Cerise's kidnapped parents. There were far too many plot twists and intriguing side characters to mention in one review. The book had so many important developments and revelations that it was sometimes hard to keep up. Cerise's home in the swamplands of the Edge include all her extended family. They all have vibrant personalities and I wanted to know more about them in the worst way. Everytime any of them was in danger I was worried about each of them. William is my favorite hero in recent memory. He is a "ruthless" killer, a horrifying changeling but his character had so much heart. He is basically a big kid. Cerise does what she has to do no matter how much she hates it. William needs a strong woman and I never questioned the believablity of their love for each other. The story has a slight misstep. Obviously I don't feel that it impacts the book enough to warrant a lesser rating. Their were times at the very end where scenes felt rushed. It defintely felt like the writers couldn't go over a certain page count. This led to a couple of brief moments of confusion where I had to go back and reread a paragraph or two. Forgive me for not giving more detail about the occurances in this story. Everything is so tightly knit together that it would be a shame to spoil anything.
Another good one from Ilona Andrews.
This wife/husband writing team never disappoints.
Suspense, romance and intrigue ?