The Edge of Everything
Author: Jeff Giles
Oh, wow. I’ve gone back and forth on how to start this one but the basics of the book are: Zoe gets attacked. X saves Zoe. They fall in love almost immediately. Near as I can tell because they have to… and then the question becomes how will they ever be together? Because X isn’t just any bounty hunter but he’s a prisoner in a place called the Lowlands and when he’s sent to take a soul- he has to. Or there will be hell to pay.
There were a couple of things that bugged me in this book so I do get a bit more spoilery than usual below. Just beware!
I’ll start with the good. The world building and the stuff in the Lowlands was really interesting. While I think X’s story is kind of cliche I really liked his friends from that world. Banger and especially Ripper were my favorite characters in the book (which is weird to say considering what they are). It’s a very good set-up and a very interesting world there.
I also liked Zoe’s brother and I was happy that her mom was a nice involved parent. She didn’t just disappear or go oblivious when strange shit started going down. There’s also a really nice bit where a character goes caving and though I’ve never been caving it was easy to picture in my head and feel the emotions this character is going through.
But now for the parts that kind of bugged me. I admit they are more of the personal/ people’s mileage will vary problems and a little bit spoilery…
I do not like to read about or watch any kind of violence against animals or any animal deaths. Generally, I’ll avoid it. But if it’s going to happen I really just want it over with as fast as possible. In the first half of this book the dogs: nearly die in a blizzard, are attacked by a killer, one is hit by a car, the other thrown under the ice in a lake. (It’s also implied because the one is hiding under a rug that they recognize this guy and are terrified.) Oh and then they nearly freeze to death again in a supernatural storm. Then just when I thought it was over they were also nearly killed at the end.
It would have been really nice if that was cut in half or you know, not at all. Also would have been nice if they even had a line about taking the dogs to the vet. Especially the one who was hit by the car. I did come to realize that Giles probably wasn’t going to kill the dogs but it just made it stressful and manipulate.
And then there’s the killings and overall the question of mercy. We get the detailed description of the brutal murder of an elderly couple while Zoe watches it and then she decides to tell X to spare the killer. Now okay, I don’t know what most people would do but I would think they’d at the very least tie the killer up? Make sure he was unconscious and restrained? (I actually think a lot of people, after watching someone they loved be brutally attacked and murdered would be fine with letting the bounty hunter take care of business.) But whatever. Zoe wants mercy and X- despite the fact that he’s literally not supposed to do it and that it will mean pain and punishment for him, does.
It would be interesting if that mercy actually did anything but no, what we get is another scene of the bad guy assaulting another older gentleman who stopped to help him and leading to that gentleman’s death. Then X finally does what he’s supposed to.
The question of mercy comes up again near the end and it’s much more a gray area. But then I also think we’re supposed to like and feel sorry for X’s potential victim here. Once more the decision has unintended consequences for an innocent victim (and likely several others) but I do think here it’s slightly easier to understand. Still, overall, the dogs and the elderly victims were just two elements that really bugged me. I didn’t end the book particularly fond of X or Zoe or their decision making skills.
Recommend: Yes. Balancing everything out and admitting my two main issues are my own it was still a fast paced and well written and it gets great reviews on Goodreads. However I’m unlikely to continue on with the series.