Title: Bayou Moon
Author: Ilona Andrews
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: Rustic Fantasy or Redneck Romance (according to authors)
Standalone/Series: Series (The Edge #2)
Release: September 28th, 2010
Publisher: Ace Received from agent
Author info: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/
Spoiler Alert: small plot spoilers
GoodReads Blurb: Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one. 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. William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster. When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed ... and survive.
REVIEW: Hands down Ilona Andrews (a husband and wife writing team) is one of my favorite authors, the worlds they build are starkly beautiful knotted messes that you just want to start pulling on the threads to see where they lead. They have the ability to build books that create action sequences that make you forget how to breathe, complicated but ultimately satisfying romance, biting humor, and worlds you would like to see for yourself. Bayou Moon, the latest book by Ilona Andrew, contains all those things I love wrapped up in a great heroine and hero, Cerise and William, and one of the weirdest and most interesting worlds out there – that of the Broken/Edge/Weird. We were first introduced to this world in On the Edge – though you don’t need to read the first book to understand what is going on in Bayou Moon it was another awesome book so why wouldn’t you want to? – Broken is basically our world with no magic and lots of technology; Weird is a world full of magic; and the Edge is what exists between. The Edge has both magic and some technology but is a hard place to live – like some kind of refugee camp for those trying to escape or where exiled from the Weird but have too much magic to survive in the Broken for long. Therefore the Edge is inhabited with a lot of people who will kill to keep their secrets hidden, distrust outsiders to the point of killing them on sight, and like to take care of their problems themselves. And in the Mire – the part of the Edge Cerise is from and where the majority of this book takes place – those Edge attributes take on a more sinister form since the Mire is basically a gigantic prehistoric deadly swamp with gators the size of houses and 15 foot dead eels piloted by necromancers – so being an outsider there is definitely a one-way ticket to deadsville. The outsider in this story, William, is a tough and deadly sort that could do some damage to those gigantic gators and is no stranger to secrets since he has many of his own to hide. William is sent to the Mire to hunt Spider, his nemesis for many years who leads a team of magically altered spies. This isn’t a pretty alteration either, the spies don’t sparkle in the sunlight or have beautiful wings, no they have tentacles, poison sacs, fangs, scales, and other nastiness. This was definitely a case where I was glad I was reading a book rather than having to see the disturbing images on TV. Unfortunately Cerise and her family become a target for Spider and his team of spies known as the Hand and William works with Cerise and her family to bring them down.
William and Cerise were a great pair from the start – so many hilarious misunderstandings had me giggling throughout the beginning of the book as well as their pet names for each other. The author does an excellent job of conveying that William thinks differently than most people due to his being a changeling and growing up in the equivalent of a harsh military school environment. This difference in the way William thinks led to some great foot-in-mouth moments for him as well. It also gives William a primal edge when it comes to battles and when it comes to what he wants from Cerise as well. Cerise is definitely tough enough and brave enough to attract William’s interest. Her ability to smash things up and to kill are quite the attractive attributes to him. Cerise also has a lot of responsibilities resting on her shoulders as the leader of her family and she has many of the attributes I love in an urban fantasy heroine –strong-willed, non-whiny, sarcastic, witty, deadly, and likes those strong and deadly types of men.
This book is definitely a 5 out of 5 for me, Cerise and William make up a deadly and awesomely entertaining team!
I love all books snarky, sexy, or action-packed! My favorite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal romance though I read a little of everything. Please feel free to contact me at darklyreading (at) gmail (dot) com