October 10, 2012 by Heidi
Title: Bayou Moon [Amazon|Goodreads]
Author: Ilona Andrews [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: Book 2 in The Edge series. Can be read as a stand alone.
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance
Published: September 28th, 2010 by Ace
Format: Paperback; 447 pages.
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
Spoilers!: There are only the tiniest spoilers for On the Edge in Bayou Moon and this review, the book can easily be read as a stand alone.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I requested Bayou Moon from my library. It’s the only one of Ilona Andrews’ books lacking the words “Magic” (Kate Daniels) or “Edge” (The Edge series) in the title, and I’ll be honest, my eyes got pretty big when I saw its girth and noted that it was a good 100 pages longer than any of her other books. I certainly didn’t expect Bayou Moon to completely capture my heart as my favorite Ilona Andrews book yet, but it did so handily.
Bayou Moon has us returning to the Edge–that weird strip of land running along the border between the Broken and the Weird where magic exists, but not in full force. William, who has spent the last two years having a pity party and drinking beer in his trailer is recruited into duty by the Mirror, a special ops force from Adrianglia. Presented with the opportunity to kill his (and all Changelings’) oldest enemy, Spider, William agrees to uncover whatever weapon it is Spider’s attempting to recover for his country, kill him, and provide Adrianglia with intel. He leaves his thin strip of the Edge to enter the Mire–a portion of the Edge that stretches for hundreds of miles between the Broken’s Louisiana and the Weird’s Louisiana.
“It’s sweltering and damp. It smells of rotting vegetation, and fish, and stagnant water. It shifts constantly. Nothing is what it seems: the solid ground is mud and the fish have legs. It’s not a proper place.”
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Cerise Mar has lived her entire life in the Mire, where family is everything and deadly feuds rage for generations. When her parents disappear and the Sheeriles–the family the Mar’s have been feuding with for generations–produce a deed signing over to them a chunk of the Mar land, Cerise finds herself in charge of contesting the deed in court, killing the Sheeriles, and finding her parents. Knowing only that they were taken by the Hand, an elite force of magically mutated fighters, Cerise begrudgingly agrees to team up with William who has a convenient knowledge of the Hand and fighting skills that rival her own.
Ah! My enthusiasm for Bayou Moon is practically dripping. We first met William the Wolf in On the Edge where the poor misguided soul tried very hard to convince Rose to love him even though they were very wrong together. More than anything, William wants a family, wants to be loved, but he knows that he doesn’t deserve these thigns. I love that in Bayou Moon we get to see inside of William’s head and get to know both his excited puppy and really scary wolf sides. He falls hard for Cerise not because he feels he should (as with Rose), but because he can’t help himself. It isn’t her family (because they’re their own piece of work), it’s the fact that Cerise is strong, self-assured, and can mow through ten men as easily as slicing butter. Watching Cerise fight is the most beautiful thing William has ever seen. He respects her as a fighter, doesn’t honestly know if he could beat her, and lets her fight her own battles.
Cerise, on the other hand, gives us an outside perspective of just how dangerous an attraction to William can be. She realizes slowly that he’s a bit broken inside, but instead of viewing him as such she just sees him as something she wants very badly for her own. She doesn’t pity William, which would hurt him, instead she chooses to love every crazy bone in his body, and she relishes his sharp edges. If only wolves understood things like flirting and hints (or any nuanced social skills for that matter) and a relationship with one didn’t have to be all or nothing.
She had to admit and accept the reality: William with his amber eyes and his wolfish laugh, crazy, lethal William, made her head spin. He was like a dangerous puzzle box full of razor blades–press the wrong switch and the blades would slice your fingers to ribbons. And she was the fool who couldn’t wait to press the switches and find out the right one.
The third person multiple narratives works so well in Bayou Moon. I enjoyed On the Edge immensely, but here we got to see Cerise and William in equal parts in a balance that really added to the story. The plot was jam packed full of dangers both close to home and completely exotic, and the pacing was so spot on perfect that it was quite difficult to put down. The story here with its layers of villains and motivations seemed much more rich and deadly to me than the plot of On the Edge. Added darkness aside, this installment was still full of Ilona Andrews’ snarky and wonderful humor that had me laughing out loud constantly while reading. I fell completely for William and Cerise, but as they were caught up in the world around them, so was I. Bayou Moon was slightly more Urban Fantasy than Romance in its balance, but I liked it that way and wouldn’t change a thing.
My only problem/confusion stemmed once again from my inability to keep names strait. The Mar clan is pretty dang big, not to mention the list of villains between the Mire and the Hand. We knew there was likely a turncoat within the Mar family, and for the longest time I was convinced it was Kaldar because I had his name confused with Karmash, Spider’s second in command. This bummed me out as I really liked that scoundrel, but then I realized that I was just confusing myself again. *sigh* At least at no time did I feel that Bayou Moon called for a Deliverance banjo duel.
Likelihood that I’ll be back for more: Um…I did stupid excited girly little hand flails of excitement when I looked up the blurb for Fates Edge and saw that the male lead is Kaldar Mar. Yep, yep, sign me up for that.
Recommended for: I adored this book, I’ll pretty much shove it on anyone willing to read some great Urban Fantasy whether they want to bother with On the Edge first or not (but they should because it was also awesome).
Real life repercussions of reading this book:
Not gonna lie, the first part of this book really read like that amazeballs episode of Archer:
Get a second opinion:
Book Harbinger – “They’re not Kate and Curran but I adored them both and with the unpredictably imaginative concept of the Edge I look forward to any additional books in this series.”
Angieville – “Bayou Moon is even wilder than its predecessor, if you can believe it. And since, in many ways, William and Cerise are wilder than Declan and Rose, I relished how the landscape, the villain, and the entire storyline reflected that.”
Chachic’s Book Nook – “Another awesome urban fantasy novel from Ilona Andrews – espionage set in an interesting swampy landscape with broken but lovable main characters and distinct secondary characters in the form of the Mars – highly recommended to all fans of the genre.”
Janicu’s Book Blog – “The Edge series straddles genres to create a world that’s unlike any other, and I found Bayou Moon a rare book that entertains so well, I was lost to everything else.”
See Michelle Read – “Whereas On the Edge often felt a little too formulaic and fluffy, Bayou Moon has some grit and substance to it”
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