Yet another fantasy world created within the mind of Mary Fan, & what a fantasy world it is! The Edge of Evil progresses mostly at a steady pace, but as you delve further into the world, & the book, the stakes gradually increase & by the end I was completely hooked. If you’ve not dived into one of Mary’s books yet, you absolutely must – she’s one of the best writers in YA fantasy right now (& my favourite author).
⚠️ This book contains a death of a parent, violence, discrimination, as well as gun & bomb use ⚠️
Break the enchantments. Find the truth. Ignite the revolution.
A century ago, the Enchanters defeated the evil Lord of the Underworld, but not before he’d unleashed his monsters and ravaged the earth. The Enchanters built the Triumvirate out of what remained of the United States, demanding absolute obedience in exchange for protection from the lingering supernatural beasts.
Sixteen-year-old Flynn Nightsider, doomed to second-class life for being born without magic, knows the history as well as anyone. Fed up with the Triumvirate’s lies and secrecy, he longs for change. And when he stumbles across a clue that hints at something more – secrets in the dark, the undead, and buried histories – he takes matters into his own hands.
Before long, Flynn finds himself hunted not only by the government, but also by nightmarish monsters and a mysterious man with supernatural powers … all seeking him for reasons he cannot understand. Rescued by underground rebels, he’s soon swept up in their vision of a better world, guided by a girl as ferocious as the monsters she fights. But as the nation teeters on the brink of revolution, Flynn realizes three things.
The rebellion is not what it seems.
Flynn himself might be more than he seems.
And the fate of the world now rests in his hands.
Before I start my review I feel it’s important that I mention that, unknowingly, I initially received a damaged copy of the book & at 168 pages (44%) in I discovered that a chunk of the pages had not been bound properly. Instead, a collection of pages were folded in on themselves & then bound so it was impossible for me to continue reading; I returned the book & then bought a replacement from the same place & they ended up giving me the same damaged copy as a replacement… it’s fair to say I was pissed. This palaver meant that I had to stop reading the book for a while, which definitely made it harder for me to connect with the characters & the story, which is incredibly annoying. I did enjoy the book, but I think that I would have liked it more if I’d been able to read it over a few days, like normal, rather than weeks.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way I shall review! When I started reading I was surprised to find that the book was written (partly) from the point of view of Flynn Nightsider – due to the title I should’ve expected this but for some reason I didn’t & unfortunately I always find it harder to connect with protagonists who are men. Nevertheless, I did develop an attachment to Flynn & his childhood story is something that I still remember vividly, despite it being a while since I finished the book. Flynn definitely grew on me as the story progressed & by the end I was desperate to know where his future was heading.
A secondary main character in the story was Aurelia, & I was so intrigued by her because she’s completely different (at least in my opinion) from Mary’s previous women characters – she’s quite arrogant & appears very sure of herself, & normally I would find this annoying but instead I was just curious to learn more about her. The interactions between Flynn & Aurelia ended up being my favourite parts of the book, which is completely abnormal for me, but I think this was because the interactions were described from the man’s point of view, but the man was written by a woman so there were none of the sexist comments we’re all tired of reading, which was super refreshing. Moreover, because the story was written from Flynn’s POV we get to read about all of man’s insecurities whilst having no idea about the seemly confident & dominant woman’s feelings.
I also enjoyed the Flynn/Aurelia moments because they included lots of fighting scenes whilst Aurelia helps to train Flynn up – Mary is so good at writing action/combat scenes & the ones in this book were brilliant. I was also super entertained by Aurelia’s conflicting opinion of Flynn, & her struggle to decide whether Flynn’s skills annoyed her or whether they turned her on (it was definitely a bit of both). However, as the story progressed you do get to learn more about Aurelia* & I felt that the character development, for her & for all the other prominent characters, was incredibly clever.
*there are also some novellas about Aurelia’s life prior to The Edge of Evil & I really need to read them!!
The Edge of Evil has its fair share of twists & turns throughout, & things definitely got more intense & more complex as the story progressed; there were a handful of characters who I couldn’t help but not trust & the ending definitely surprised me in more than one way. The world-building was also something I found incredibly interesting & I was fascinated by the Triumvirate. I’m so curious about what direction Mary is going to take the series, & I’m desperately hoping that I’ll be able to read book two in a more timely fashion than I was forced to read book one in.
If you like fight scenes, evil spirits, corrupt political regimes & classic YA revolutions, all set in a fantasy dystopian world, then this series is definitely for you – you can grab a copy using the links below:
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Bookshop.org
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