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Really Ravishing Review (Bayou Moon)

literati_rain66 Wednesday, November 24, 2010 , ,
Bayou Moon (The Edge, Book 2)Review of Bayou Moon, by Ilona Andrews. 

Quickie: Better than On The Edge, in my opinion. (And I loved On The Edge) Brilliant.

Full: I think I may have to make an "Ilona Andrews" label here on the blog, because it's getting harder and harder to fit Andrews' books into genres. Not that I'm complaining, because their books break out of traditional genre cliches and slash and parry into the new. (I say 'their' because the Ilona Andrews pen name is for a married couple; Ilona and Andrew Gordon.)

Bayou Moon is the second book in The Edge series. It's not a "sequel", but "a novel of the Edge". You do see some characters from On The Edge, but it's mostly a brand new story. And it's marvelous.

We start out with William, a poor lost soul who thinks he isn't worth anything. It's an understandable feeling for him, since he's a changeling, and in Adrianglia they abhor and fear changelings. Mothers are permitted to give up their changeling baby, surrender them to the government. They are sent to orphanages until they are old enough to go to Hawk's Academy, where they are taught to kill. Because after all, that's all a changeling could possibly be good for, right? (insert maternal heartache here) He longs for companionship, for friends, for a family, but knows that his reality won't allow for all that. His reality is killing. It's what he was raised to do, and he's darn good at it. The best.

William (I keep wanting to type Squilliam Fancyson. Stinkin' Spongebob!) has been hired by The Mirror - Adrianglia's secret service of sorts- to hunt down a certain important article and kill the man who has it. This leads to even more interesting people, like The Hand. They are referred to as "the freaks", and generally I would dislike that, but for The Hand it's fitting and true. They are modified people, some modified so much that they are no longer human. They have tentacles and cilia and freakish super powers that make them terrifying and unpredictable. The leader of The Hand is Spider, who is of course the man William must hunt and kill.

On the way to Spider, William meets Cerise. Cerise is searching for her parents, who have been traded by her family's rivals, the Sheeriles, to The Hand for the deed to her grandfather's house. She doesn't know why The Hand would have an interest in her parents, but as the leader of the family in her father's absence, she must find them and save them. At the same time of course, the feud between her family and the Sheeriles has rekindled and they must fight for their land and pride.

Cerise lives in the Mire, where exiles have been cast and everyone is poor. It's dangerous land and one wrong move could result in your death. Families are large, and they fight tooth and nail for everything they have.

With their courses twined, Cerise and William share a perilous journey with uncertain consequences. Along the way, a romance buds. I loved, loved, loved the romance in Bayou Moon. It was real. They didn't bat their eyelashes and instantly want to get hitched and live happily ever after. They didn't even get along when they first met. They were suspicious of each other, and they goaded each other and laughed when the other fell. It was awesome. The more they got to know one another, the more they realized that "Hey, this person is really cool. Oh, and hey, I'm really impressed with his/her fighting abilities, magic, and perseverance. And would you look at that, they look quite nice when he/she is fighting... No! Must not think that!! But he/she is really funny, and what did he/she mean by ___??"

I loved it. It wasn't rushed, it wasn't forced, it was awesome.

How was the world, you ask? Divine, I say. With all of Ilona Andrews' books, you have to pay attention and let the world build itself in your head. Once it's there, it's fantastical. No important detail is overlooked, and the world is so very complete. Most books with big new worlds, I get the idea but there are blank spots on my picture. Not so in Bayou Moon. I felt like I could be transported there in real life and already know what I was facing and where to go. That's some massive talent right there.

The Hands freaks might be number one on my awesome list. I could imagine them so well, and they creeped me out utterly. The genius behind all these characters and world ideas... I'm still geeking out over it all.

I feel like I've written a book on this book... so I'll stop now. But if any of you Bayou Moon fans want somebody to geek with, I'm ready and willing!

For those of you who haven't read it and think it sounds like something you might like- GO. Read. Now.

5 of 5 stars.


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