ARC Book Review: The Brink of Darkness

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Synopsis:

In this sequel to the cinematic, romantic fantasy The Edge of Everything, star-crossed X and Zoe must overcome the boundaries of their two worlds in order to find their way back to each other.

Things have changed for seventeen-year-old Zoe ever since the otherworldly events that brought her together with the mysterious bounty hunter she calls X. In order to save Zoe and her family, X has done the unthinkable–he’s given up his freedom and returned to captivity in the Lowlands.

X is determined to break the lords’ hold on him once and for all, but being stripped of his power pushes him toward a darkness he’s never experienced and a past he’s never known. The secrets that surface could be the key to reuniting X and Zoe . . . or they could mean the destruction of everything they have been fighting for.

Gripping and full of heart, this epic continuation of Jeff Giles’ series will bring readers right to the edge of everything.

Purchase:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Bloomsbury YA. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel was released on July 10, 2018.*

I didn’t love The Edge of Everything, but I enjoyed it enough to want to read the sequel and find out how Zoe and X’s story would end. Unfortunately, I felt about the same about The Brink of Darkness as I did about The Edge of Everything, which is to say I thought it was so-so.

This sequel picks up a little after where the first book ended. Zoe and X have been separated because X had to return to the Lowlands and be punished for breaking the rules to be with Zoe. However, because of his time with Zoe and her family, X was more determined than ever to find his mother and find a way out of the Lowlands. Thus, began an epic adventure of self-discovery for X.

Meanwhile, Zoe was coming to terms with the fact that the love of her (teenage) life was living in literal hell, and there was pretty much nothing she could do about it. That was until Zoe was given a task to help X, one he couldn’t complete himself while in the Lowlands. Thus, both X and Zoe began to learn more about X and how he came to be born in hell.

As with the first book, I really loved the humor in this story. All the characters had their own quirks, which really added to the story. I loved seeing Dallas and Val learn more about what Zoe went through in The Edge of Everything. It was also nice that though Zoe and X still had trials to face in this novel, to me the stakes were actually lower in The Brink of Darkness. In The Edge of Everything, I felt so bad for Zoe and her family, whereas here, I was so happy to see them living a relatively normal life in Montana.

I think the biggest issue for me was I did get bored at times with this story. There were definitely times I started skim, and just wanted the story to just get to the point. I wanted to see action or romance or something exciting, and there was just a lot of walking around the Lowlands or backstories I personally didn’t need.  Thus, this was just an okay read for me. I wish I enjoyed it more, but I didn’t.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow

Stars:

2 stars

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Book Review: The Edge of Everything

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Synopsis:

For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shocking death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying subzero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in the woods–only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for them both.

Gripping and full of heart, this epic start to a new series will bring readers right to the edge of everything.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading The Edge of Everything. I don’t think I read the synopsis beforehand, or if I did I didn’t remember it once I started the novel. I didn’t even realize this was a series until very near the end, which shifted my perspective quite a bit. While I would’ve liked to have known that beforehand, I think it was good that I didn’t know what to expect going into this novel.

The book is told in close third person point of view alternating between protagonists and love interests Zoe and X. It starts with a prologue that immediately drew me in because I loved the characters almost instantly. Zoe is snarky, whereas X is quiet and timid, even though he could totally kill you with his bare hands. He also speaks like he’s from the 19th century, which I found hilarious and cute. Add in the fact that he adorably has no understanding of the world because he’s grown up in the Lowlands, which is basically hell, and X is now on my book boyfriends list.

Besides Zoe and X, I enjoyed pretty much every character in this novel. I loved Zoe’s little family. Her mom is such a badass and her brother Jonah is so cute and super excitable. Then there’s Zoe’s ex Dallas who is such a dork and I love him. Zoe’s best friend Val was also great and funny. Down in the Lowlands, I really liked X’s friends Banger and Ripper, which is interesting because on the one hand they’ve done terrible things to end up in the Lowlands and yet I ended up loving them anyway. I also really liked the one of the Lowlands lord Regent and how he treated X. There’s some other lords that I could’ve lived without.

Essentially, the best part about this novel was the characters. They’re who really drew me in and I loved Zoe and X’s relationship, however, if you’re not a fan of insta-love you will not like this. I am a fan (in most cases) so I was immediately on the Zoe/X love train. The plot itself, however, didn’t draw me in as much as I would’ve hoped. My main issue was that it definitely felt predictable to me. I had a suspicion from early on that ended up proving to be right and I didn’t want to be.

Also, there’s a long part of the novel where Zoe and X are apart and while I understood why, that part of the novel dragged for me. I started skimming, thinking to myself, “Give me the good stuff. Where is the action?” It was just a bit too slow for me. However, once I got past that hump things got really interesting and I was sucked back in.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed The Edge of Everything and I will be reading the sequel, mainly because I need to know how this all ends. I’m kind of hoping this is just a duology, though I have no idea if that’s actually the case. I feel like I only need one more book to tie everything up but who knows what Jeff Giles has up his sleeves?

In any case, The Edge of Everything was worth the read and if you haven’t read it yet you should give it a chance.

Borrow or Buy: Buy

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“If I do not return it is only because not one but two worlds conspired to stop me.”

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