Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Hoping to basically fade into the woodwork living and working in the Broken (the non-magical world) for the last few years, William is startled when he is approached by an agent of the Hand - a group of spies who serve Adriaglian in the Weird - to once-and-for-all destroy the ruthless killer known as the Spider. Having dealt with the Spider before, William absolutely understands the importance of taking down the deranged killer for good. The Spider's trail leads William directly into the Mire - a portion of swampland that separates the Weird and the Broken called the Edge - and straight into the path of the warring Mar clan. At the head of her rag-tag family is Cerise Mar and she's currently only holding her rough and tumble family together by sheer determination. Cerise's parents were kidnapped and as the oldest and best-trained fighter, it's now up to her to make sure her fiercely proud family of Edgers can protect themselves. So even though she knows it's a bad idea to bring William into her family's conflict, she can immediately see him for the trained fighter he is and knows that he just might be the only chance her family gets.

Thank heavens Ilona Andrews decided to return to the fascinating world of the Edge, this time with a story for William. William played a bit part in On the Edge as Declan's shape-shifting army buddy and I just knew from the start that he'd be buckets more interesting than Mr. Perfect Declan could ever hope to be. For starters, William is a bit damaged. He's got these dark corners in his past and already is a bit behind emotionally due to his being born a changeling -- in this case a man who shifts into a wolf. But man, is he ever so likable. For the outset, it's obvious William's got himself on this tight leash -- he refuses to become the 'animal' so many people believe he is.

And then that's not even going into how much I loved Cerise and her off-beat family. Their magical talents range from deadly flashing sword skills to limitless good luck which can only be tapped after a bet has been placed upon the outcome. And once again Ilona Andrews showcase their trademark wit in the character of Cerise. She's smart and tough and I immensely liked her. I could have spent much more time in the Mire with the Mars family but was still immensely pleased with what I got. Whereas On the Edge often felt a little too formulaic and fluffy, Bayou Moon has some grit and substance to it -- The Spider and all of the Hand's minions are some scary dudes -- plus it's hefty. 447 pages hefty people! I'm not one to complain about that sort of thing. All total, Bayou Moon is a fabulous second novel with plenty of good things to recommend it. I for one am already waiting to see where Ilona Andrews will take us in the Edge next.

Even if, once again, Ilona Andrews got shafted in the cover department. Admittedly, Bayou Moon is light-years better than the artwork for On the Edge, but this one would be greatly improved by the removal of the pensive floating head of William.

series reading order:
~ On the Edge - my review
~ Bayou Moon

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Angieville review
Dear Author review
Dreams and Speculation review
Janicu review

book source: review copy from publisher


Chachic said...

Finished reading this one last night! I'll post my review sometime this week. We loved the same things in the book - William and Cerise, the Mars and their magical talents. I'm glad we got to see a glimpse of Declan, Rose and her two brothers. I'm really fond of George and Jack. So glad they decided to continue with this series. I hear the next one is going to be about Kaldar, I'm looking forward to that because I'm a huge fan of incorrigible thieves.

Holly said...

In ther middle off this once right now. Really liking both William and Cerise. Great review.

Michelle said...

Chachic - Seriously? That is the best news ever. I'm so glad to hear the next one will star Kaldar!! You are your thieves...

Holly - Oh fun! Keep reading, I really liked this one.

Janicu said...

I didn't know about there being another book either! And Kaldar? This is good news!

The cover - so agree about the floating head. It know it's short hand for "romance within!" but ug.