The Edge of Everything
It's been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father's shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.
"I'm trying to stroke your cheek sweetly," she said. "Is this your cheek? Am I stroking it sweetly?"
"No, that's my forehead," Zoe said. "And that is my nose."
"Okay, well, picture me stroking your cheek," her mother said.
"I'm picturing it," Zoe said, and laughed despite herself as her mother's hand groped around blindly. "Now stop it, Helen Keller. Please. That's my ear."
After reading Crooked Kingdom I had a (by my own standards) terrible case of a book hangover which is why it took me a couple of days to actually get started on The Edge of Everything but, frankly, this just isn't a good book to read after such a fantastic book. It might have been average any other time of the year but, in contrast to a brilliant book, it's definitely drastically lacking.
Yes, there were a couple of sweet moments which I liked (family moments such as the excerpt above) but they were drowned out by either boring/weird romantic insta-love moments or by X and the Lowlands. Both of these issues are subjects of their own.
First, the insta-love. Urgh. I'm okay with a certain level of insta-love I even think that it is possible to pull off but if the first chapter (or rather Prologue) already establishes the insta-love aspects, before we even get to meet the characters attached to it, I'm already put-off by the romance. (It did like the idea of isolating a scene from the beginning of a book and putting it right at the start, however. I thought that was well done.) And it grew only worse from that point. Zoe and X are, simply put, pretty insufferable and their inability to think is even more so.
Secondly, the whole Lowlands-thing bothered me. I can't put my finger on the exact thing that made me dislike that whole ordeal because is was mostly a bunch of little things which, put together, just didn't work for me. Like the language. Giles made a point of using different kinds of English (which is nice) but, as far as I can tell, it's only divided into two: modern and 200-year-old English. Generally, there's nothing inherently wrong with that, it might seems like an ambitious kind of lazy but that's fine by me, it just makes reading all of the Lowland conversations very, veeery exhausting. The constant switching between Victorian and Modern English made both seem unnatural and forced. You'd think that people adopt at least a couple of modern words when they've been un-dead for 200 years but apparently they only convey "modern talk" in a very old-fashioned manner. And that's just one example of an aspect of the Lowlands irritating me.
I also quickly wanted to address the characters as such. Because I hardly liked any of them. Some examples:
Zoe, who's a little younger than my younger sister, acts more like my youngest sister (and maybe we're a strange family like that but I'm pretty sure neither of my sisters has the urge to go on Instagram and Snapchat to calm down) and is generally super inconsiderate which annoyed me so, soo much. I'm the oldest of my siblings and I've always been super protective of the rest of them even when we were fighting, Zoe isn't even able to look after her brother who's outside playing during a freaking blizzard. I'd have known better when I was 3.
Val, although I liked seeing a Lesbian character, just seems so superficial as if you could see the loose threats holding her together, about to come apart. I definitely do expect more from a best-friend character.
And what about X? Well, X could be summarized as a severe case of lacking personality-traits.
Jonah I was okay with and Dallas I actually liked which is why I very much disliked how condescending Zoe acted towards him.
I guess I could generally summarize the problems I had with this book as lack of depth and superficiality. Hardly anything was established in a meaningful way, hardly anything of importance was explained sufficiently. Sadly, this is already evident in the beginning of the book and doesn't really get any better as it goes along.
"DO NOT TALK TO MY BROTHER, YOU PSYCHOTIC DICK!"
As I've said in the beginning, it might have been an okay book had it not been for my timing. Hence I'm going with 2/5 stars.
Name: The Edge of Everything
Series: Untitled (but I'm not planning on reading any further book in it anyway so that is just as well.)
Author: Jeff Giles