Best part: the characters, the story, the humor, and the dialogue. In short, it's an awesome book.
Reviewed in the United States on 19 July 2018
I was one of those lucky dogs who received an ARC of The Edge of Darkness, the first book in this duology, and I absolutely fell in love with the characters, the story, the crackling wit and, best of all, the dialogue. This final book, The Brink of Darkness, is just as engaging, funny, sweet, sad, and cry-yourself-ugly as the first. Seriously, my eyes were swollen and my nose was running by the final page.
It's that good.
BOD begins not long after the end of EOD: X is damned to Hell, no longer a bounty hunter with kickass power and Zoe is damned to living on earth without a home, without X. She still has her fabulous friends, Val and Dallas (How could you not love those two). She still has her adorable brother, Jonah, with his innocent but astute observations. And she has the most understanding mother in the world who gets that her daughter fell in love with a bounty hunter from Hell but that doesn't mean she's happy about it.
The first part of the book focuses on X and as much as I missed him with Zoe, I loved getting to know him that much better. X knows his mother, who he has never met, is banished somewhere in the Lowlands and he makes a deal with Regent: if he brings Ripper, his psychopath mother figure, back from earth, Regent will help him find his mother. It's a heartbreaker of a deal but all parties, even the marvelous Ripper, understand.
With the Russian guard ("I'm not Russian, I'm Ukrainian".) forever in a tracksuit and wearing a gold chain necklace that says "Mama", wielding a baseball bat at his side, X proceeds further into into the Lowlands into what only can be best described as the true Hell. And this is where the book gets dark dark dark. Cringe-worthy dark. Sad dark. Painfully dark.
When the book flips back to Zoe, it's a relief. She's got her own angsty stuff going on, but at least it's not Hell. True, her house was destroyed and the family has to live with Rufus, the laid back dude in love with her mother. Uhura, one of the dogs that Jonah loves is dying. And, worse, her friends, who now know about X, are pissed at her. Why? First, she never told them about him and isn't that what friends are for, letting them know you have hooked up with someone, even if they are from Hell? And second, he's a bounty hunter from Hell with an evil overlord who destroyed her house, almost killed her brother and, dude, in case she forgot, X is from HELL.
It's an awesome book. I tore through BOD, laughing out loud, gasping, and then hiding from everyone because I was crying. Again. The author, Jeff Giles, has a gift with words and story and characters that he needs to share with readers more often. I'll miss Zoe and X but I would love to meet who else he has waiting for us.
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