The Darkest Edge of Dawn is everything you would want in an Urban Fantasy. Kelly Gay managed to take the fascinating unique world she debuted for us in The Better Part of Darkness and actually made the story more exciting, darker, edgier, and even heart breaking.
Now that the reader is familiar with the characters from book 1, Gay adds a new depth to them in book 2. You see much more of Emma in this book and she is growing into her own mini-powerhouse like her mom. She even has her own little (ok not so little) sidekick- a hellhound. Charlie has to not only worry about keeping Emma safe (like in book one), but also has to deal with typical pre-teen angst and Emmas unknown but developing powers. Hank is back as Charlies partner and without spoiling it for anyone; he definitely takes the term partner to a completely new level. I love him as a character and he is a perfect balance to Charlies character.
The action, like in Book 1, is outstanding. It is a constant and sometimes, my heart did not stop racing. In fact, I was relieved when there was a quiet moment in the book so I could catch my breath. As before, Charlie must save the city from destruction. Some of the same characters from Book 1 are involved in the story line in book 2, which made the story line itself so much more believable.
The world in the Underground of Atlanta is complex and confusing. I had a difficult time getting all the creatures straight, their powers, and their names. Initially, the book required a lot of concentration and a few times, I was forced to flip back to reread the character description. Once you get all the characters straight, it is smooth sailing.
In th end of the previous book, The Better Part of Darkness, the town was left in complete darkness. Now, that darkness is starting to take it's toll on the city and it's citizens. Sun lamps are being ordered but the crazies get to play all the time, since it's always dark.
Detective Charlie Madigan is still learning about her new powers, but everything is starting to take it's toll. She's strong, but watching her sister deal with an Ash addiction, her ex-husband's body owned by a reverent and her partner Hank's siren powers dimished are starting to get to her. Add to that, her daughter thinks a hellhound is a pet, and wants to know what is wrong with daddy.
Then, the Adonai, angelic creatures, are being murdered. After coming a hair's breathe from a dragon, she realizes that Hank is keeping something from her. But, that is only the beginning. Ancient myths, deep secrets, a sinister serial killer, and a world that wants total control will have Charlie questioning her beliefs, her friends, and herself.
The Darkest Edge of Dawn has a very unique, but fantastic world building. The characters are realistic, diverse, and compelling. Urban fantasy lovers won't be able to get enough of this series. Ms. Gay - write faster! Charlie is a very likable heroine, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
I have to say that I really enjoyed the second installment of Charlie Madigan's story. Not only does the cover rock but so does the action. The first book, The Better Part of Darkness we were first introduced to Charlie, her family and friends as well as her enemies. These characters are back in non-stop action which doesn't let up until the last few pages of the book. Plus, what is great is that it does open things up for another book in this series without leaving you with a cliffhanger. Oh, and I so do want to read more in this series.
What I also liked is that we get to know a bit more about her yummy Siren partner, Hank. Just with them exploring their relationship as friends and surprisingly and hopefully more (okay, I'm hoping for more) you find times of humor and a little bit of sexy tension. Their relationship can only get more complicated and more interesting as the series goes on.
I also HAVE to mention the hellhound, Brimstone. Since I'm someone who clearly loves large dogs I couldn't help rooting for the sweet slobbery dangerous hellhound we found at the end of the first book. He reminds me of a misunderstood pit bull. Loveable and loyal to the family, but protective until the end.
I give this book 5 stars. You will be on a fast and dark ride from page one until the end. Can't wait for the next installment.
This is the second book in the Charlie Madigan series. The third book is already released and is titled, The Hour of Dust and Ashes. The fourth book will be titled, Shadows Before the Sun, and is scheduled for a July 2012 release. I enjoyed this book; it is a solid urban fantasy and was a good addition to the Charlie Madigan series.
Charlie is struggling to learn to control her new powers and is learning to live in a city covered in darkness. The war between Charbydon and Elysians/Humans is tipping toward Charbydon's favor because of the all encompassing darkness. Charlie is drawn into more conflict when she finds that a serial killer is on the loose and killing high level Elysians. Her and her siren partner Hank; have to figure out what is going on. This may not be a simple matter of a serial killer on the loose; it may be a battle for the city itself.
This was an excellent novel; I really enjoy the complex world in this series. You basically have three alternate worlds or realities: Charbydon (hell-like), Elysium (heaven-like) and Earth (stuck between the two).
I liked Charlie better as a heroine in this novel than in the first one. Charlie is tough, but she does a pretty good job balancing taking care of her daughter with her job as an investigator and her complicated home life. At times though she is a bit too stereotypical of all the other urban fantasy heroines out there.
Hank really comes into his own in this novel; he adds humor but also serves not only as Charlie's friend and co-worker, but also as a solid source of her support for her. Charlie's daughter, Emma, continues to steal the show at points in this book...Emma is just a fabulous character and is developing interesting powers of her own.
Rex, the Revenant that has possessed Charlie's husband's body, is also a surprisingly wonderful character. He is the one who helps Charlie keep her home life together and he has surprising depth. So basically all of the characters are interesting to read about and add a lot to the story.
The plot is very well put together; I love how these books all starts with something seemingly simple...like a serial killer and then gets more and more complex until the whole city is at stake.
The book ends well with the major story wrapped up but more left for future books. The book is very easy to read, very well written, and incredibly engaging. I had trouble putting it down and really enjoyed reading it.
Overall this was a solid addition to the Charlie Madigan series. There is some excellent world-building and I enjoy the complexity of the world presented here. I really enjoyed all of the characters as well. I like how these stories start with one simple investigation and then building into something epic. The only thing I didn't love about this novel was that Charlie is a bit too much of a stereotypical urban fantasy heroine. Still, she is growing on me and I am starting to enjoy her as a character. I would definitely recommend this series to urban fantasy fans out there. I also recommend the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, the Elemental Assassin series by Esterp, and the Disillusionists trilogy by Carolyn Crane.
Rating; 4 out of 5 stars
Review: This book picks up a month or two after the end of the previous book. The city of Atlanta is still covered with perpetual darkness. Charlie Madigan and her partner, Hank, are pretty settled into their new jobs as federal agents. Currently they're looking for a bunch of missing Adoni (the nobles of the Elysian realm). They soon learn that another round of big trouble is brewing.
I think I like this book better than the first book in the series, although it did get off to a bit of a slow start. Hank was developed further in this book. It was nice seeing him deal with the problem he picked up at the end of the last book. We also get some little, very intriguing, hints about his life back in Elysia.
My biggest problem with the book is Charlie herself. She's very emotionally unstable, with a tendency to lash out at anyone around her when her temper snaps, which it does frequently since she refuses to deal with any of her emotional problems. A little of that is fine, but it's starting to get really annoying. I'm also getting sick of her musing's about her ex-husband and how he cheated on her, and was a jerk and horrible, but she kind of wishes she could have him back (if only for her kid of course).
Despite the emotional problems of the main character, the story being told, and the strong supporting cast make this an excellent book to read. I'm really glad to see this series has been picked up for another 2 books. Now I just have to wait for them to come out!