Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review: Bayou Moon

Bayou Moon
Ilona Andrews

Fantasy Romance

The Edge/Book 2

ACE/October 2010

Received from Publisher

From the back cover ~

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale - and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny. . .

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swath of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan's long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over in to the Edge - and Cerise's life. William, a changeling soldier who'd left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation's spymaster.

When William's and Cerise's missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly - but they'll have to work together if they want to succeed. . . and survive.

William is back! After reading about William in On the Edge, I was thrilled to find out the next book in the series would be his. As Bayou Moon begins, it's been two years since the ending of On the Edge. Rose, Declan and the boys have moved to the Weird. William stayed behind in the Edge and works in the Broken. If you didn't read On the Edge, then that might not make sense to you but that's okay because Andrews does a good job filling in any blanks. There's no info dump, instead the history and back story are woven in as needed. I do recommend reading On the Edge, it's very good, but not necessary to read before Bayou Moon.

William Wolf is all alone - drinking. Something he does often. That's never a good sign. Throw in talking to comic book action figures and you've got yourself one sad, lonely hero. What William needs is a quest, a crusade, a mission. Anything to get him off his ass and stop feeling sorry for himself. Well, he's about to get one. William is a former elite soldier and his unique services are needed by The Mirror, a spec ops/CIA type group from the Weird. A horror from the past is about to revisit William and pull him into the Edge and into the middle of a long standing feud.

Cerise Mar is having a crappy day. She had to trek through the mud, hunting down an escaped rolpie - cute beasties, part seal, part otter, who pull the boats throughout the swamp of the Mire. The Mire is the place in the Edge where Cerise and her family live. Once Cerise gets the rolpie back to the Rathole, her family home, she's met with some disturbing news. Her parents are late getting home and it's up to Cerise to find them.

Cerise comes from a very eclectic family with a lot of relatives who wield a variety of magic. She's very aware of her role in the family and with her parents missing, it's up to her to take the lead. Cerise is a reluctant heroine. She knows what she needs to do and does it but she really longs for a little less responsibility and a more stable life. She's smart and can kick some serious ass as well as extremely loyal to her family. She would do anything for them. I can definitely say she's right up there with Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson as one of my favorite heroines. After Cerise learns what has happened to her parents she must travel to the Broken. It's there where she runs into William, "Lord Leather Pants" or "Lord Bill" as she dubs him. Cerise is not impressed, yet.

William doesn't like the swamp or the Mire. He doesn't understand the odd people he meets there. And oh, boy are they odd. I loved how William, with his smart ass humor dealt with the oddities that came from the Mire. One of the first oddities he encounters is Cerise. They clash from the start but must work together to get away from the enemies hunting them. William and Cerise go from irritation to respect as they get to know each other. Cerise is one kick-ass heroine, she didn't let William take over when they found themselves fighting their mutual enemies. She did appreciate his knowledge of the enemy, she's not a fool and will take help when she needs it. William can't help but find Cerise interesting and so finds himself pulled deeper and deeper into her family and their problems.

The relationships throughout the story are well developed and give plenty of character insight. William didn't grow up in a family environment and isn't always sure how to take the teasing and banter of the large Mars family. Instead of making him feel like an outsider, they pull him in, treating him like one of them. It was such a novel experience for William. I loved how we got to see him come to care about this special family and become part of it.

The common enemy that William and Cerise are fighting is a nasty bastard with a bunch of equally nasty minions. Spider is an altered human from the Weird. He and his little army of alters are after something that could change how wars in the Weird are fought. It's up to Cerise and William to make sure Spider doesn't get what he wants. They come up against some seriously freaky opponents with truly repulsive alterations. Andrews can write some amazing fight scenes. You feel like you're in the battle, on the edge of your seat, not always sure who might survive this round. There is quite a bit of action, blood and gore in the story. And sometimes things were just plain gross. I loved it!

Talking about action, there is a romance between William and Cerise. It's not an in your face romance, they have a lot going on with fighting, plotting and planning their next move. It's more a romance of quick looks and lingering touches. Of stolen moments and time together. Neither one is quite sure what to make of the other or of their attraction. I found the dialogue between the two to be amusing and clever. They start off with smart ass insults, progressing to grudging respect and finally falling in love. In the end, it's a very sweet, genuine romance that leaves you believing these two were meant to be.

I mentioned that Cerise has a large, extended family and Spider, aka nasty bastard, has a number of minions, leaving a lot of characters to keep track of. Some of the names are unique and I did find myself having to do a little re-reading to help with the who's who. Also, at one point there is mention of the real possibility of a traitor, then it's not mentioned for a very long time. I kept wondering when it would be brought up again, since it seemed very important.

Bayou Moon is a wonderful addition to The Edge series. It has fascinating characters, interesting story line and some seriously wicked action. A book that will keep you reading long into the night. I highly recommend both The Edge and the Kate Daniels series by the talented writing duo that make up Ilona Andrews.

Rating: A

Books in the series:

On the Edge (review)
Bayou Moon ~ Official release date ~ September 28


  1. Great to hear that you enjoyed it so much Leslie. I got the book yesterday and was surprised to see it was so thick!

    I thought The Edge was okay to good; however, I didn't love it... Hoping this one will be better... and LOL, William was talking to his action figurine?!? Cute :P

  2. Nath ~ It's nice and big! Plus the excerpt for Magic Slays. :)

    William and Cerise make a great team. They're more equal than Rose & Declan when it comes to the fighting. I think you'll like it.

  3. I still have the first book on my TBR, but am so glad to see you enjoyed the second book so much! And the excerpt to book 3 apparently .. LOL!

  4. Oh crap! I didn't know there was an excerpt to Magic Slays! Argh, to read or not to read?!?

  5. Christine ~ Now you've got two Andrews books to look forward to! Oh, the excerpt is for the next book in the Kate Daniels series - Magic Slays.

    Nath ~ hehehe Cave Nath - you know you want to.

  6. OOOOOohhhhhhhhh!!!!

    Magic Slays. Duh. I should have figured that out.

    Okay, that Andrews series I'm only ONE book behind in. LOL.

  7. Ooooh, an A! I can't wait to read this book, Leslie. And there's an excerpt for the next Kate Daniels book? I MUST buy this book now! ;P

  8. Hils ~ yes, definitely get it. Love their writing. And excerpt for Magic Slays in the back. :)

  9. Leslie, I had to come back, read your review and tell you it's a great one! I read the book and absolutely agree, this was a wicked read. I really enjoyed it. :)