The Edge of Everything
by Jeff Giles
For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?
It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shocking death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying subzero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in the woods–only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.
X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for them both.
This novel reminded me very much of Becca Fitzpatrick’s Black Ice. Similar snowy setting and also similar love interests – the strong, mysterious, brooding type. However, the aspect that sets this novel apart is the paranormal element.
Zoe and her little brother, Jonah find themselves stuck in their missing neighbour’s house after a particularly harsh snowstorm and the threat of a crazy stranger who wants to kill their dogs (weird). In the process, they find a mysterious young man who Zoe creatively names X (for an unknown variable) who is injured after failing to kill the subject of his bounty hunt. Of course, they become star-crossed lovers as X must return to his own world and face truths there.
I went into this novel not really knowing much. The cover alluded to me a YA contemporary read so I assumed I would be reading a light, really fluffy, teen romance story. Boy was I wrong. The Edge of Everything is a very dark, paranormal thriller which follows Zoe and X’s struggle to remain together. It’s an addicting and entertaining story but I also found a little too sappy and insta-love-ish.
X comes from this unforgiving hell – called the Lowlands – where you are literally beaten and starved until the elders decide that they need to you to kill some horrible person who’s committed a terrible crime. Then the horrible person themselves becomes a bounty hunter who will end up spending the eternity of their after-life capturing more horrible people. Swell, eh? X is a different bounty hunter, the only one to have been born in the Lowlands so don’t worry, he’s not a bad person. In fact, he’s super good-looking, he talks like a Victorian gentleman and has the manners of one as well. The biggest part I disliked about this novel was the instalove. As soon as we are introduced to X, we hear about how intrigued Zoe is of him which is understandable because he’s a super muscled, handsome dude, who wouldn’t be intrigued? But then I just got annoyed. She just can’t stay away from this dude and they fall in love pretty quickly. One minute he’s a stranger, then they’re sharing personal secrets with each other and than BAM, LOVE. Seriously?
On a more positive note, the whole part with the Lowlands was pretty cool. It was deliciously dark. It was such a cool concept that there was a part of hell dedicated to taking the lives of truly terrible people. It was pretty original and I hope the sequel delves more into this whole different world, where it came from and who actually rules it.
I loved X’s friendship with Ripper and Banger. I have to admit at the beginning I was like ‘meh, not that interesting’ but as the book progresses I was fully supportive. They are the most unlikely trio to ever be friends and X’s dynamic with each other them was so much fun to read about. Ripper is this mother figure to X but she isn’t the typical compassionate and sweet kind. Nope. She’s an insane Victorian women who murdered her servant. BUT OMG I LOVED HER SO MUCH. She was crazy and sassy but still kind and thoughtful. She is truly an unpredictable character but the good kind.
Zoe side of the story was less interesting for me. She’s mourning over her father’s death from a caving accident and angry that the police did not get the body for them to bury. Her brother, Jonah sounds so damn cute and innocent and a lot of the times – even though I knew she loved him – she just sounded so mean. I know little brothers are annoying (because I have three of them) but why do you have to be so mean, he’s only little? But I’m exaggerating, she really was a loving sister towards him, trying to comfort him after their father’s death and assuring him that everything will be alright. Just gets to your heart, eh?
All in all, a very entertaining and action-packed story. I read this in a day because I just needed to know what would happen. It’s that addicting. However for me, I found the romance too sappy and Romeo & Juliet-ish.