Author: Ilona Andrews
Publish Date: 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Edge, book 2
After being disappointed by the first book in Ilona Andrew’s Edge series (On the Edge), I went into Bayou Moon with some hesitation. Luckily, the things that annoyed me in On the Edge (mostly the overbearing and overly powerful male protagonist) were not present here. In fact, it seems like the Andrews’ writing team have found their footing with this installment. Bayou Moon is rich in world building, includes some intriguing new characters, and has quickly become one of my favorite books.
Cherise Mar’s parents have gone missing, leaving her in charge of an extended family group and their estate. In a race to get back home with some much needed paperwork, Cherise runs into William, a wolf shifter. William has been hired to discover what a notorious killer is searching for and turn it over to an elite intelligence agency calling itself the Mirror. As luck would have it, what the killer is seeking has something to do with the Mar family. So, William and Cherise must work together to stop the killer from cutting a bloody path through the family to get what he wants.
I really loved the atmosphere of Bayou Moon. Andrews’ dedicated a lot of time to building the world of the Edge and the part we see throughout this story is reminiscent of hardcore Cajun country. It’s a very swampy, remote, and muddy setting that the characters are working with, which is one of the favorite types of atmospheres. The downside to this is that at times it slowed down the pacing of the story down at times as there were a lot of details that needed to be covered about the general set-up of the world and understanding the Mar family dynamics. At the center of all the action is William and Cherise who are trying to deal with holding off a killer and settling some bloody family feuds.
One reason why I always love to pick-up an Andrews book is because I know the heroine will be well-rounded and dynamic character. Cherise was not a disappointment on this front. She handles all the chaos thrown at her with as much sanity as she can but still has justifiable worries, mistakes, and breakdowns throughout the story to make her human. One of the things thrown in her path is William who is a wolf shifter. In this universe shifters are looked at as unstable and often prosecuted just for existing. So, William tries his best to hide what he is from those around him in fear of being hunted down. The way Andrews writes William is one of the highlights of the story for me. There’s something slightly off about his mannerisms and how he just can’t seem to completely grasp all the nuances of normal social interactions that makes him fascinating.
All in all, a really fantastic read and I can’t wait to pick-up Fate’s Edge, the next installment in the series.