Jan. 17th, 2017

chez_jae: (Books)
I began reading The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay last night, and I finished it this evening. It's the second book in the "Charlie Madigan" series. I have not read the first one, and if I have it among the millions of books in my home, I have yet to unearth it. While the author did provide backstory in this book, I still feel like I missed out, alas.

From what I could discern, the world is now comprised of three sentient races: humans, Elysians, and Charbydon. The non-human races are referred to as "off-worlders". If you base your thinking on religion and mythology, the Elysians seem to be the angelic race, while the Charbydon would be demonic. Nevertheless, they are coexisting, even if not easily.

Charlie and her partner Hank (who is an Elysian and a Siren) are members of the ITF. It's their job to hunt down and eliminate any troublemakers. While human, Charlie has powers of her own, because in the first book, she was injected with both Elysian and Charbydon DNA. Now, her body and her psyche are battling to assimilate this strange new DNA, and Charlie is still learning to use her powers.

She and Hank are dispatched to search a warehouse, where a body was reported. They find not one, but an entire pile of discarded bodies. Fearing a serial killer, they call in a woman who can glean information from a fresh corpse. Following clues from the most recent victim, Charlie and Hank launch an investigation that takes them to the court of the High Druid, to the Underground to confront the leader of the Charbydon jinn. Charlie is twice confronted by a powerful enemy from her past, who claims responsibility for the killings. The ritualistic murders were necessary for him to perform a rite at Solstice to raise a powerful being from the past and claim that power for his own.

On top of a dangerous investigation, Charlie is battling her attraction to her partner, dealing with her fractious tween daughter, and coming to terms with the fact that she is living with the body of her ex-husband, who has been inhabited by a Revenant named Rex. Oh, and let us not forget the hellhound that Charlie's daughter Emma has adopted.

This was certainly fast-paced and riveting. Charlie is a wise ass, but there wasn't much humor in the story. She's tough, but she got her ass handed to her enough times, and her emotional turmoil was relatable. Frankly, I found Hank's behavior despicable. When he realized that Charlie reacted to him on a physical level, he stopped acting like her partner and began acting like a typical, horny male instead. I was not impressed.

Favorite line: "Seriously? Because I didn't peg you for an idiot."

Overall, a very good read. Four stars:

****

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