Title: The Edge of Everything
Author: Jeff Giles
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: 9th February 2017
Format: ARC e-book
Note: This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin 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. Forbidden to reveal himself to anyone other than his victims, X casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As X and Zoe learn more about their different 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 both of them.
What I Thought:
It’s been a long time since I’ve read much YA, and I’ve never really been much of a fantasy reader but this year I’ve been planning to read more outside of my usual safe zone. I saw this mentioned in EW’s most anticipated YA books of 2017, read a bit more about it and it soon landed on my TBR list. I was both excited and nervous when Bloomsbury approved my request on Netgalley. Fortunately The Edge of Everything didn’t disappoint and was a fantastic first foray back into the world of YA.
The Edge of Everything centres around Zoe and a bounty hunter with no name that she calls X. Zoe is a regular high school junior, a feisty 17-year-old who is still coming to terms with the death of her father less than a year previously. X has never known anything other than his life in the Lowlands, only venturing about ground under instructions to capture a soul and return with it, he’s never even been given a name.
Within the first few chapters I really connected with Jeff Giles’s characters. To say the opening is pretty full on would be an understatement. Zoe is a really likeable character, and I challenge anybody not to fall for Jonah, Zoe’s 8-year-old brother. Jonah has ADHD, and like is sister is struggling to come to terms with his father’s death. Jonah is often accompanied by their two black labs Uhura and Spock (lovely characters themselves). The sibling relationship between Zoe and Jonah is beautiful to read. X has a wonderful innocence about him, despite all he has seen during his time as a bounty hunter, the sins of the souls he is sent to capture. There are a variety of other characters introduced through the book: Zoe’s support network in her mum and her two friends Val and Dallas; X’s fellow bounty hunters, Ripper and Banger, and the Lords, those that rule over the bounty hunters in the Lowlands.
There wasn’t really a character I didn’t enjoy in The Edge of Everything. I’m not saying I liked all the characters, there’s one I’m quite convinced not even his own mother could love, but there wasn’t one I felt was a waste of pages or that I wanted to skip past when I got to a section they featured in. I felt they all added something to the story. As I mentioned I challenge anyone not to like Jonah, I also really adored the character of Ripper, The Edge of Everything explores a little of her back story and her relationship with X, so I won’t spoil it by going into detail. That said I would have happily had even more of her in the story.
I enjoyed the relationship between Zoe and X, Zoe has clearly had a difficult year with the death of her father, and X has never known love. The attraction between the two was instantaneous, and while the relationship was still new it was clear that there was a real connection between the two. I was desperate to know if they could make it work, if X would be able to escape the Lowlands or if he was destined to return there. It kept me turning pages long after I should have gone to sleep and then as soon as I woke up in the morning.
The book had a solid ending but certainly left me wanting more. Fortunately The Edge of Everything is the beginning of a series, I just hope I won’t be kept waiting too long to find out what’s next for Zoe and X. I’m also hoping that we’ll see the return of much of the supporting cast, especially Ripper. If one day Jeff Giles was to write a prequel around Ripper and X’s past I would be the first in line to buy it.
Would I Recommend it?
Absolutely. The Edge of Everything was a great read that I only put down because I started reading late at night and literally couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Jeff Giles has created 2 fantastic characters in Zoe and X and a wonderful cast of supporting figures. He’s also done a wonderful job of inserting humour amongst what is at times a dark read. If this is what he can produce in a debut novel I can’t wait for book 2.
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