After finishing The Better Part of Darkness, I was very much intrigued by the book and world created by Kelly Gay. I hadn’t enjoyed the main character of Charlie Madigan that much but it was still a good book, and with the plot ending the way it did, the sequel was of high priority for me.
The Darkest Edge of Dawn, second in the Charlie Madigan series, opens a couple of months after the climax of the first, and now there’s a visible change in the skies of Atlanta which has the local Charbydonian population ecstatic unlike the other two races co-existing with it. The book’s plot has Charlie and Hank finding a dead body in a warehouse, however the situation is reasonably complicated by two factors, (a) the body is of an Adonai, the Elysian nobles and (b) the warehouse belongs to Charybdonians. Thus with such an incendiary circumstance which also precludes any peaceful solution to the earlier situation due to which hate towards Charybdonians has increased, Hank and Charlie have to be at the top of their game to avoid any fallout between races. However, the situation becomes complicated when they discover the identity of the person murdered. Also thrown in to the plot mix is the introduction of a new race and a kickass character that I hope we get to see more of. Lastly, the murder is just the beginning of a chain of events which will put further strain between the extra-terrestrial races and the unwitting humans caught between them. Charlie and Hank also have to struggle to put things together and keep things between them on a sane level which due to their personalities; is always easier imagined than done.
The events occurring in the book directly lead on from the events of the previous book, characters who helped Charlie in the previous book haven’t come out from the confrontation unscathed and there’s a thread in this book which deals with those insinuations. I liked this aspect of the book as there’s continuity shown by the author. Secondly the plot of this book does again entertain the reader throughout as this time the author does explain a bit more about the worlds as well as the human interaction with the other races. There are quite some interesting explanations and discussions about a few topics in this book which I believe clue in the reader to the working of the magic & worlds within.
Lastly there’s the action sequences and the plot twists which are spread evenly over the story, the reader can be sure that the author has done her best to keep the reader unsettled within the pages by having certain emotional, physical, and psychological events occurring. Charlie’s character is better etched out in this outing. I had some issues with the main POV character, which I had noted in the previous book review, however there’s some changes within her which made me this book a bit easier to read and showcases some opportunity for character growth in the future books. The book also has another great cover by Chris McGrath which adds to the positives for the book.
There were a couple of things which offered bumps in the reading experience namely, I wasn't completely sold on Charlie’s character yet , she still acts overtly headstrong to be a completely sympathetic character, however she’s quickly learning that there are things occurring within her world which she has no clue about, and she will have to swallow her pride and take help whenever and wherever she can. There’s also a pivotal event occurring in this book which feels completely off, in the sense it occurs between two main characters and seems more of a plot device than actual character intent/interaction. I must stress that while it did not detract much from the book’s enjoyment, it just seemed to occur for future plot reasons and this was off-kilter with the situation in hand.
Overall I am still liking this series very much, it does have its minor fallacies and can go in unexpected directions sometimes, but overall the good points outweigh the other side completely. I’m now eager to dive into the third book, The Hour of Dust and Ashes, which will be reviewed by B. over here, and which will also have the reader happen upon the world of Charybdon for the first time; something which I very much look forward to.