Series: Edge Worlds #2
Published by Wednesday Books (1.17.2023)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook, 416 pages
Length: 12 hours, 6 minutes
Narrator: Emily Ellet
After a mission gone awry two years ago, Remy Castell has been desperately searching across worlds to find the friend she failed to save—the friend who changed her life by helping her overcome the brainwashing she was subjected to as a genetically engineered corporate agent.
Since then, she’s been chasing the only lead she has: fellow genopath Kiran Lore, the same secretive ex-squadmate who left her for dead when she compromised that mission. She nearly caught up to him on Tundar before joining the infamous sled race alongside outcast Sena and her wolf companion Iska. Now, all three of them have tracked Kiran back to Maraas, the jungle planet where Remy lost everything. But nothing on Maraas is how it was two years ago. Syndicates and scavvers alike are now trying to overthrow a megalomaniac corpo director, which Remy wants nothing to do with; fighting against corpos is as useless as trying to stay dry in the middle of the giant hellstorm that encircles the planet. But the storm—and the rebellion—are growing stronger by the minute.
When Remy finds Kiran, he doesn't run away like she expects. Instead, he offers her a deal: help with the revolution and he'll reunite her with her friend. But can she really trust the boy who betrayed her once before? With the entire planet on the edge of all-out war, Remy will have to decide just how far she's willing to go to save one girl before the impending storm drowns them all.
This book was quite a letdown for me. Not to say it was bad, but I think maybe my expectations were just too sky high going in. It was one of my most anticipated 2023 releases! Thankfully my library had the audiobook on Libby, so I didn’t waste any money/Audible credits on this book.
It started off fairly strong. I love space books and stories set on other planets, so I was interested in the beginning. Sadly, my interest waned more and more as the book went on and became more and more redundant. I think my main issue is that this story and everything in it felt very generic. The jungle planet setting was cool, yeah, but everything felt to me like a regurgitation of books I’ve already read. Cytonic, Aurora Burning, Crownchasers, Blood Trials…every one of which were better, in my opinion. The setting and a lot of parts of the book reminded me a lot of the first three books I mentioned. The Blood Trials comparison comes from the main character, Remy.
I was NOT a fan of Remy. She’s a genetically engineered soldier, created and brainwashed by a big bad corp. And let me tell you, that fact will get BEATEN into your head. Repeatedly. (There’s lots of things beaten into your head repeatedly, but I’ll get to that in a sec.) First of all, Remy is badass to the point of being unrelatable because of being engineered. She’s pretty much indestructible. (Which reminded me a lot of Ikenna in Blood Trials.) Second, she is an IDIOT. Seriously, it’s been a while since I was so annoyed by a MC. She was always going on about how she’s a badass, blah blah blah, she’s great at everything, oh and *annoying voice* anything you can do, I can do better! However, she was constantly making stupid ass decisions, putting literally EVERYONE at risk (including her “friends”) and never thinking about anyone but herself. Certainly not consequences. She was also the last to figure basically everything out, even when things were obvious AF. Muleheaded, ignorant, careless, selfish, reckless…and with no actual good qualities to balance all that crap out. Oh, and any time she did careless, selfish, reckless things? She blamed it on being engineered to be that way. DUH. It was aaaalll because of her engineering. She was made to react, not to think.
That was my face for almost the entire last half of this book, I’ll have you know. My eyes are exhausted. I’m exhausted. I NEED WINE.
Other than Remy, the rest of the characters were extremely generic to the point that I got them mixed up. I was continuously forgetting who was who because they had zero personality to speak of. Except maybe Sena and her wolf Iska, they were cool. Maybe I’ll read her story eventually. (Sena deserved better than Remy as a friend, just sayin’.)
So above I mentioned things being beaten into your head. Something else that was repeated over and over and OVER again was the fact that Remy left her friend behind in the jungle however long ago (I don’t even know/remember/whatever) and had been searching for her with single-minded determination ever since. She’s obviously in love with her, but she’s a hardass of course, so won’t admit it to herself; but literally her whole vibe is “must find Elora” and not much else. (I may have spelled that name wrong because I listened to the audio, or it might not even be the correct name at all but oh well *shrugs*) She also repeatedly states that she made a promise to Elora-or-whatever to do better. REPEATEDLY. Yet constantly does the exact opposite?? And I mean. CONSTANTLY. Seriously, this book was exhausting. There’s almost no plot besides “Elora this, Elora that, must find Elora” and “Remy is a fucking dumbass that does dumbass things with no thought for anyone else involved.”
Oh, wait!! And let’s also add “don’t trust Kiran, he’s a backstabber and a liar,” into the plot. Because that was also repeated constantly by Remy. Her vehemence for Kiran was insufferably exhausting, because there was never anything to actually back it up. (It seemed like she was projecting to me, but whatever.) He obviously does things with her best interest in mind, View Spoiler »and OBVIOUSLY loves her, « Hide Spoiler but her head is thicker than a rock so she clearly can’t see it.View Spoiler »I think the only praiseworthy thing for me was that I didn’t see the twist about what happened to Elora coming. I was broadsided by the one syndicate leader chick (I can’t even remember her name, oops) being Elora. Points for surprising me, even though I feel like Remy should have known it was her after all that carrying on about how important she was, but whatever. « Hide Spoiler
I didn’t realize just how irritated this book made me until I started writing this review, oops. The more I think about it, the more I dislike it! But hey, the audio narration was awesome, so there’s that…
Side note: so apparently this is technically the second book in a series, and I didn’t know until I’d finished it. But, it’s a companion novel so it served as a standalone by itself. You absolutely do not need to read Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves to understand this book or the world in it. The first book is just the back story of two of the side characters, Sena and Iska.
Writing style: 3/5
Overall rating: 2/5