Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

I’m on the fence about this one. I enjoyed reading Bayou Moon and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series and yet… The things that I didn’t like are gnawing at me. The book was open-ended for one. There was a time when books within a series had satisfying endings. Sure, not all questions were answered, but there was a degree of finality about a book that, if nothing else, made you feel content until the next book in the series came along. Now more and more books within a series have huge cliff hangers and open endings that frustrate readers like me to no end. It begs the question, why read a book when you can just wait until the whole series has been published? That way you don’t have to torture yourself wondering what is going to happen next. The ending in Bayou Moon was far from being awful or torturous, but it was still unsatisfying. The major issue was resolved, but the seed of the problem still remained.

The tone of Bayou Moon was rather violent and depressing at times. This isn’t to say that it didn’t have its lighter, funnier moments, but for the most part it was a downer. The story follows William, a changeling from the Weird (a land full of magic) and Cerise, a young warrior from the edge (the border between the Weird and the Broken, aka our world). Both characters join forces when they cross paths on their journey to Sicktree and discover that they have a common goal. William is intent on finding and killing Spider, the leader of a group of assassins called the Hand. Cerise is searching for her parents, who were abducted by the Hand for being in possession of an object of great value. Many battles are fought during their travels and I must say that the violence in this tale was a bit more graphic then I’m used to. Every time some character lost a body part or died in some gruesome fashion, I paused, gave the customary “eeeewww,” and then read on.

One thing that I think is important to mention is that there are A LOT of characters in this book and at one point I couldn’t keep them all straight. The main character, Cerise comes from a very large family and keeping track of all her cousins, aunts, uncles—even her siblings were a challenge to remember. When a character died, I would be at a loss as to who it was and what relation they were to Cerise. However, towards the end I was starting to get a handle on who was who. When the final battle came to a close, I was desperate to find out who made it out alive, but all I was told was that 15 adults survived. Ok… Well… Which 15?! I became attached to a lot of these characters and I wanted to know who made it and who didn’t!

I wanted to love this book, because I love anything written by Ilona Andrews, but despite the steamy sexual tension between the two main protagonists and the imaginative world building, this story was slow paced and bogged down by too many first-person narratives and scenes that didn’t push the plot forward. It’s a shame really, because the first book in the series, On the Edge, was really very good. If you’re a fan of Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniel’s series, I really urge giving this series a try.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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