Title: The Edge of Everything
Author: Jeff Giles
Release Date: January 31, 2017
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.
The Edge of Everything is dark, deadly, and dangerous. Monsters and bounty hunters, souls and blizzards. An intriguing story, yes, but the romance fell flat for me.
Zoe is a sad girl who's just existing after the sudden death of her father. I kept looking for something that set Zoe apart, but I struggled to find it. She seems so bland, a stereotypical teenage girl who sees an inhuman bounty hunter and his bounty on a frozen lake and immediately takes a picture to post to Instagram. Later on she shows her personality, her spirit, but at the beginning I found her rather boring. X is an unknown, a bounty hunter from the Lowlands, sent to hunt down evil human beings in order to claim their souls. He's clueless about the human world, he talks like he's from Victorian era England, and he's very powerful. He was interesting, somehow a stand out among all the others in the Lowlands. There are secrets in his past he doesn't know, secrets he wants to know, but knowing could change things for those who rule the Lowlands.
I'm torn with this book. The idea behind X and his mission, the Lowlands and the beings there, I was intrigued. It was different enough that I wanted to know more. But things felt flat to me. I think it's Zoe and X's relationship, how their romance seemed shallow to me. He's dangerous and mysterious to her, she's gorgeous and empathetic to him. It felt easy and clichéd, and me finding Zoe rather boring didn't help. I also wasn't a big fan of the third person point of view this was told in. It felt like I was being told a story, but not in a way that worked with what I was expecting from this book.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Raincoast Books through NetGalley.)