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Hi, guys! I know I haven’t been around for a while, and it’s kind of a bummer that this will be the last review post on the blog.
Well, remember back in February when I did that Watchlist 2014 post? Yeah, you remember. That post where I said the BACARTIS was going to be a thing?
It’s gonna be a thing and I’m going to move my review posts there. It’s kind of a thing right now, but I haven’t made it public yet. So, there’s that.
ANYWAY BACK TO THE POST.
I do this thing, right? I do this weird thing where something that I’m unsure about I put off for a while. I did it with the Avengers for two years, and I still haven’t seen Iron Man 3.
Not that Avengers was a bad movie, or that I don’t want to see Iron Man 3, but that they’re a known quantity. I’ve grown up with superheroes, and so I’m a bit prejudiced. I mean, come on, how many times can you do a Batman origin story movie and NOT get sick of the entire thing? And never mind Christopher Nolan and his trilogy.
Captain America I fought to see. I really didn’t want too. I loved the first movie, and I was good without seeing the second. I’m GLAD I saw the second because the Marvel franchise continues to surprise me.
Get On Up was another movie I really didn’t want to go see, but I’m ridiculously glad that I did.
Contrariwise, I have movies that I’ve practically salivated over and been horribly disappointed by. Snow White and the Huntsman, I Frankenstein (yes, I wanted to see it), Immortals; it’s a long list.
What’s this got to do with books? Quite a lot, actually.
Back when I was a kid, my mom bought me Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. I fell so deeply in love with the story that it was all I could do to get her to the bookstore where I could get the next installment. Lucky for me, they were all available when I needed to scratch the itch.
The problem was, I fell just as hard out of love right around the fourth book. The only reason I finished the series was because I have OCD when it comes to that sort of thing and, if I don’t finish out a book series, I’ll go crazy.
It was a devastating blow, because I had loved the characters so much. I stayed up late, I finished 800 pages in the matter of a day and a half, less if I had the time to spare.
The same can be said for Mercedes Lackey’s Joust series; fell in love with the series, was horribly disappointed by the third book.
Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. I wanted Frodo dead by the second book, only continued reading because 1. the movies were coming out, 2. because I have to finish series.
I think the only exception to the OCD was Jacquelyn Carrie’s Kushiel series. It got to the point where I couldn’t follow anything that was going on anymore. And I stopped reading.
I can count, on one hand, the number of high fantasy stories I have actually, thoroughly enjoyed. I swore off high fantasy because I was afraid of getting burned again.
So, when Jennifer Melzer’s Edgelanders book fell into my lap, I was a little more than willing to let it sit for a while.
Because of prejudice.
Wow am I dumb.
When Princess Lorelei of Leithe overhears her fiancé’s plot to murder her on the way to their wedding, she does the only smart thing: she runs.
Into the Edgelands, the savage, woodland home of the legendary U’lfer, a race of fierce wolves who walk as men, she knows she is as good as dead, but she would rather be torn apart by werewolves than die by Trystay’s hand.
A young U’lfer warrior named Finn catches her scent on the wind and finds himself possessed by an unnatural desire to shield and protect her from that which hunts her. From the moment he first sees her, Finn knows she is his. He feels her heartbeat, knows her soul as well as he knows his own, and he will do anything, even suffer exile from the Edgelands to be with her.
But there is more to Lorelei than meets the eye. She is like Finn; there is U’lfer blood in her veins, a beast beneath her skin she never knew was there. The answers she seeks lie south, in the frozen tundra of Rimian, where a village of people just like her have been waiting for Lorelei to come and save them since before she was even born.
Ya’ll know my review policy, right? Don’t worry, it’ll carry over. If you don’t; I will never give a book a 5 star rating. Neither will I give it a 1 star rating. Both are akin to shouting at the top of a mountain OMG THIS BOOK IS AWESOME or, OMG THIS BOOK F$#KING SUCKS and not giving anything to back it up. Both are unhelpful, and really, really annoying. So, the highest I will go for any given book or movie is 4.5 with 1.5 being the lowest I will ever give something. And now you know.
This book got me through the worst night I have had in a very long time. I woke up in a fever and couldn’t do much but toss and turn. So, I decided to stare at words on a page. Stare is the wrong word, I tore through the book in a matter of a night and a morning.
Every time I told myself I had to try to sleep because I had homework in the morning, the book called to me when I closed my eyes, told me I had to see what happens.
The characters are rich and so real it hurts. The world is full of surprises, and I swear to God if anything happens to Finn and Lorelei, pitchforks will become part of the equation. It’s been a very long time since I’ve gotten so deeply involved in characters lives, and gone through so many emotions over one single character that I hate myself for waiting so long to crack open the book.
I cared from page one. Jennifer has an expressive way of writing that takes you into the character’s heads and keeps you there whilst simultaneously growing the world around them. It’s the most organic form of writing I’ve seen in a high fantasy book. And, though it takes a minute to get used too and you get frustrated with Lorelei, it’s so worth it. So, so very worth it.
This book hooked me from the beginning and kept me going long past when I should have fallen asleep. If I can write half as well as Jennifer Melzer when I grow up, I’ll consider myself very lucky. The woman is a wordsmith, and I’m waiting in anxious anticipation to see what happens next, my faith in high fantasy bubbling back into restoration.
Edgelanders is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.
Why are you still reading this thing? Go buy the book!