The Book: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
The Particulars: urban fantasy, Ace 2010, book #2 of the Edge series of connected books. This isn't actually a sequel, rather the story of a secondary character from the first book in the series, On the Edge. Although the book has some spoilers for the first book in the series, it isn't necessary to read them in order.
Why was it in my TBR pile: I bought this the month it was released. I bought it because I'm a huge fangirl of the Kate Daniels series by the same author. I have no idea why I didn't pick this up to read right away. I did read the first Edge book and I liked it as well, although not as well as Kate and friends.
The review: Bayou Moon is the story of William, a shifter hunting down an old enemy and Cerise. Cerise Mar and her family live in a swamp in the Edge, the world between the magical Weird and our ordinary world the Broken.Cerise is poor and her large extended family struggles for everything they get. A rival family is threatening Cerise and her parents are missing, leaving her to save them all.
William and Cerise meet as they both are sneaking their way back into the Edge in disguise. William's enemy is hot on their trail, but it is Cerise who is being hunted. To complete his mission, William convinces Cerise to take him back to her family's compound. From there he can hunt the men hunting her.
The thing that Ilona Andrews really excels at I think is the world building. All the details of the magics and changelings (shifters) are fascinating. The world is fully realized, yet leaves room for still more to surprise in any future novels in the Edge series.
I think perhaps one of the things that worried me about reading this was Williams character. I had such a strong image of him from the first book, and I wasn't sure how he would work for me as a romantic hero. He actually is probably my favorite part of the book. William is a broken and betrayed man. Everything that he had is gone and he is a bit lost until he is handed the opportunity to hunt down an old adversary. I totally loved watching him fall in love with Cerise without losing the side of him that is more beast than man. Cerise and William both are characters who refuse to be beaten down by their circumstances and I longed for their happy ending.
One thing I didn't love about Bayou Moon is the many points of view. It's all well done - no random head hopping. It's just me.
I did really like the book. I'll have to say I don't like the Edge books quite as much as the Kate series, although I'm not sure I could say why. Kate is actually written in first person, which I don't as a rule enjoy. The Edge books might also edge more into Paranormal Romance which I prefer to Urban Fantasy. That said, I'm really glad I read both of them. Bayou Moon is fun and clever, with a whole cast of amusing characters.
For more from the TBR Challenge 2011, check out the award winning Wendy the Super Librarian.