Release Date: August 31st, 2011
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Source: Review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Edge of Darkness by Lissa Bilyk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"I did not choose to become this way. This corrupted, innocent body. Who in their right mind would willingly choose this life? "
At the end of the interstellar war, Max Ryan, an unwilling cyborg living on the Rock, a notorious prison planet, is rescued and sent to live on the transport ship Eden as it travels home to Old Earth.
Max never thought she'd be doing anything other than baking the ship's bread for the next five years. But when she uncovers a conspiracy bigger than the war that enslaved her in the first place, she is in for the fight of not only her life, but those around her she has grown to love.
A dystopian novel exploring the themes of love, class, race, gender, and power.
I don't read a lot of science fiction novels. I definitely probably should read more. Almost every experience I have had with a sci-fi novel has been a good one. And since it's a genre I don't read a lot of, everything is pretty new and exciting to me. With The Edge of Darkness, that was no exception. Although it got off to a bit of a slow start for me, once I got past the initial set-up, world-building, and a little infodumping, it really got going. If you want to know exactly where I became hooked, it was
The story was fabulous. The plot was brilliant. And the ending--which I won't spoil--was probably one of the coolest endings in a book I have read, ever. Not to mention, I must note that this was a NaNoWriMo novel. That's right. The entire thing was written in one month. And the best part is, you can't tell. The author has a great way with words and I really think she has a great writing future ahead of her.
Another thing I would like to compliment? The world-building. Holy crap was it unique. And again, I am pretty new to most sci-fi, but I thought the usage of black holes, spaceships, cyborgs, and amalgamations were pretty original. Most books I read are pretty long. This one wasn't but the thing was that it didn't feel like a short novel. It felt like an epic story and there was enough meat there to make the setting and plot great. It was full of depth and extremely well-crafted.
If there was one thing I wanted more of in this book, it was character development. While I did get somewhat attached to the characters, I really didn't find myself caring for them all that much. I was kind of neutral actually. I liked them, but I didn't really find my emotions sparking when something particularly dreadful or exciting happened. I just wanted more background. I wanted to know more about who the characters were as people.
Lastly, there weren't a whole lot of descriptive passages. I know some readers love this. But for me, I'd rather be able to picture my settings vividly. I don't want the author to completely spell it out for me; I want to be able to make my own interpretations, but I need some place to start. And I did find that difficult in some of the scenes. I wanted more description of the ship, most of all.
But most of all? I love--no, adore--the author's views on religion. I realize these may not be her views in real life, but I just love the way she put it all out there in this book. I wouldn't say this book is anti-religion, but there are some passages that might offend you if you are particularly religious.
"No, God didn't mean anything to me anymore. Maybe when he had experienced what I'd experienced, it would open his eyes to the real way of the world and the potential it could realise, and he's be less certain of his beliefs that were backed up by centuries of propaganda." Yes. This.
"Only when something had been forbidden to you, do you truly appreciate its value." You have no idea how this hits home for me right now with my husband being deployed and all.
I really enjoyed this book. I'd love to read more from Lissa Bilyk in the future. I hope whatever she is currently working on is as exciting as this was.
To purchase a copy of The Edge of Darkness from Amazon.com, click here: The Edge of Darkness.