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. (Goodreads)
*I received this ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
2/5 stars, not sure what the buzz is about
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles had an interesting concept that sadly, in my opinion, fell very flat.
I decided not to finish it at roughly 75% for the following reasons:
*Slight spoilers ahead*
The insta-love was torturous and based off nothing. The main female character (Zoe) even referred to the main male character (the bounty hunter, X) as her boyfriend after knowing him less than a week and having little to no real conversations, connection, or chemistry with him. I could have tolerated insta-love had it been from only X, though. An unrequited insta-love would have been way better, especially considering X hadn’t really experienced feelings of falling for someone before.
That brings up another thing…so many little pivots in the plot could have been handled better and more interestingly. The first 15-20% of the story was the most interesting part and then it’s like Giles decided not to care anymore. Why should I, then? While reading, I just kept thinking about how much better the scenes could be if X and Y and Z happened.
There were a lot of ridiculous moments (Zoe let her brother play in a -15 degree blizzard, she Instagramed a murder attempt, her friend Dallas text with words like “dawg,” and Zoe’s mother let her go caving in the winter without supervision, etc.) that I eye-rolled at. Things like that brought me out of the story.
Also, this book was the biggest culprit of telling instead of showing. There is just so. much. telling. It was painful. Once I got 60% in, I just started skimming and then couldn’t torture myself any more past 75%.
Speaking of 75% in, the plot twist wasn’t that big of a twist. It was predictable. I have no clue how it ends and, frankly, I don’t care. It was painful to force myself to read that far and I decided not to force it any more.
The story was split between two POVs, which would have been fine, but it’s also split into parts. So Zoe’s POV part was first, then X’s, then Zoe’s, etc. The characters were separated and doing potentially interesting things, but we stayed with only the one character during that time, which hurt the pacing. I felt like Zoe’s quest to go caving in dangerous conditions was very interesting, and X’s life as a bounty hunter from, essentially, Hell was also interesting. The way the book was formatted did not help. It felt like two separate books were copy/pasted into each other. It was sloppy.
The two highlights of the book, for me, were:
The sibling relationship! Zoe and her brother, Jonah, were adorable and close (even though the beginning of the book made me think otherwise) and I liked their interactions.
The beginning scenes were very intense, tense, and riveting. It was a shame the story took a steady decline from there.
Would I recommend THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING? No, sadly.
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles was published January 31, 2017.