Edge--Thomas Blackthorne

I first picked up Edge in a bookstore because of the unique cover treatment.  There was an end-dump with books from Angry Robot ( a press I had not heard of) and this one had a cover design that was nearly all words--so much so that the title is a little difficult to distinguish the title.  The cover described what can only be described as a "Running Man" type scenario with knife fights and sudden death.

So, in an England of the future where the right to vote is dictated by the willingness to carry a knife and engage in knife duels and challenges, a young man runs away from his psychiatrist's office and the young man's father goes on a legal rampage against the psychiatrist.  He also hires our knife wielding hero to find his son.  One would think given that this is a future of intense monitoring of all activity that it wouldn't be such a trick.  But just as everything is monitored, much can be cloaked, hidden, and changed in the system.

We follow for much of the book the parallel stories of the searchers and the young man.  But then as we reach a kind of resolution to the plot some sort of additional complication ensues that allows the author to indulge in training for and a long description of the sort of battle featured on the front cover.

Up until this sudden larding of the plot, the story perked along at a nice pace.  A lot of angst, a lot of future dystopia, some interesting insights into character, some fascinating hints of technology and its application.   Really fine stuff.

But this larded plot--this extra piece, which was really, more properly a separate book entirely was nearly impossible to get through.  It added little to what was already there and seemed to detract much. While I would still recommend the book, it is not with the fervor that I would had it lacked the last hundred or so pages.  Ironically, I will note, it is this latter part of the novel described on the cover--indeed, it is for this that I picked up the book in the first place and discovered a much different, much better story heading up the "fun and games" of the latter fourth of the book.

So, overall--a really nice novel with a not-quite-coherent novella tagged on at the end.  Read it for the novel and enjoy, or not the extra piece--it adds little and doesn't take us anywhere we haven't already seen in greater detail.

For the great beginning **** but overall, I fear, ***


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