Edge of Dreams by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Publisher’s Description: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
And a pound of flesh.Magical tracking expert Riley Hollis is on a mission to save five teenagers lost inside a mountain. But nothing is what it seems, and soon Riley finds herself bruised, bloodied, and embroiled in a battle to bring down a sadistic criminal dealing in human souls and the darkest of magics.Her only hope may be to swallow her pride and ask for help from her not-quite-ex-boyfriend and his notorious brother—Tyet criminal boss, Gregg Touray. Even that may not be enough to protect her. Something has gone very wrong in the trace dimension and in Riley’s head.If she doesn’t figure out how to handle the past, the present, the trace, and the bad guys, the road to hell is going to look like a great alternative.
Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Riley Hollis a tracer. She can find people using magic. In Book 1, I was introduced to what Riley could do with her magic. It’s quite extraordinary. She is strong willed, snarky and stubborn – all the things I love in a Heroine. Clay Price is her almost ex-significant other. She cut ties with him at the end of Book 1 because of his brother, Gregg Tourey, who is a top syndicate boss in Diamond City. Price is overprotective and allegedly deeply in love with Riley.
Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ Gregg Tourey, scary syndicate boss. He isn’t a headliner in this story, but he still does manage to show that he is a scary guy. George Pervical James Borden Caldwell, IV otherwise known as Percy, known by me as the sick sadistic bastard villain guy. He loves to torture to get obedience. Then to keep obedience he addicts his employees to “Sparkle Dust”. He’s a real peach, let me tell you. Riley’s family and friends make several appearances and that helped to fortify Riley’s character.
World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ This world is set in Diamond City. Diamond City is set on the edge of a caldera – you know, like Yellowstone National Park kind of caldera. There is a mineral that is developed by this caldera that can be made into “Sparkle Dust” and it is very, very addictive. It’s such a bad addiction that the more you take, the more crave it and then you become wraith-like until you just disappear. Gregg Tourey claims he does not participate in this particular drug’s trafficking, however some of the Tyet (this world’s name for the mob) bosses don’t share his reluctance. Oh, and just to put everyone at ease, all the cops are corrupt. Riley’s job is to find people with her magic. That and get the ever loving snot beat out of her on a page by page basis. There are “tinkers” that use magic to heal or whatever and without healing tinkers and charms, Riley would be dead so many times, there wouldn’t even be an ending.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ This was a pretty good story. Like I said, Riley is wounded so many times that it becomes standard operating procedure. She has special skills that are especially useful to whomever can control her and there are a lot of bad people that want to control her. Gregg Tourey is included, but he has the moral problem keeping his brother happy. Clay, Gregg’s brother, is in love with Riley and will do anything to keep her safe, so Gregg has to decide between his brother and business. That is a small issue for this story. The bigger issue is the “Sparkle Dust” trade and Percy’s new procedure for creating it. Riley wants to stop production and rescue all the people being held hostage and/or addicted to the junk. Easy peasy. Yeah. Riiiiight.
Cover: I sort of get the cover, but I liked Book 1’s cover much better. The chick on the cover doesn’t look like she’s got the attitude that she needs to be Riley. It also doesn’t make a very powerful statement. If I wouldn’t have read the description, I wouldn’t have read the book. I know, I know – judging books by covers and all that. Can’t help it – it’s what I do.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I like Riley. She’s got her problems and the knack of getting hurt by bad guys at every turn, but I like her. Clay Price is more of a fixture while Riley does all of the heavy lifting. Basically, Riley had to save a lot of people, exhaust herself, recharge, save more people, get hurt, be healed, save some more people and so on. I still liked the story and I will pick up the next book simply because she was such a cool character.
If you like this book…
you might want to check out a couple of books I’ve read, loved and recommend featuring a strong female protagonist:
- Kara Gillian series by Diana Rowland
- Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter
- Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill
A review copy of this book was given by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.