The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles, Bloomsbury USA Childrens (January 31, 2017). ISBN: 9781619637535. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
Zoe loses her autistic brother in a monstrous blizzard. She’s already in a tough emotional place since she’s still angry and grief-stricken because her dad vanished in a treacherous caving expedition and his body was never recovered. As a result, she was distracted and short with Jonah when he insisted on going outside to play with their two dogs. As darkness approaches and it becomes clear her mother won’t be able to get home to their mountaintop home tonight, Zoe’s anxiety spikes, even more so when she can’t find her brother.
After tracking him to their deceased neighbors’ house half a mile away through deep snow, she’s attacked by a very evil man who claims to know her late father. Things look extremely grim until a mysterious figure appears and the frozen surface of the lake in front of the neighbor’s home looks like it’s on fire.
This is Zoe’s introduction to X, an extremely mysterious individual who has been sent from the Lowlands to kill the bad guy and take his soul back. However, Zoe dissuaded him from killing the creep and ends up dragging X home after he collapses.
Thus begins one of the strangest love stories in recent memory. It involves the mystery of why X is different from the other Lowlands bounty hunters, what happens after he and Zoe fall for each other, how that relationship alters the underworld, Zoe and her mom and brother, what happens when X rebels against the Lowlands rulers and how he responds when given an impossible choice.
Teens (and adults) who like a complicated mix of romance, urban fantasy and thriller will find plenty to enjoy here. I hope a sequel is planned because there’s a number of unanswered questions remaining by the time you close this book.