Edge of Twilight
As a newbie in regards to Maggie Shayne, I wasn’t sure what to expect. With the explosion of the paranormal market we’re seeing vampires and werewolves and shape shifters galore. Where Ms. Shayne’s latest Wings in the Night book fell in the spectrum of the creepy and undead was mine to discover. Happily, after a melodramatic prologue, the writing took off, with smart characters, snappy dialogue, and a nice romance. How exciting. And it was, up until the moment the many plot points ran away with the book.
Amber Lily – first introduced as a baby in Born in Twilight – is the only half vampire/half human in existence. And much as she’d like to live a “normal” life, Amber must be ever vigilant. Frank Stiles, a former vampire hunter, is always a danger. He’s convinced Amber holds the key to preserving his own life and will stop at nothing to get the answers he needs. Now Amber is ready to turn the tables. Willem Stone, the man who once saved her from Stiles, is dying of an inoperable brain tumor. Amber and her family are convinced that the research Stiles has done holds the key to saving Willem. All they have to do is find the hunter.
It seems like everybody’s hunting Stiles. In addition to Amber and her family, a vampire named Edge is hunting him too. Frank Stiles murdered everyone Edge cared about and he wants revenge; he’s determined to rid the planet of Stiles if he can. When his search leads to Amber, his plan changes. Amber is the easiest route to his goal and Edge intends to use her accordingly. Throwing himself in front of Amber’s speeding Ferrari is the first step.
Amber is young and sheltered but she’s no dummy. She knows that Edge didn’t just happen to get hit by her car and his claim that he just happens to be heading in the same direction as she is obviously bogus. Knowing all that, she still takes him along for the ride. You see, she’s been having precognitive dreams about this vampire and Amber knows that he’s connected to her in ways she can’t begin to know. So although she knows he’s probably a danger to her and her family, in some weird way she trusts him.
Amber (or Alby as Edge calls her) and Edge are evenly matched. Sure he’s a fifty-something year old vampire, but he’s young emotionally. He was made a vampire as a young adult and the tragedy in his past changed him dramatically. When Edge starts to fall for Alby and vice versa, they both start to really grow up. And as I read, I reveled in their smart behavior and quick wits. Nice. This is a couple that truly fits together.
The initial challenge they face – she needs Stiles alive, he wants him dead – illustrates this wonderfully. Problem is, the story gets too far away from this central theme. The author sidetracks the characters and the reader a few too many times, and that weakens the romance and the suspense. The plot points pile on and the primary thread is lost. Another minor problem for this newcomer to Ms. Shayne was the addition of many, many characters who probably appeared in previous books. For fans, that’s a plus, but for this first time reader it was just confusing.
Plotting problems aside, this was a fast, fun read. Like many of you, I have a hectic life. Finding time to sit down and read a book in one sitting is harder and harder. For Edge of Twilight I found the time. And that’s praise indeed.