Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic and religious fanaticism, and the cause of reason and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated the liberation of the human spirit.
Police officer Richard Oort is caught in the middle of this primal battle when he rescues the mysterious Rhianna from a trio of inhuman hunters. Recruited by the leader of the Lumina an enigmatic billionaire to serve as a Paladin, Richard finds himself at the centre of the war between Light and Darkness. But he has his own darkness that threatens to overwhelm him. Is he strong enough to bear the burden?
Melinda Snodgrass might be better known to some as the writer behind Star Trek TNG as she was to me so I was intrigued to read her fantasy trilogy that starts with The Edge of Reason. Originally published in 2008 it's been published in the UK to before the publication of the final book in the trilogy.
Richard Oort is out on patrol, minding his own business, when all of a sudden he's involved in the rescue of a girl from creatures that should not exist. From then on in it's a rollercoaster of emotions for Richard as he discovers that nothing in this world (and possibly the next) is what he thought it was. The Edge of Reason is very much a Good vs. Evil story, with Richard discovering he is a null, completely devoid of magic, unlike the majority of the population who still have a little left in their genetic make-up. For the confused police officer this means he is a Paladin, able to wield a sword and lead the fight against Evil even if he's not quite sure who or what that evil may be.
Snodgrass has a vast array of characters in her story, some more well developed than others but the most complex is definitely Oort. Becoming a police officer to rebel against his well-to-do family after briefly considering a career in music much is made of his physical appearance in that he is short (for a man) and slight of build with a delicate appearance and therefore probably the least likely hero ever! Joining our hero are a young sorceress (falling in crush with Richard after her dramatic rescue), a feisty female coroner, a homeless man who may or may not be the physical embodiment of God and a business mogul who might just be Lucifer..
It's hard to grasp who is who and what side they're on and if you try to follow it too closely you'll end up with a headache but if you're willing to suspend all belief The Edge of Reason is actually a great urban fantasy story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading. Fast paced, it throws up some interesting points about religion and who the bad guy really is. I wasn't at all sure I'd like it at first but it's one of those books that gets under your skin so you have to keep reading and I've already started on the next book in the trilogy, The Edge of Ruin.
The Edge Of Reason (Edge #1) - Melinda Snodgrass
ISBN - 9781783294602
Publisher - Titan
Release date - September 19 2014
Many thanks to Titan for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review!