Edge of Truth
Publication date: June 6th 2013
Published by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Dystopia
From the publisher—
Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.
It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.
Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?
I read a lot of dystopian fiction, so much that I sometimes find myself on the verge of boredom just because so much of what’s available is a lot like all the other dystopians out there. Finding one that’s actually different has become something of a personal quest and I’m happy to say that Edge of Truth satisfied my small craving in a big way. How did it do that? I’m so glad you asked 😉
Most of these books are filled with heroics of one kind or another. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but wouldn’t you like one where the teens are pretty much wrapped up in themselves and the bad guys are not pretending that what they do is for the good of everyone else? Well, look no further ’cause here it is.
Rena is a girl I could relate to, a bit self-absorbed, complaining about her home life but grudgingly wanting to be part of the family, devoted to her BFF, Blaze. She’s also afflicted with a strange power that she can’t control and she has a massive crush on a boy she hasn’t even met. With all that, Rena is singleminded in her determination to escape this despotic society for what we can only call greener pastures, even though she has no idea if those “pastures” would be any better. When she discovers an amazing source of things to sell so she can save money for her big move, she has no reluctance to share with Blaze but, otherwise, there’s little or no interest in sharing with anyone else. I’m not slamming her for that, just pointing out that she’s refreshingly selfish.
It doesn’t take long for the wrong guy to notice and that’s when Rena and Blaze are thrown into a world of greed and crime. It’s this element that makes Edge of Truth different from the pack and adds a certain touch of interest not found in many dystopian novels. I’m a fan of mysteries so it’s not surprising I would appreciate the criminal aspect here and I found it refreshing to have a bad guy who’s not pretending to think he knows what’s best for all the people—he’s only interested in how this treasure trove can benefit him personally.
For the most part, Ms. Hanova has done a really nice job with her character development. Rena is both annoying and loveable and Blaze is the perfect foil, the quintessential goody two shoes who sticks by her rule-breaking friend no matter what. Nevan is a worthy crush and I could happily spend more time with Trace. Along with all the seemingly admirable people, I also appreciated how well-drawn the bad guy is and the Synbots definitely gave me a chill.
Worldbuilding is thin and that’s really the only substantial shortcoming. I need to know a lot more about how this society came to be and a better sense of where Hollowcrest, Eden and Westrock are and how things look. The Others are essentially a puzzle to me, not only in their specific powers but in who they are and what happens when they disappear. Overlord Andrick is so remote as to be little more than a picture on the wall and, yet, he’s of supreme importance in Rena’s life so, please, tell me more!
I also felt the ending was a bit lacking in “oomph” but perhaps I’ve become too accustomed to a cliffhanger ending. I don’t know if Ms. Hanova intends to make this a series but, if she chooses to leave this as a standalone, that will be disappointing but okay (although I really would like to read more!)
And never fear—there is a bit of heroism here, too 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2013.
About the Author
Natasha Hanova is an award-winning author of young adult and adult dark fantasy/paranormal fiction. Her short stories are published in Undead Tales 2, October Nightmares and Dreams, and Once Upon a Christmas. She is a member of Novel Clique, YALitChat, and an Affiliate member of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. She lives in Kansas with her wonderful husband, twin boys, and daughter.