Book Review: Edgeland

Posted May 3, 2017 by Kara in book review, Kara / 2 Comments

Book Review: EdgelandEdgeland by Jake Halpern, Peter Kujawinski
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 9th 2017
Genres: young adult, middle grade, fantasy, paranormal
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars

An upper-middle grade thriller by the New York Times bestselling Nightfall authors perfect for fans of James Dashner's Maze Runner books.
Thousands of miles south of the island of Bliss, day and night last for 72 hours. Here is one of the natural wonders of this world: a whirlpool thirty miles wide and a hundred miles around. This is the Drain. Anything sucked into its frothing, turbulent waters is never seen again.
Wren has spent most of her life on Edgeland, a nearby island where people bring their dead to be blessed and prepared for the afterlife. There the dead are loaded into boats with treasure and sent over the cliff, and into the Drain. Orphaned and alone, Wren dreams of escaping Edgeland, and her chance finally comes when furriers from the Polar north arrive with their dead, and treasure for their dead.
With the help of her friend Alec, Wren plans to loot one of the boats before it enters the Drain. But the boat--with Alec and Wren onboard--is sucked into the whirlpool. What they discover beyond the abyss is beyond what anyone could have imagined.

I am so addicted to this series. It’s incredibly fucking weird and weird doesn’t always work for me, but I love the world-building and the imagination of the authors. Edgeland is a standalone sequel to Nightfall, which I also loved. I am aware that that book didn’t work for everybody, but if it worked for you, you will most likely enjoy Edgeland as well. You don’t have to have read Nightfall to enjoy Edgeland either, but you should read it at some point anyway because the authors have mentioned that they want to make characters from both meet in the third, and upcoming, novel.

One of my favorite things about Nightfall was how flippin’ scary it was. Creature features don’t normally work for me, but because of the slow build-up and the atmosphere, I was seriously creeped out. Edgeland is creepy as well, but in a different way. You see, Edgeland is all about death and what happens to the dead in the world the authors have created.

The concept is kind of brilliant, actually. The inhabitants of Edgeland live on an island at the edge of a massive circular waterfall called The Drain. When people die, they are send over the waterfall with all their belongings. At the bottom of the waterfall is purgatory, or so they say, but no one has lived to tell the tall so it’s a matter of belief, just like any religion.

Wren and Alec end up going over the waterfall on accident, and they enter purgatory as living people, and they have to find a way to escape. Things are not as they seem in purgatory, and the kids have to help out there too. It’s a tense, creepy thriller with some really inventive paranormal elements. That’s one thing I can definitely say about this series. It’s incredibly original, and I realize it’s not going to work for everyone, but the writing is brilliant and atmospheric, and I really connect with the storytelling.

2 responses to “Book Review: Edgeland

  1. I really need to read this series. its on my list but i just have not found the time to get to it yet. i think i need to though. it sounds really amazing.

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