Review: The Edge of Darkness by Lissa Bilyk

14 October, 2011 Reviews 1 comment

Review: The Edge of Darkness by Lissa BilykThe Edge of Darkness by Lissa Bilyk
Series: Standalone
Published by Self-Published on August 31st 2011
Pages: 250
Genres: Adult, Sci-Fi
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

"I did not choose to become this way. This corrupted, innocent body. Who in their right mind would willingly choose this life? "

At the end of the interstellar war, Max Ryan, an unwilling cyborg living on the Rock, a notorious prison planet, is rescued and sent to live on the transport ship Eden as it travels home to Old Earth.

Max never thought she'd be doing anything other than baking the ship's bread for the next five years. But when she uncovers a conspiracy bigger than the war that enslaved her in the first place, she is in for the fight of not only her life, but those around her she has grown to love.

A dystopian novel exploring the themes of love, class, race, gender, and power.

When I was a young girl in middle school I had a friend who loved to write. I’d always see her hunched over her many composition notebooks, fervently scribbling away. One day I asked her what she was writing and with a bemused look she simply replied, “Stories.” This, of course, piqued my curiosity even more. Every day, I’d ask her a new question about her stories: “How do you come up with the ideas?” “What are they about?” “Are you going to get them published?” and finally, “Can I read them?”

The last one surprised her and she promptly told me no. I was disappointed, but with any artist they have to be ready to share their work on their own time and I was patient. That day came sooner than I thought when she surprised me asking me to read one of her stories saying, “It’s not finished and keep in mind it’s a very rough draft, but I’d like to know what you think of it.” I was so excited; I immediately opened the black and white composition and dived in. She had the neatest hand writing I’d ever seen; perfectly placed on the lines in red ink. I was so impressed. It was a wonderful story and to this day I still wonder if she ever did anything with her writing talent.

I told you the above story because I wanted you to know I’m no stranger to Indie writers. That was first experience and I believe you can find some pretty cool and amazing stories with them. The Edge of Darkness definitely falls in this category for me. It is a very original and creative story about a world were prejudices against race and sexual orientation have been set aside…except for cyborgs. That is where we meet Maxine Ryan. There are many things I really liked about this book:

The Plot

The Edge of Darkness has a very solid plot. Max, a cyborg, is on a transport ship on her way back to Old Earth. However, she soon uncovers a conspiracy and races against time to ensure she and her fellow cyborgs’ survival. It’s one of those books where you cannot predict the outcome. It is not character driven or driven by romance, even though there certainly is a bit of romance between Max and her husband, Ethan. I’m trying to keep this review as spoiler free as possible because the plot twists *make* this book.

The writing Style

The book begins with Max telling us of her experience becoming a cyborg. She also tells us she is a prisoner of war on an asteroid called The Rock. The beginning is reminiscent of The Diary of Anne Frank for me. That might sound strange, but here’s why. Max does a lot of retelling of her life before she became a cyborg similar to the way Anne talked about her life before she and her family went into hiding. At first, I had to get used to the way she was retelling it, but it quickly didn’t matter because I wanted to know more about Max and her life.

The characters

One of the best things about this book is the diversity it brings in the world. Various nationalities are mentioned. In fact, Max herself is of Filipino descent. That was pretty cool to me. I also really loved Max as a heroine because she is no Mary Sue. At first she is unsure of herself, but after a few life changing moments on The Eden, she settles into her own and kicks butt! She is a character that rises above, and believe me when I say she more than “handles her business.” Ethan, her husband, was a loving support system for her, but she was never overly dependent on him. They simply complimented each other as couples often do. It would have been really cool to get to know Lima and Lance or any other cyborgs better.

I’m a sucker for descriptions and pretty prose in books, so one of my favorite parts of the book is when Max sees The Eden’s garden for the first time. The descriptions of the vegetation Max saw were spot on and I could easily visualize it. I would have loved to have read more descriptions of The Eden and The Rock because there were times when I couldn’t quite visualize the scenes.

The only real negative I noticed while reading was the pacing. A lot of time passes while Max is on the Eden (six years), but it didn’t feel like six years to me as a reader. It felt more like the next day.

Other than that, the book did leave me with a few questions about the Authorities and the ending. If you want to know exactly what that was please visit my GoodReads review and click on the spoilers. Despite those small issues, I could not put the book (or my kindle) down!  I stayed up well past 2 am because I just had to find out what happened next.

But my ultimate favorite part was when Max is fighting with an Authority (and when I say ‘fighting’ I mean she was kicking his ass, lol) and he has the nerve to say in the middle of the fight, “I’m bleeding. Can I call for assistance?” And obviously, Max yells, “No!” I swear, right there I died with laughter so hard I almost woke my husband up. LOL.

This was a really cool, imaginative sci-fi book and I look forward to future works from Lissa Bilyk!

Disclaimer: Though Lissa Bilyk is a GoodReads friend of mine, these a my honest opinions of her book. 

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

One Response to “Review: The Edge of Darkness by Lissa Bilyk”

  1. Review of The Edge of Darkness « Lissa Writes

    […] One of my Goodreads friend, Stephanie, offered to impartially review The Edge of Darkness. Being me, I didn’t realise she’d actually put the review up on her website as well as on Goodreads. Because I’m a little slow like that. So, a little late (but better than never), here’s the link to Stephanie’s review of The Edge of Darkness. […]

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