The mysteries of Whidbey Island continue
The Edge of the Water, sequel to The Edge of Nowhere, takes Becca and the inhabitants of Whidbey Island on another mystery involving a suspicious seal this time. My favorite part about this novel is the development of Jenn. In book one, readers only got a brief glimpse of her outside of being a bully. Now, readers get a better take on the less angry side of her, and they can see her mature beautifully throughout the story. Her interactions with Squat Cooper are hilarious, sweet, and enjoyable, and her experiences with both Squat and Annie provide insight into a young girl who is still trying to find her identity.
Ralph and Diana continue to offer words of wisdom and comedic relief amidst the teen angst. Though their parts in the story aren’t excessively big, each scene with either of them never fails to make me smile or laugh.
Where the action and suspense took the spotlight in the previous novel, the sequel focuses more on personal relationships. Although I enjoyed the characters’ development in the first book, there seems to be a stretch with some of them in this novel. Becca and Derric’s relationship escalates extremely quickly without any development, leaving little understanding or grounds for their conflicts. Becca herself feels more of a secondary character than a protagonist as the story goes on, and I left the end of the book without feeling any growth from her. This does, however, leave plenty of room for the reader to get to know some of the other characters, such as Jenn, who do start to develop further.
While the seal mystery is very cool, the overarching area of suspense in the series, Becca, her mother, and stepfather, doesn’t show up often. It feels like that mystery is paused during this sequel to make room for the seal, which ultimately makes Becca’s story fade a bit. However, the twist in the seal mystery is wonderfully done, and it provides a deeper perspective on the island of Whidbey itself.
Though there are areas that left me wanting more, The Edge of the Water is overall an entertaining and engaging read. I look forward to seeing what mysteries Whidbey Island offers in the next book.