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 ;)