Review: Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer

, by Kt Clapsadl

Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer
Noon Onyx #2

Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.

Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task which will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…

Noon is the only known female to hold waning magic, the power used to control the demons who won the apocalypse eons ago. So to say she has a bit of a hard time fitting in would be an understatement. Unlike her counterparts, she does not revel in the power and it's destructive nature, and as a result is very reluctant to learn to harness it. This has led to a lack of control that gets dangerous at times. But, she's still trying to come to terms with the need to take charge of her ability, and reluctantly sets out on a mission to investigate a string of disappearances. But this is no ordinary case as tales of an ancient demon plaguing the area are rampant. Noon will have to learn to use her magic in more than just a passive way if she is to have any hope at surviving the journey, let alone her destination.

Noon's behavior had seemed to start to turn around by the end of the previous book as she slowly accepted who and what she was, so I wasn't expecting to have to sit through her constant whining about her lot in life this time around. I don't want to sound too hard or picky, but she has said multiple times that she's finally accepted who she is, but yet she refuses to step up and take the steps to control her magic. There always is some excuse and she just shrugs off her dangerous misfires. Then there is a pretty surprising reveal later in the book that she does not handle very well at all. In fact, I was incredibly disappointed in her behavior and felt absolutely no sympathy for the pain it put her in. I was of the opinion that she made her bed and now has to lie in it, but she behaved like a wronged party. It just all sparks of an immaturity that I would not expect in a college age character and makes her seem much younger than she really is and just not someone who I could identify with at all.

It is never a good thing when you finish a book and wonder "what was the point?" Unfortunately, this was my first thought at the end of FIERY EDGE OF STEEL. I just felt like there was absolutely no momentum in this book. Between the plot and the almost complete lack of character development, especially on Noon's behalf, I just felt like the whole book only moved in circles. I constantly found myself getting distracted by other things rather than wanting to continue reading, which is never a good thing. When I read, I want to become immersed in the story and that just didn't happen here. Another thing preventing that immersion for me was the terminology. I had hoped that since this was the second book I would have had an easier time following the really complicated mythology and excessive amount of obscure names, but that wasn't the case. Unfortunately my constant frustration at trying to remember who or what that different name/term meant made it incredibly hard to enjoy this book.

The first book in this series was only a mediocre read for me, but I was intrigued enough with the world to want to continue on and give it another shot. Unfortunately, as I've said in this review, it just didn't turn around one bit making it not up to par for a preferred read. At this point, I'm pretty sure I won't be picking up this series again, which honestly is a shame because the world and premise have so much potential, but potential can only carry me so far before it's time to move on, an unfortunately that's the case here.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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