On the Verge
By Garen Glazier
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Freya is just a student at the University of Washington worried about grades and making her next tuition payment until a gorgeous succubus interrupts her post-exam latte with a proposition: come work for her boss, Seattle’s reclusive heiress and antiquities collector Imogen Beldame. Eagerly agreeing despite a nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach, Freya finds herself swept up in a deadly quest at the behest of her psychopathic new employer. Beldame has given her until Halloween to collect three magical pigments that hold the key to crafting mesmerizing portraits that can access the Verge, an undiscovered borderland on the edge of human reality, and the powerful beings that call it home.
Freya’s reluctant journey takes her to a goblin stronghold in the Cascades for the color blue, to the Seattle Underground to request the color red from Baba Yaga, and to the Fremont home of a beautifully gruesome Cambodian ahp, or spirit of the night, for the color yellow. Working together with Rusty, an enigmatically disfigured man intimately connected with the Verge, and a motley crew of mercurial demons and loyal friends, Freya must come up with a plan to stop Beldame and preserve the fragile balance between fantasy and reality that is at its most vulnerable on Halloween.
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An atmospheric and magical tale, On The Verge reeks of desperation and dangerous undercurrents, with a vestige of evil lingering just out of sight.
Freya, the main character is an intelligent somewhat socially awkward college student who is suddenly thrust into this danger-filled other world called The Verge where creatures of fairytales and mythology dwell. Immersed into this world she seems to blossom and thrive and develops into this person who is not fazed by any of this strangeness, in fact she seems to relish the danger!
“For a bookish girl with artistic sensibilites and a naivete from spending too much time alone with her daydreams, she actually felt a bit excited about what might be in store for her.”
On her first trial, of sorts, she encounters Rusty who soon becomes her sidekick. He is the perfect buffer for her brashness and he tempers her ineptitude and rashness being all to aware of how dangerous these creatures of the Verge are!
“We, the creatures of The Verge, are the dreams and nightmares, gods and devils of the human imagination. We inspire the human spirit to create and in turn that spirit feed us.”
These creatures are not lovable, they are downright creepy! The way they are characterised was enough to send chills up my spine! There is nothing safe about them, not even those that pass for human. They relish their evilness and and seem to take kind of sick pleasure in revealing their true nature.
Although brought to life through fairytales and legends, figments of our imaginations, they don’t seem especially grateful to humans, they see them mostly as food. We have Baba Yaga, the witch who would eat you and then use your bones to decorate her hut, the incubus who feeds off your emotions and dreams and the succubus who feeds off your body and soul!
“Nightmares, or at least bad dreams of remorse, regret, and bittersweet nostalgia, certainly fit the bill, but places too could feed the heart and soul of an incubus. Few other locales were more fruitful in the incubus’s search for sustenance than a cemetery.”
The author successfully weaves a dark tale of revenge,spurned love and obsession and one human’s determination to end up as victor instead of victim and I found the story to be both unconventional and entertaining. Read it!
Fans of dark fantasy: If you like chills and dark tales you should add this to your TBR.
I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up always makes me cry. The Three Amigos always makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I’m running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master’s in art history. In an ideal world I’d go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I’ve never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.
Learn more about me and read my blog, Scriven by Garen, at garenglazier.com.
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