cover image The Edge of Worlds

The Edge of Worlds

Martha Wells. Night Shade, $24.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-59780-843-9

In the beginning of this new full-length entry in Wells’s Raksura series (following 2012’s The Siren Depths), the entire community of Indigo Cloud, home to a shape-shifting race called the Raksura, has a nightmare of their world being destroyed by their archenemies, the predatory Fell. To prevent that, Jade, Moon (her consort), and other Raksura must join a group of archaeologists from several races to investigate an ancient site that could destroy them all. After setting up the danger, the novel takes too long to get the questing party to the mysterious island, losing its impact among vague distrust, political squabbles, and minor dangers that overshadow how unearthly this world is. However, when the Fell do show up and bring a new wrinkle to their characterization, the dramatic battles, tough decisions, and character dynamics shine through. Filtering the story mostly through the semi-outsider Moon, Wells overcomes pacing flaws to keep this series going strong with an imaginative world of engaging characters. (Apr.)