“Edge of the Stars” is book two of “The Edge” series. This book is a fast-paced romantic space-based thriller with many plot twists and turns keeping the listener engaged at all times. It has nearly all the elements one can ask for in a science fiction book including: cyborgs, distant colonies, clandestine military, intense action sequences, futuristic medical technology, and much more. The book is written by Andria Stone and the audiobook edition is well narrated by Nicholas Barta. The story picks up close to where the first one left off. This book contains many of the same characters from the first in the series but, there are a few new and more sinister characters found in this one. If you enjoyed the first book of this series, I think you will enjoy the second even though it is less a technology thriller than a suspense novel.
I was quite pleased the author included a prologue chapter allowing the listener the ability to get caught up with the events and activities that concluded from the first book. There are times that the next book in a series is not published for months or years after the first, so it is always nice to have a short chapter getting one caught up. This book takes place about six months after the first and the events occur mostly on mars. For me, I found the second book in the series to be less technology focused as it was concentrated on being a suspense thriller. I would have preferred more technology woven into the story as it was a critical component of the first book in the series, yet this one seemed to be more action and suspense then techno-thriller. There are still aspects of cloning along with medical technology using nanites, but I would have enjoyed having more technology based on the colony, weapons, etc.; yet it seemed to be lacking in this book.
I also enjoyed the author’s use of various small events that seems to run the length of the story such as one character’s drive to complete the task in hopes of receiving a tattoo when all was accomplished. There were also a few other instances where characters had well defined personalities that remained consistent throughout the story; I like this aspect of consistent characters along with their actions. I found it refreshing that both book one and book two stories were mainly completed without leaving many open-ended aspects; each book could be read as stand-alone story, yet you get much more when read them as a series. I enjoyed most of the character’s dialogue between each other, but I would have liked to have had less bantering amongst them. For their level of education and expertise, it seemed at times out of place or forced when they interacted this way or fluently used foul language. I enjoy authors who can paint a picture for me, but not too detailed that it takes away from my own imagination. In some way, I thought the author focused too much attention on descriptive detail such as clothing and less on the more technical aspects. Not a bad things, but more a preference in my part.
Mr. Barta did a decent job with the book’s audio narration. Being a new comer in the narration space with eight books (at the time of this review) on Audible, I felt he did a good job overall. There were a few slight inconsistencies with volume in spots, but these were minor. I also felt that Mr. Barta at times put dramatic emphasis in places where it just did not seem to fit. Overall, the recoding was professionally done and I’m sure his reading will become better as he grows in experience.
For parents or younger listeners, be aware that this book does contain a fair amount of vulgar language along with some mature subject matter. There are discussion involving sex or sexual topics which may not be appropriate for younger listeners. If this type of content is offensive to you, I would recommend locating a different series to listen too.
In summary, the book is a good book, but I enjoyed the first one more due to its emphasis on technology. Even though this book seems to focus more on character development, it still contains a fair amount of action and suspense. If you enjoyed the first book, I would recommend you pick up a copy of the second. If you have not yet listened to the first, I recommend you pick up that one and enjoy a new audiobook series.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.