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The Edge of Reason (2008)

av Melinda Snodgrass

Serier: The Edge Series (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
17710118,635 (3.36)29
Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic and religious fanaticism, and the cause of reason, understanding, and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated the liberation of the human spirit. Officer Richard Oort of the Albuquerque Police Department is caught in the middle of this primal battle when he rescues a mysterious teenage girl from a trio of inhuman hunters. Recruited by the Lumina to serve as their latest paladin, Richard ends up fighting beside a handful of unlikely allies, including an adolescent sorceress, an enigmatic philanthropist, a sexy coroner, and a homeless god with multiple personalities. The Old Ones and their mortal pawns are determined to destroy Richard–or subvert him to their cause. And they have all powers of magic and organized religion at their disposal. As the gates between the universes shred apart, it may be up to Richard to save humanity from the endless horror of a new Dark Age. Provocative as The Golden Compass or the Illuminatus! trilogy, The Edge of Reason dramatizes the fundamental conflict behind the hot-button issues of today...and the future of the human race.… (mer)
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» Se även 29 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 10 (nästa | visa alla)
Setting aside at page 95 because I'm not really enjoying anything it's doing. The reason vs religion central struggle seems to be getting both more and less nuanced: all religion is not bad, but there's a strong vibe of all bad is religious, or at least ignorant, that just... I think it's a cop-out. If you're going to pivot your worldbuilding and story around a fundamental struggle of/for humanity, and then sort of blame the depths of humanity's nastiness on Old Ones / aliens / evil emotion-eating creatures from a parallel dimension, I'm going to go off looking for something more interesting and intelligent. That's just how it is, unfortunately.

I might have stayed for delightful prose or gripping characters, but the former was far more workmanlike (not a flaw if the story it's carrying is enthralling me) and the latter weren't doing anything for me, especially our poor little pretty rich boy hero. His sexuality has been interestingly and subtly flagged, but he's just got so much privilege that I can't say I'm particularly interested in his various crises; I did think that his faith was going to be an interesting element, but it seems to have been flimsier than anticipated.

Anyway, too many books on the list to carry on with something that's giving me this much meh. Onwards.
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
There has been a secret war fought since the begining of time. On one side are the old ones, the side of religious fanaticism and magic; the other side is fought by the Lumina, the supporters of science, rational thought and technology.

Richard Oort is a police officer and saves the life of a young female, and inadvertently changes the course of his own life. Caught in the middle of the battle he finds himself fighting along side an unusual group, and questioning his faith in the God he has always believed in.

I very much enjoyed this book although I did find some points a little far fetched (I know, it's science fiction .. but still!) I found it hard to believe the main characters just believed in the supernatural aspects with such ease and hardly any proof. Otherwise I found this to an enjoyable read.
  ChelleBearss | Mar 9, 2018 |
this is a very odd book. perfectly ordinary in story and characters, it's almost written as a cookie cutter of its type. except for the part where it's all a fight between rational thought and religion (complete with argued proofs of god and no-god), knowledge and faith, with the devil as the promethean good guy defending the world against apocalypses. and then it's like 'what? i think i better track down the second book in the series, see where she's planning to take all of that.' ( )
  macha | Jul 12, 2012 |
This is a book to just sit and read. It has a bit of romance (very little actually), a lot of action, some police procedural (which is hugely incorrect and doesn't matter for the story), and lots of discussion about good, evil, and the mind of man. The inside jacket says the characters are a paladin, an adolescent sorceress, an enigmatic philanthropist, a sexy coroner, and a homeless man with multiple personalities. There's also a federal judge and detectives, and I had a great deal of fun with the whole thing. The writing's very sharp and snappy, and there was humor in pathos, which is always the best. All of the characters are seriously flawed, not all are human, and magic is intertwined. I'm looking forward to the obviously-set-up-sequel. ( )
1 rösta Prop2gether | Oct 24, 2011 |
Does God exist? If so, what is his nature? If not, is there something else lurking in dark? Melissa Snodgrass turns the history of organized religion completely on its head, answering these questions in some rather unusual ways with her debut novel [The Edge of Reason].

Richard Oort, a police officer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is on the run from everything in his past: a manipulative, cold father; a depressed, alcoholic mother; a failed musical career; and a brutal trauma that haunts him. While on midnight patrol, he finds a young woman engaged in battle with three monsters made entirely of mud and broken branches. The woman shouts for Oort to give her a penny, and she chants the coin into a blazing projectile and dispatches one of her attackers with it. Oort soon finds himself in the middle of a centuries-old battle between two opposing forces, though neither can be accurately characterized as good or evil. At the beginning of time, creatures from a parallel universe breeched the divide into our world. Feeding on the life force of humans, these ‘old ones’ created religious identities to better manipulate their victims into hateful behavior, the better to feed on. The trouble is that these religious icons are the foundations of all the world’s religions, including the Catholic faith that Oort holds so dear, leaving him deeply conflicted about choosing sides. As the barriers between the universes weaken, Oort must choose between faith and reason.

Snodgrass is a gifted writer with a truly poetic command of language. Most of the book uses carefully crafted and beautifully descriptive language. The concept of the book, and the following sequels, is unique and captivating. One of her characters is a modern day, homeless Jesus with seriously fractured personalities that split and try to kill each other. At one point, to bring home her theme, an Episcopalian carving of Jesus slithers down off of his cross and tempts Oort. The whole book was unsettling.

On the down side, Snodgrass plays fast and loose with the realities of law enforcement and asks readers to make huge leaps in logic. I re-read the first chapter of the book a few times, as it is one of the best starting chapters I’ve read. But in that wonderful chapter, Oort loosens the strap on his holster without drawing his weapon, fires warning shots in the air, and fires into a jumbled set of figures; all actions a real police officer would never take. Then, barely ten minutes into a surreal and incomprehensible situation, Oort follows orders from an apparently disturbed homeless man, agreeing to lie to his superiors and colleagues about the incident. Though Snodgrass intended Oort to be a more cerebral and clever lawman, she often requires the character to make supernatural leaps of logic or act decidedly outside his character.

On balance, [The Edge of Reason] is smarter and better written than most of the offerings in the science fiction and fantasy market. This is partly because of Snodgrass’ membership in the Critical Mass writing group, chaired by George R.R. Martin, and partly because she is already an accomplished writer in another format, having penned scripts for Star Trek the Next Generation.

A brief warning here. There are several times when the story feels like it might devolve into a wholly anti-religious rant. In the end, Snodgrass doesn’t cast off religion as an idea, though she does seem to side with a much more humanistic version of faith and religion. The idea is challenging for a person of faith, but if that puts you off, this may not be the book for you.

Bottom Line: Outside of requiring the reader to swallow some uncharacteristic leaps in logic and behavior, [The Edge of Reason] is a rich and unique novel. Highly recommended.

4 ½ bones!!!!!
(Would have been 5 bones if she had slowed the main characters conversion down a bit and done just a bit more research on police procedure.) ( )
1 rösta blackdogbooks | Oct 9, 2011 |
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Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic and religious fanaticism, and the cause of reason, understanding, and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated the liberation of the human spirit. Officer Richard Oort of the Albuquerque Police Department is caught in the middle of this primal battle when he rescues a mysterious teenage girl from a trio of inhuman hunters. Recruited by the Lumina to serve as their latest paladin, Richard ends up fighting beside a handful of unlikely allies, including an adolescent sorceress, an enigmatic philanthropist, a sexy coroner, and a homeless god with multiple personalities. The Old Ones and their mortal pawns are determined to destroy Richard–or subvert him to their cause. And they have all powers of magic and organized religion at their disposal. As the gates between the universes shred apart, it may be up to Richard to save humanity from the endless horror of a new Dark Age. Provocative as The Golden Compass or the Illuminatus! trilogy, The Edge of Reason dramatizes the fundamental conflict behind the hot-button issues of today...and the future of the human race.

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