As writers we all look towards family for that initial "You can do it" when it comes to our work. Most of us have at least one person that swears our work is worthy of publication and that we are on the right track. The writer of my next review, K.V. McMillan, had a friend take a story she had written for her 'love' and build a whole new publishing company around her work The Waters Edge.
We have all read stories by authors that were never intended to be published, and the fact that the author was writing for his/herself sometimes enhances the story since the stresses of worrying about the audience is drastically reduced.
The story follows Cedwynne McKenzie, a young deputy U.S. Marshall, in the 23rd century. Cedwynne is not a typical 26 year old woman, and it becomes apparent early on as she slowly reveals her ability to see the Aura's of living things in addition to a few physical traits that are considered relatively common mutations, known as G-3 mutations, that give her an enhanced muscle and bone density.
Soon into the story Cedwynne is called into her bosses office and offered a position with a new branch of law enforcement, Counter Section. Little is known about this secret agency, and its clear early on that, despite her many qualifications, Cedwynne's problem with authority and straightforwardness are not taken lightly with her new supervisors.
Once the true nature of Counter Section is revealed Ced becomes privy to her predecessor's work; though the realization that the existence of certain nightmarish characters draws a bit of both fear and doubt out of the anti-heroine.
Things become even hairier once she closes, or at least thinks she closes, her first case and the discovery of a plethora of supernatural beings. Ced finds herself in well over her head when a fellow agent orders a hit on her, and afterwards explains that the order came from way above him.
Everything comes to a head as Cedwynne must decide who she can trust. The mysterious man who speaks in riddles that cuts her grass, those that 'supervise' her activities, the handsome wheirwolf whose pack she helped save, or even herself as the thrills really begin to come out in this supernatural thriller that is true to both of its roots.
Its easy to see why McMillan's friend became so vested into this story that he built his publishing company around it. There are so many great things about it, and here are a few of the pros that I feel help set it apart:
- The story, while on paper may seem like yet another supernatural love story, feels fresh and new. McMillan does a wonderful job combining a thriller and an adult supernatural story into something new and entertaining.
- Each one of the characters is his/her own person. Whether its the hard-nosed anti-heroine, or the soft-spoken man with a heart of a poet, even the President of the United States has his own voice and is easily recognizable throughout the story.
- The semi-dystopian United States is something I haven't read about before, at least not in this way. The story of the rise and fall of the country, and the whole world is done differently but in a way that isn't so far fetched that you could truly picture what it has become.
- The main character, Cedwynne, is almost a bit to brash. I'm all for an anti-heroine, but on a few, and I have to stress very few, occasions her actions seem a bit to extreme. I do have to note that there is an incident that justifies these later on in the story, I'm just referring to one or two things at the beginning of the story.
Overall I'm going to give The Waters Edge a 9/10 based on:
9/10 for readability- The way this story flows surprised me, being this authors first published work. Each chapter transitions smoothly from one to the other, and the ideas seem to keep coming throughout adding more layers to the overall story.
9/10 for story- McMillan brings a creative story that flows well. Each chapter offers a new piece of the overall puzzle that delves deep into political turmoil, interestingly enough there's both turmoil in the human government and the politics of the wheirwolf pack Cedwynne befriends.
8/10 for characters- As I mentioned earlier, each character truly takes on a life of his/her own. I especially like the way the characters from the wolf pack really feel like, based on the way they speak and act, they are part of a true hierarchy and behave based on their position in the pack.
9/10 for thrills- I do like the reinvention of the supernatural creatures, but the thriller aspect is what really sets this story apart for me. It has all the aspects of a great thriller with a small degree of mystery thrown in to keep you guessing just how deep Cedwynne's rabbit hole really goes.
I have to thank K.V. McMillan for allowing me the opportunity to read and review her novel. I really do look forward to reading the next installment in the career of Marshall McKenzie.
If you would like to check out The Waters Edge click here.