Edge of End by Suren Hakobyan is about a man who finds himself alone in a desert. He can't remember anything about who he is or why he is here, but the nearby town seems to hold all the clues he needs to get back his memory. Though, he can't seem to find anyone to answer his questions. Eventually, he meets Elizabeth and Malcolm, other residents of this town that provide lackluster answers, and unfortunately their presence can only offer more questions.
I like the beginning of the book; it draws us in with curiosity. Especially from a character perspective; even he doesn't know what's going on, so we learn about him and his history together.
I think that Jonathan is a very strong character. He is confident that he wants to find out what has happened to himself and his only real plan is to get out of the town. I like the way that, though Malcolm is kind of rude and a jerk, Jonathan is still willing to accept his help and even later perform a favour for him. As for Malcolm, I think he was unnecessarily vague in the beginning. It would be ever so easy for him to tell Jonathan the reasons why they're in the town and give him information. I felt that Mangaliny, the barwoman, was underutilized. It just seemed like she was only in a few minor portions and then mostly irrelevant for the rest of the book. I liked the little relationship between Jonathan and Elizabeth. I think it was somewhat sweet that they felt somewhat connected because of the situation they'd found themselves in. I felt that she was a fairly realistic character. However, she was a little bit on the needy side; having to rely on others' help to get saved from monsters. It's not just the one time, either. Throughout the story, she has to get saved multiple times and it just felt like she didn't have enough character development to make her truly a great character. I also felt it kind of obvious the circumstances of the bath scene when they were first mentioned, especially in comparison to Jonathan's visuals. I think that her background could have had a better mystery surrounding her life. I thought it odd, in some portions, that they meet so few other people. Especially considering the circumstances in which one might end up in the town. Though, I guess I can sort of understand, just based on the way the author has explained the situations. I think that, though there are few characters, the author uses them pretty well.
The overall plot was fairly interesting to me. I liked the idea of the town and the reasons for the characters to be there. I know I'm being vague right now, but I'm trying to get away without spoiling it for anyone. Overall, I wish that there were a little more history about the town and, while the characters are trying to escape, that they ought to learn a little more. It just felt like there are a lot of unanswered questions. For example, is there just this one town for everyone on the planet, or is this just for Americans? Were there towns before this? I ask this because they seem to find cars about the place and, obviously if the town were developed many hundreds of years ago, than there wouldn't be cars. I have more questions, but I'll leave it there. I think that the story was reasonably well paced and the mystery doesn't get revealed too quickly. However, in some portions, it kind of gets a little repetitive with their conversations and actions. For example, many times, Elizabeth and Jonathan start talking about the reasons why they're there and she mentions that she's been seeing her visions about the bath, at which point he mentions his own visions about the alley. I think that getting out of that realm was a little underwhelming and the ending of the book felt a little bit rushed. However, the one main thing I did like about the plot was that there were essentially only two storylines to follow; the reasons why these characters are in the town and how they're going to get out of it. Even the relationship between Jonathan and Elizabeth didn't seem to be too major, which I appreciated because it didn't take over the book; it was just a simple pairing between two people whose souls have found each other (quite literally!).
Overall, I liked the book quite a bit. I found that the characters felt fairly natural and they acted properly for their situations; they didn't do anything too stupid. The plot was fairly original and I liked that the book didn't really follow any traditional structure, both points being based on what I've read in the past. I think it was a pretty good book, definitely worth four stars. Received a free eCopy in exchange for an honest review.