Richard Oort is a cop. He’s also the last Paladin: a reluctant hero, fated to defend the world against demonic forces that threaten to plunge us into another Dark Age.
Richard is on patrol one night when he leaps to the defense of a terrified young woman fleeing something impossible: beings that can only be described as monsters. Beings that can only have been created by magic. But in saving the beautiful Rhianna, he gets drawn into the machinations of a mysterious billionaire who just might be Prometheus and Lucifer. And who claims to be waging a millennia-old war on the side of reason and light, defending humanity from others of his kind who want nothing more than to see us destroy ourselves with superstition, religion, darkness, fear.
But when Richard discovers he’s a Paladin — product of a genetic fluke that enables him to wield Lucifer’s sword — he becomes a central figure in the battle between Light and Darkness. But is he strong enough to bear the burden?
This book is set in a fascinating world and I’m almost afraid to go into it in detail as it’s a lot more fun to discover it for yourself. Basically, the story is set in a world where Religion and Science are at war. Literally. A cop finds out that not only is everything he believed in possibly a lie, but that there are powers greater than he ever imagined in a constant of war, and he’s stuck in the middle.
Though the book does paint religions in a quite derogatory light, I actually felt that Snodgrass had a quite positive attitude towards religious people (aspiring to something better, having faith in something bigger than yourself, etc), which was nice as the story would have been all the worse for being solely a religion hating zone. In saying that, there are some quite a few digs at religions and Jesus himself even gets some flack (and beaten up quite a bit) so if you’re a particularly religious person, I’d suggest maybe approaching this with a little caution.
Unfortunately, after Richard is introduced to this fascinating world, things return to a semblance of normality during the middle section of the book. At first I found this change of pace slightly annoying as the world being teased at is a fascinating one and I wanted more answers, but thankfully the time is put to good use and we are given a glimpse into different characters coming to terms with what they’ve learned, and even starting to wonder which side they want to be on in this upcoming war.
Richard is a good main character. Being a beat cop, he’s competent but not infallible. Being new to the whole Good vs Evil battle, he asks the question the readers wants to ask and this means that the back-story is told in a satisfying way. He has a troubled past and this is linked to his sexuality and I think having Richard be bisexual is a nice touch on Snodgrass’ part. He one of the few bisexual leads characters I’ve read about and it is interesting to see him slowly reconcile his sexuality after years of doubt, but his sexuality never seems to have been added for shock value or to set the character/story apart, it’s just who he is. Though, in saying that, there is also a pretty hard hitting sub-plot about the reactions of his friends (both positively and negatively) once people find out.
So why should you read this book:
- An awesome take on the ‘Science Vs God’ debate
- Interesting characters
- The mature handling of Richard’s sexuality
What’s not to like:
- Pacing may not be to everyone’s taste
- May cause offense.
The Edge of Reason is an exciting and intriguing first book. With an interesting take on the theme of ‘Religion Vs Science’, strong characters and hints that things are only going to get worse for Richard and his friends, this will not only keep you reading, but have you thoroughly excited to see what’s coming next.