Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Ledge by Stacey McEwan. I’m finally getting through some of my backlog of 2022 ARCs, and I was intrigued enough by the synopsis to give this one a go.
After being randomly selected as a human sacrifice, instead of death, Dawsyn finds herself on a quest to save her people from their icy prison…
In a place known as the Ledge, a civilization is trapped by a vast chasm and sheer mountain face. There is no way for anyone to escape the frozen wasteland without befalling a deathly drop. They know nothing of the outside world except that it is where the Glacians reside – mystical and vicious winged creatures who bring meagre rations in exchange for a periodic human sacrifice.
Dawsyn, ax wielder and only remaining member of her family, has so far avoided the annual culling, but her luck has run out. She is chosen and ripped from her icy home, the only world she knows. No one knows what will happen to her on the other side, least of all Dawsyn. Murdered? Enslaved? Worse?
Fortunately, a half-Glacian called Ryon offers to help them both escape, but how can she trust one of the very creatures that plagued her life? Dawsyn is a survivor, and she is not afraid to cut anyone down to live.
With a slow-burning romance, high stakes and even higher rewards, this richly created new fantasy series by popular TikToker Stacey McEwan will keep you gripped to the very end.
*Content warnings* gratuitous violence & death; death of a minor; suicide; attempted sexual assault
***Thank you to Angry Robot for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***
I didn’t really know much about this book going into it beyond the info in the synopsis. I was immediately invested in the Ledge, its history, and the plight of its people. The gritty harshness of it and the effects on the people were fascinating to read. I had so many questions about how they got there and why their lives were so difficult. I was excited to find out. Unfortunately, the answers provided in the rest of the narrative were less than stellar and often nonsensical. For example, it made no sense for the Glacians to keep the humans on the Ledge if the goal was to keep a ready supply of them for harvest. I’m honestly surprised that three generations of humans had survived the conditions, and the population would have likely dwindled to nothing in the near future. Much of the love interests’ story didn’t really make sense either. He’s visited all sorts of different places and made allies all over, but he also claimed that he couldn’t get out of the Glacian palace for more than one night at a time. The trip to some of these places took days. Maybe he did some of it before going to the palace, but none of it was really very clear. The characters were largely one-dimensional YA stereotypes despite this not being a YA book. Dawsyn was the headstrong girl who refused to give up and had surprising strength and fighting ability. It made sense for her to be scrappy given her life on the Ledge, but her strength seemed way overblown considering how undernourished she must have been. Ryon was the big, strong, mysterious man who started out as a gruff ‘enemy’ but came to love the heroine because of her wit and skill. There was quite a bit of obsession with size difference between them in the romance, and the dialogue made me cringe. As for the rest of the writing, it wasn’t that great either. The descriptions were often repetitive, and the sentence structure felt dull. I lost count of how many times I read the same description of Ryon’s stubble. I get it. The author thinks stubble is hot, but at least use a different word every now and then. The book wasn’t without redeeming qualities, though. The beginning was quite good, and some of the world-building and plot elements were fun to read. There was the promise of a good story in here amongst the cringe-worthy romance, plot holes, and uninspired writing. Unfortunately, I won’t be continuing the series to see if it gets any better. Therefore, I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.