The Edge of the Abyss by Emily SkrutskieThe Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

The Edge of the Abyss

byEmily Skrutskie

Paperback | April 18, 2017

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Three weeks have passed since Cassandra Leung pledged her allegiance to ruthless pirate-queen Santa Elena and set free Bao, the sea monster Reckoner she'd been forced to train. The days as a pirate trainee are long and grueling, but it's not the physical pain that Cas dreads most. It's being forced to work with Swift, the pirate girl who broke her heart. But Cas has even bigger problems when she discovers Boa is not the only a monster swimming free. Other Reckoners illegally sold to pirates have escaped their captors and are taking the NeoPacific by storm, attacking ships at random and ruining the ocean ecosystem. As a Reckoner trainer, Cas might be the only one who can stop them. But how can she take up arms against the creatures she used to care for and protect? Will Cas embrace the murky morals that life as a pirate brings or perish in the dark waters of the NeoPacific? The exciting sequel to The Abyss Surrounds Us

Skrutskie deftly balances introspection and action, making for a page-turning, thoughtful read. - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Linking pirate myth and strong queer female characters with a dystopian vision of the future, The Edge of the Abyss is nothing short of stunning. -
Emily Skrutskie (Ithaca, NY) has had her short fiction published by Harper Teen and attends Cornell University. The Abyss Surrounds Us is her debut novel.
Title:The Edge of the AbyssFormat:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 7.95 × 5.24 × 0.59 inPublished:April 18, 2017Publisher:North Star EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1635830001

ISBN - 13:9781635830002


Rated 4 out of 5 by from This conclusion ends with a bang! This is the conclusion to the duet and overall I was pleased with it as a wrap up of the story. I would love to see more books in this world though, it’s so fun and original. I love the water, always have, couple that with monster training, sci-fi, genetics and a messy love story and I swear Skrutskie wrote this just for me. Warning: there are spoilers ahead! The Abyss Surrounds Us ended with a bang. A lot of things were left up in the air and unresolved, I think it’s sequel did a good job of answering a lot of my questions and wrapping things up. I especially liked the reconciliation Cas had with her family and previous life as a reckoner trainer. I liked that it didn’t clean up perfectly, it isn’t a long book and for everything to have resolved would have been unrealistic. Life is messy and things don’t work out the way we think they will and Skrutskie captures that on her pages. I wasn’t sure where the story would take our main character after the first book but it followed a logical and interesting extension of the original plot. Cas faced a lot of internal struggle, figuring out where she belonged and how to come to terms with her choices. That struggle was reflected on a larger scale in a conflict that effected everyone who lived on the NeoPacific. The pirates were the “bad guys” when Cas lived on shore. In book two she ends up seeing the ocean she has always loved in a very different way, as one of those pirates. She discovers that the morally gray area in life is a lot larger than she ever thought. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that I had as deep of a connection with Cas in the second book. She was dealing with these heavy emotions and conflicts, but I didn’t feel like there we explored them before the story was wrapped up and over. There was also a lot less action, I didn’t feel a lot of excitement and anticipation until the very end. Everything leading up to that felt very laid back and dialogue heavy. I enjoyed it but it didn’t have me turning the pages till the wee hours if you know what I mean. (Who am I kidding you’re reading a book blog, of course, you know what I mean) I also saw right through some of the authors foreshadowing. I really hate when I can predict things too far in advance – Cas having to face a monkey monster (Simioid) in the end? Hinted at very early on. There also wasn’t enough Bao! I really missed all the training from book one, it wasn’t necessary for the second book but everything about Bao’s return felt too rushed. The romance though, that was great. It was a little more like a tug O war game than a romance, and often that back and forth really annoys me but this was different. Cas and Swift weren’t being petty and dramatic like you often see in YA romance, there were real, hard issues coming between them. The were drawn together over and over by a strong connection but struggled to leave the hurt and the history behind them. I could feel the turmoil and their anguish and to me, if I’m feeling what they’re feeling, that’s some great writing. I loved these two and I was so happy with their ending. I like to think they’re out on the ocean somewhere, a little bit pirate and a little bit monster trainer, saving the NeoPacific and butting heads. LOL. I will say that the writing style and the voice felt consistent in both books which is very important to me. And while the first three-quarters of the book might have been less than action packed I was invested in the characters enough that I had to know what happened. Skrutskie writes fabulous characters, so flawed and real, you can’t help but love them and want to see them happy. These books will always remain on my favorites shelf for that reason. This finale may not be everything I had hoped but I will never stop being thankful to Skrutskie for sharing her monster-trainer-turned-pirate with us.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Action packed and engaging It’s been almost a year and a half since I read The Abyss Surrounds Us, but within a few pages of The Edge of the Abyss, I was sucked back into Cas’s world of pirates and sea monsters. This was a fantastic conclusion to a well-written, action-packed sci-fi adventure in a world that’s easy to imagine. Picking up shortly after where the first book ended, Cas has left her life as a Reckoner trainer and sworn allegiance to the totally badass pirate queen, Santa Elena. As one of Santa Elena’s chosen few, she’s in training to one day take over as captain of the Minnow. Her one advantage is an extensive knowledge of Reckoners, which puts her at the forefront when the crew discover the rogue Reckoners that are swimming free in the NeoPacific and could cause irreparable damage in many ways. I loved how The Edge of the Abyss built on The Abyss Surrounds Us. In this book, we get to see more of the pirates themselves and learn about pirate politics, which was fascinating. We get to see more growth from Cas, and we also get to see more of the secondary characters, which I liked. They became real people for me in this book, a true supporting cast. I have slightly mixed feelings about the romance in this one. On the one hand, I understand Cas’s hurt and anger and being unsure whether she can forgive Swift for the things that came to light at the end of the first book. She and Swift are finally on equal footing, but so much has happened that seems impossible to get past. Their relationship was always complex, and I appreciated the slow burn of it, but there was almost too much back and forth. Cas has a lot to deal with besides her feelings for Swift - guilt over leaving her life and family behind, uncertainty over her future, trying to figure out a plan to deal with the Reckoners - so while I would have easily understood the romance not being a main focus of the plot, the way it was handled makes the plot feel choppy at times. That being said, the emotions were realistic. Their romance was never hearts and rainbows, full of mushy sentiments and pledges of eternal love, and that made it more realistic than a lot of other YA romances because young love is often rocky and uncertain and confusing. I was ultimately satisfied and I appreciated how things ended, but the rocky ride was a bit tiresome at times. The Edge of the Abyss is fast paced, engaging, and full of thrilling action and great characters. I’d love to see this duology turned into a movie or TV series. *An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An overall engaging, fast-paced, and action-packed sequel that I wish had been a bit longer and had a bit more development I still really like the idea of this duology (genetically engineered sea monsters! pirates!) Anyway. Onto the actual review-y bits of the review, rather than just me talking about sea monsters. This was quite a quick read, and an enjoyable conclusion to the story that started in The Abyss Surrounds Us. When we left Cas, she'd just sworn her loyalty to a fairly ruthless pirate, released Bao, and found out that Swift was responsible for Durga's death. She's just trying to get her feet under her- between her new duties and avoiding Swift, she's got enough work cut out for her. Cas was a kind of confusing character for me this time around, it took me at least 50% of the book to really get back into her head space. I'm not really sure why, it might just have been my mood, but her thought and decision-making processes weren't really something I followed. Part of it, I think was that this was such a quick read and it took me a while to start connecting with her again... so by the time that happened, it felt like the book was almost over. She works through a lot (shifting loyalties, Santa Elena making things difficult, Swift, the whole ocean being in danger...), and I overall found myself really appreciating her character arc, especially once I did succeed in getting back into her head! Her relationship with Swift was complicated in this book, and not in a way I particularly enjoyed... I'm not a fan of back-and-forth, hot-and-cold kind of relationships so it was for me frustrating to read, even though I understood why it was the way it was. Swift wasn't someone that I always liked, and I wish we'd been able to see her grow a bit more as a person (not that she's not allowed to be flawed... I just wish that we'd seen her do a little bit of work on those flaws). I think that their relationship was another thing that might have benefited from having a bit more time (ex. 100 more pages) to develop. I did really appreciate the action in this one- there's pretty much always something going on! For such a short book, there are a lot of settings and characters that the readers are introduced to, which lends the book a slightly rushed feeling (something that fits well with the fact that things are a little frantic a lot of the time). All of this leads to a pretty fantastic and high-stakes climax (one that felt pretty cinematic, if that makes sense). Overall, I really enjoyed this conclusion! The plot was strong and the action was great, though I feel that more character-driven aspects of the story would have benefited from a little more time to develop.
Date published: 2017-04-19