Book Review | The Darkest Edge of Dawn

Title: The Darkest Edge of Dawn (Charlie Madigan, Book 2)

Author: Kelly Gay

My Review:

2 months ago, ITF officer Charlie Madigan sacrificed light for the life of her daughter in The Better Part of Darkness, Kelly Gay’s first urban fantasy novel. Now all of Atlanta is covered in a cloak of darkness 24 hours a day, and it is up to Charlie to figure out how to bring back the light. In Kelly Gay’s alternative Atlanta, humans coexist with visitors beings called off-worlders, or the non-PC term “aliens”. There are two types : Charbydon (creatures including the likes of hellhounds and jinns) and Elysians (creatures including the likes of nymphs and sirens). The Charbydon’s home world is slowing dying, and they are struggling to take over the world of the Elysians.

In The Darkest Edge of Dawn, Charlie and her siren partner Hank must track down an Adonai serial killer who is targeting powerful Elysian beings. The last thing Charlie wanted was to continue with her dangerous job, but it was either prison or top secret missions for Washington. Charlie has her daughter Emma to think of, who matters to her more than anything on Earth. Her job killed her once, and now Charlie must deal with the repercussions of her altered DNA. She isn’t quite human anymore, and the key to saving Atlanta–and maybe even the world–is coursing through her veins.

I am an urban fantasy junkie; I just can’t get enough! But after awhile, some of the various plots, characters, and world building seem very similar. I knew I had found something to treasure when I started The Better Part of Darkness and then received The Darkest Edge of Dawn to review. Charlie Madigan is not only a kick-ass heroine–she is also a mother. Her judgment calls are sometimes clouded by her personal life, and things then very quickly get complicated.

Kelly Gay shows a determined confidence in her world building and characterization. I immediately fell in love with Charlie’s partner Hank in the first book, and by the second book he quickly became my favorite urban fantasy heartthrob. Gay isn’t afraid to put her characters through hell; she will have you on the edge of your seat wondering how they will ever be able to pick up all the pieces of their former selves. Each of the characters has very realistic flaws, making them detailed and easy to relate to.

Like any great urban fantasy, there are also romantic subplots weaved between the action. If Charlie can find a way to save her husband (whose body is currently inhabited by a Revenant), her partner Hank might have some worthy competition for Charlie’s affections.

If you have read and enjoyed books by Vicki Pettersson and Kim Harrison, this series is the perfect choice for you! Kelly Gay’s amazing series is going on my auto-buy list; not only is there never a dull moment in Charlie Madigan’s world, but I really appreciate that I can see all the pieces falling into place as the series unfolds.

I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*


Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including,, and

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