Characters do things that should be out of character in order to get the plot moving. In the very first chapter, the first time we meet Audrey, she does something to get the ball rolling that had me pausing and thinking REALLY because it was just a weee bit unbelievable. She spends most of the rest of the novel beating herself up about it. Plus there's the fact that However, grifters and thieves are our good guys in this novel. And not anti-hero type good guys, I mean we're supposed to look at them and think, YUP THEY DO GOOD. They're not evil at all. They're just mischievous. Honestly the amount of double talking the authors had to do to make think that Kaldar and Audrey aren't horrible people was just amazing. Of course, if said grifter or thief is mean to our heroes, then they're the bad guys. Because they do things that make them evil. Like use drugs, or murder, or something.
Plus, the villains aren't just evil, they're the most super badevil that ever existed, to the point where people get physically ill around them because they're just superbadevilwrong. And even more frustrating it's not just individuals who are like this, it's an entire country full of people who are totes ok with having parts of their government being these superbadevilwrong people. It sets up a false dichotomy and I don't like it at all. The bad guys might as well twirl a mustache they're painted so broadly.
Speaking of villains they're included in the a few of the various point of view jumps in the novel. And there are lots of POV jumps. LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of them. So many that it's detrimental. I was ok with some of them, but I really don't need to know just how superbadevilwrong and evil our villain is by being in her head.
The setup has gotten a bit formulaic with these novels. Single gentleman introduced in the previous novel meets single lady who has sad events in her life that make her distrustful of men. Whateves. And it's always dudes that we've met previously, because there just aren't single women who aren't the heroine in these novels. UGH. This is hitting my big urban fantasy pet peeves. I didn't find the snarking-at-each-other-to-hide-how-much-we-really-like-each-other set up of the romance to be very believable either. It's worked a bit in previous novels by Andrews, but it just fell flat in this one. Partly because the snarking was so over the top, and partly because there was an inordinate amount of time spent oogling the other person during important plot points. YOU'RE ROBBING A DUDE WHO SHOOTS ON SIGHT, NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE KISSING GUYS.
O do like the parts with Jack, George, and Gaston.
Finally, I wish this had explored more the Edge in the Pacific Northwest, but it just really didn't. On the other hand, how exactly does the edge work? I know it's the boundary between the two worlds, but I was given the impression that it followed along a line. Except the Pacific Northwest is definitely further north of Louisiana and Georgia. And also there is Edge in both the Pacific Northwest AND California? So not so much of a line then as it is pockets where the two worlds meet? Basically the world building broke down a little in this one. In fact, the deeper we delve into the history of the Weird, the stronger I start to side-eye it, so I really wish we'd just stayed in the Edge.
I'm just disappointed and annoyed because I'm disappointed. I'm going to read the last book, but my hopes aren't very high.