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EDGE OF THE BREACH by Halo Scot | Book Review

*POP!* There goes my dystopian horror cherry! If I had to lose it to anyone, I’m thrilled it’s Halo Scot! The Rains Report’s first 5 STAR INDIE review! To celebrate, I created the Riv Rains Raves award cog. Ain’t it puurty? But Hearties, this one’s gonna get intense. Buddy up and pick a safe word. Shall we?

Kyder is a psychopath. Did I dust that with enough sugar? I can thicken it a little; he’s the vigilante of a broken world, bent on destroying weakness and himself. Better? Also, in Halo Scot’s Edge Of The Breach—you’re him. Ready for that? I probably wasn’t.

“Progeny of rape. Heir to violence. Drunk with power. Forged from fire. The sun-made child. Sometimes, I wish to be ordinary. It would be easier if I was normal. Easier, but far less fun.”
Kyder, Edge Of The Breach

Welcome to The Breach—a dystopian dark fantasy licking blood from the walls of humanity. Two main characters; two alternating first person points of view. Two very different coming of age stories and a narrative so thick with talent my jaw hurts from chewing it.

“I feel pain. Only pain. It washes away the rest — the depression and the anxiety, the tics and the obsessions, the dark and the light — until I am gray as the land baptized in moonlight.” 
Kyder, Edge Of The Breach

Kyder, Kyder, Kyder. He gives readers everything. Surging empathy, staggering up-chuck reflex, that sly smile we save in a secret box just for him when he’s charming. It’s all a dance to him. Life’s pains and pleasures—one and the same—literally. This is a great place to discuss trigger warnings, though to be honest, I can’t really think of one that ISN’T included. That might seem troubling, but Scot is the master of making the grimdark palatable—turning gore, gore-geous. Torture, self harm, fear, filthy sex. It’s all there in spades. Hell, don’t bring a spade, you’ll need a damn snow plough!

“The restraints I impose on myself are much more difficult to overcome than the restraints imposed on me by others.”
Rune, Edge Of The Breach

Rune, Rune, Rune! Our quivering heartache. The pure soul, beaten until it shines. This is our other point of view and essentially the essence of humanity so devoid from Kyder. Rune is the reason we can withstand his calculated malice, which Scot knows; switching from one to the other seamlessly, chapter for chapter. She measures just how much staggering brutality we can stomach, then throws open a window to let us breathe with Rune. This clever technique also happens to be the exact reason every reader struggles to set this book down. Each switch is a wrenching, pacing nightmare brilliance that left my pillow empty and tea cold. *Shakes fist at Scot*

There’s nothing socially acceptable here, but that’s precisely the point. Scot has written a purge on humanity. Every fear, desire, thirst, disgust—she’s flayed them all raw. Brutal, abrupt descriptions that hang your jaw in awe. As a writer myself, I was constantly stunned by her courage. Page after page of commentary reflecting our own flawed society, blindly determined to go to war with its own tail. She gives me hope; that this industry isn’t going to stamp out its own creative voice. That maybe, just maybe, indie authors of this caliber can save us all from the fetters. So we should all hope.

“Struggle is what makes us grow, but most of us don’t want to grow. We want to shrink back to when there were no questions, concerns, stakes, or responsibilities. We want to shrink back to when we couldn’t fuck everything up.”
Kyder, Edge Of The Breach

If you’re not a writer? Edge Of The Breach gives so many a box to stand on. Normalising diversity in sexuality, in race, in torture—wait—let’s not normalise torture just yet! Poo then; she normalises poo. (Is it messed up that I found the poo references almost the hardest to read? Not the torture, the POO! What does that say about me?) She lays out mental illness like a red writhing carpet, takes charge of our perceptions of self harm, neurodiversity, abusive relationships, and our slow supplication to corruption. She sees it, she deals it. If she’s feeling generous, she’ll spit on her hand first.

What does this all mean for a reader? One vicious book-hangover. Scenes displayed so vividly, they won’t leave you be. The sense that you have learned more about the depths of humanity than you ever signed up for. That everyone should lose their virginity like that. An irresistible urge to preorder the second book. Too much quivering anticipation to open said second book. The knowledge that you have inadvertently stumbled upon literary brilliance in the pages of a queer, poo filled, indie, torturous, dystopian horror, and that you cannot wait to subject tell your friends.

“Oh, shut up, and allow me this morsel of sentimentality. I gave you your blood, your sex, and your poop jokes. Give me this one shred of optimism.”
Rune, Edge Of The Breach

We will, Rune. We will.

Until next time, Hearties!

Riv Rains, Steampunk YA author's signature
Star Rating: My first INDIE 5!

Edge Of The Breach is available on Amazon NOW!

The Rift Cycle Series is complete and available on Amazon HERE!

Follow Halo Scot all over @halo_scot

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Riv Rains

Riv Rains is an author of steampunk, YA, dark fantasy, and creator of far too many things. Many more of her projects would be finished if she wasn't also captain and chief for two kids and a husband. If you know how to clone her, she would appreciate hearing from you. If not, while slightly crestfallen, she welcomes you to continue perusing the spawn of her tumultuous mind.

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