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Publisher's Summary

A cynical, disabled film director with borderline personality disorder gets recruited to join a secret organization that oversees relations between Hollywood and Fairyland in the first book of a new urban fantasy series from debut author Mishell Baker.

A year ago Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she's sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.

For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him she'll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble's disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.

No pressure.

©2016 Mishell Baker. All rights reserved. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It's the characters

Every once in a while, I run across a book I really shouldn't like, but I do. I don't go in for urban fantasy, I'm relatively bored with Los Angeles as a setting, Hollywood politics interest me not at all, and I typically close a book as soon as I see the word "fae".

But really good writing supersedes all of that. The characters in Borderline are so vivid and quirky that if one of them walked up to me and said even three words, I'd recognize him/her immediately. And this is true of *all* the characters, not just the main protagonist and antagonist; even the walk-ons breathe.

I'm sure other reviewers will comment on the fact that this is probably the first SFF novel ever to treat Borderline Personality Disorder seriously, and of course it's a gem for that reason alone. And yes, the magical world presented is clever and fun all by itself; but it seems to me that I would enjoy this novel even if it were mainstream literary fiction, and even if BPD didn't come up.

If you like living with characters who fascinate, this book is for you.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely wonderful urban noir fantasy

Urban fantasy is like potato chips -- mostly addictive junk food, sometimes really enjoyable, but seldom deeply fulfilling. This novel is wonderfully different and yet faithful to the genre, an unsettling amalgam of gritty classic noir and innovative urban fantasy. I can't recommend it highly enough.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A highly unusual heroine

Or I guess unusual heroes and heroines. Mental illness and physical disabilities are unusual in stories let alone of the main character. It's a refreshing perspective of people whose lives I see from the outside and never really get a view of internal thoughts and motivations. The explanations about how borderline personality disorder was very interesting and made it easier to empathize with someone who from the outside is unlikable. The premise of the story that only people with mental issues were recruited to be intermediaries to the Fae seemed week at best. Especially since after recruitment these people were expected not to break the "rules" many of which were characteristics of their illness. It was especially frustrating that the main character was treated especially had in this regard. However since I like under dogs and characters that suffer before finding some truth I did enjoy the book. It wasn't as funny or snappy as I was lead to believe but I did enjoy the dialogue. The narration was very good also which always makes an audiobook enjoyable. The various ethnicities of the characters was refreshing as I get so tired of the unimaginative whitewashing of most sci-fi and fantasy and even urban fantasy. Overall a refreshing story. If it was a series I'd read the next one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Very unique— well worth the credit

What a unique urban fantasy novel— not necessarily in its storyline, but rather in its characters. Millie is a one of a kind character and I honestly think that it was her (in combination with the other characters) that made this book so fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, the story was interesting and solid, but the characters are really what make this book shine. Each and every one is three-dimensional and I was sucked in by them immediately. No warming up to the book here. I was hooked from the start. There was just something about the writing and the characters that drew me in.

The audiobook is excellent. Arden Hammersmith does an excellent job narrating. She really became Millie and the other characters. Her pacing was excellent. I turned up the audio to 1.25x and it was perfect for me, but 1.0x speed wasn’t bad either. The audio sucked me in so much that I listened to this 11 hour audiobook in almost one sitting (luckily I had the free time today). I had a kindle copy available from the library, but I didn’t feel the urge to switch to the print version to read it faster because the audio was just that good. I am SO glad I took a chance on this and used a credit for it. I am also glad that I get my next credit in a few days so that I can get the next book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amazing

loved this so much. it grabs you and won't let go. the the narriation was top notch. I also just found out this is a trilogy, will be getting them all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Would you consider the audio edition of Borderline to be better than the print version?

I have no way of knowing.

What other book might you compare Borderline to and why?

Mystery Thriller and Urban Fantasy. The only thing I can think is this is similar is Jinx High and some other Mercedes Lackey Urban Fantasy back in the 80s and early 90s, which was the last time I read the genre.

Have you listened to any of Arden Hammersmith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. It was a wonderful reading though.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Hollywood Faeries meet Janet Evanovich.

Any additional comments?

I love this book, and the follow on. I am a sucker for first person narration, and I love the setting and the premise of the novel. It's a fun book, and although it's about someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, it's not the DSM, and despite all of the characters, and all of their flaws, I find that I love them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Insightful and Unique

This book showed up on my suggestion list a fee times so I gave it a shot and I was not disappointed! The story was fresh and clever. The insight into some mental illnesses was very well written. Utterly brilliant!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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diverse, smart YA UF

What a treat of a book. While it follows the basic tropes of YA urban fantasy (female protagonist gets inducted into a reality that includes magic that she wasn't aware of, joins a group of characters that seem disjointed at first, they bond, end up blowing open the situation to expose it has much bigger implications than it appeared on the surface, and then have to fight the Big Bad despite overwhelming odds), but this book had characteristics that elevated it above the pack. The protagonist is bisexual, and there are gay characters. Millie is disabled, having lost her legs in a suicide attempt; and while the details of the prosthetic legs and wheelchair use are detailed in a frank manner, it's not a play for pity. Millie also has Borderline Personality Disorder, and that condition is explored in detail, informing her actions, prejudices, and emotional reactions. There are lots of racial tensions in this book: between black/white and fae highborn/commoners, Seelie/Unseelie courts. This book and its world is intriguing, gritty, and yet hopeful. It's a story with a lot of underdogs and personal struggle. It's the most "human" urban fantasy story I've read.

The magic system is well explained and believable, with enough limitations and rules that it never seems too over the top powerful. I also loved the idea of the "echoes" - where a human and a fae have counterpart pairs, that when allowed to meet and interact inspires the human much like a muse, creating great art or incredible scientific discovery and the faerie to focus their thoughts and become more effective in practical matters. It's a lovely idea of symbiotic partnership and allows the author to explore the intricacies of that kind of intimacy and potential loss that the situation produces. The plotline is engaging and the pacing is great, moving from quiet moments to moments of big action as our flawed heroes race to figure out an answer to the problem and restore some kind of balance between the worlds. The answers aren't pretty and nothing comes without sacrifice. The audiobook is ably narrated by Arden Hammersmith, whose slightly rough voice works great for Millie's practical and yet incredibly nuanced emotional fragility. She handles the different characters and accents with aplomb.

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A league of its own

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. I'm honestly not sure what made me choose this or where I even came across this title as it's not my normal cup of tea. However, I will say that it was definitely worth the credit. The plot was refreshing, very different from the plethora of cookie cutter storylines out there these days. Even the background characters had depth to them. I found that Millie was easy to relate to, even with (or maybe especially because of) her disorder. It was nice to see a heroine who wasn't flawless for once. I didn't agree with some of her actions, or reactions, but that's what it is to be human. And insecure. And feel like you're alone and searching for your place in a world you dont fit in.

It took me awhile to get used to the narrator's male voices, but it's honestly hard to find a female narrator who CAN voice males accurately, and hers were better than the norm. All in all she did a pretty excellent job.

I sped through this and will be getting the next in the series.

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A fantasy that caught me completely by surprise

Not usually read fantasy and don't usually write reviews either - a few dystopian novels here & there - however this was part of a recent Audible sale and seemed different. Was immediately drawn in to this very contemporary setting and the filmmaking theme. The narrator is fantastic and should be looking for more by Arden. Snappy dialogue propels story with sometimes snarky, often uniquely presented insights that ring true not preachy or overdone. Sympathetic to characters and seems pretty well researched on the handicap angle. The angst and drama here not particularly sugar coated, but it is after all still geared to storytelling. This one is adept at building a world. Though not sure how it stacks up to the Fantasy competition, I was entertained by a solid " hard to pause" read through and would recommend it.