Book Review: Darkest Mercy

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Darkest Mercy Darkest Mercy by
Series: Wicked Lovely #5
Published by in 2011
Genres: , ,
Pages: 327

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.

My Review:

Finally, after far too long a wait, I have been able to read the final installment in the Wicked Lovely series. It was a long wait, but it was well worth it. I have loved this series since I opened the very first book last fall, and it continues to be one of my absolute favorite series’ of all time! That said, this will probably be a rather short review. It is unbelievably easy to spoil earlier books just by talking about this one, and I hate to spoil any book if I can avoid it.

The gang’s all here for one final adventure. It must have been some kind of juggling act keeping up with all the story lines she set up in the earlier books, and I’m well impressed with the result. By the end of the book I found that my curiosity about all the storylines was finally sated, and despite feeling sad that a good thing had ended, I felt that this was the perfect ending to a wonderful series.

If you haven’t read the rest of the series, don’t start here. You’ll be far too confused. Start at the beginning and work your way here, though, it is well worth it!

Book Review: Radiant Shadows

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Radiant Shadows Radiant Shadows by
Series: Wicked Lovely #4
Published by in 2010
Genres: , ,
Pages: 340

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.
Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death.
Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

My Review:

Wow! This book was amazing! It reminded me of the very first in the series, when I was just discovering this world that she’d built. One of the things I especially love about this series is the way she tells the story from a different point of view each time – first Aislinn, then Leslie, then Seth and this time Ani. We still see the characters we came to love in earlier books but they’re peripheral characters. This allows us something unique – we get to learn about them through the eyes of other people. Novels that focus on a single character tend to get rather “self-centric” and we only see what the character thinks about themselves. The other characters see things the way that a person cannot see themselves.

The other thing I loved about this novel was the pacing. I had actually planned to read another book before this one, but I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. Ani is the type of character who craves action, and it shows in her story. And even though Ani is the only main character who was never fully mortal, she’s relatable. She is an outcast from both the faerie and mortal worlds, and we’ve all been outcasts at one time or another, and we all wish we had someone like Devlin to rescue us from our exile.

Which brings me to another thing I loved about this book – Devlin. He’s the kind of character I love. He’s in a place that isn’t right for him, and yet he doesn’t feel like he can leave it. It didn’t take me long to figure out the ending, but that was ok, because I was able to spend the rest of the novel yelling at the characters for being so absolutely thick about it!

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone (though I’d recommend they read the rest of the series first) and I cannot wait until Darkest Mercy comes out!

Book Review: Fragile Eternity

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Fragile Eternity Fragile Eternity by
Series: Wicked Lovely #3
Published by in 2009
Genres: , ,
Pages: 389

Aislinn, who became a faerie in the first book, now has to deal with the awkward--verging on impossible--position of still being in love with her mortal boyfriend Seth, whom she can't even touch without burning. To complicate things further, as the new Summer Queen, Aislinn is eternally bonded to Keenan, the Summer King, and the attraction between them is palpable and constant. In the doomed loves that permeate these books, Marr deftly explores the essence of longing as she questions notions of fated love. Her characters are strong, with even the nastiest of the faerie troublemakers coming through as absolutely compelling and sympathetic. And their situations are rife with conflict, from the impossible mortal-faerie relationships to the ancient familial and courtly spats within the faerie realm.

My Review:

I was really excited to pick this book up after the first two. I was especially excited to return to the story of Aislinn and Keenan, because the first book left me wanting more. Unfortunately (and funnily enough) this book felt much like the fifth Harry Potter – the Pillar of Angst of the series. The whole book was one huge angsty problem of Aislinn’s immortality and Seth’s lack of it. Not that it wouldn’t be something I would worry about, but a whole book that’s mostly made up of thoughts and worries isn’t my favourite thing. I wanted a little more action.

Honestly the whole point of the book was to

View Spoilers »
make Seth into a Faerie
. That was the only plot point that I could see affecting the rest of the series, and I would have preferred it in a short story format so that I could get on with the rest of the story.

Still, I love Marr’s writing style, and I do love the characters. I am glad I read this one, as it will probably be integral to the series and I’ll be able to see how later. I’m so excited to get started on Radiant Shadows!

More reviews coming soon – having the flu gives me an excuse to just sit around all day and read, no matter how much it sucks in other ways.

Book Review: Ink Exchange

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Ink Exchange Ink Exchange by
Series: Wicked Lovely
Published by in 2008
Genres: ,
Pages: 328

To 17-year-old Leslie, the tattoo is a thing of indescribable beauty, a captivating mark that she must make her own. But this subtle web of eyes and wings brings with it a transformation that no sweet young girl would ever imagine or welcome.

My Review:

This was an interesting one for me. After loving the first one, I was desperate to get my hands on more, but at the same time, I was skeptical about having completely different characters. While I really enjoy the technique of telling the continuing story from a minor or unknown character’s point of view, it’s actually really difficult to do well (see my review of The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie).

One of the things I love about Marr is her language. Some authors have a very distinct language that just begs to be read – J.K. Rowling’s language begs to be read so much that I often end up reading her novels aloud to myself when no one’s around to hear how crazy I sound. Marr’s language is just as distinctive but in a different way – it begs to be listened to, in the same way that Rowling’s begs to be spoken, and I spent far too many late hours unable to stop listening to it.

Then we have the amazingly colourful new(ish) character, Leslie. She was friends with Aislinn before the events of the previous book, so in a way, she is telling the sequel to Wicked Lovely but she is so wrapped up in the events that it really is her story. She is so well thought out that she seems like a real person, and I spent much of the novel wishing I could reach through the pages and give her advice.

I also enjoyed the depth she gave to Niall, a rather minor character from the previous novel. The only complaint I have is that I wish I could have had a hint of the agony that was coming in the previous novel. His history is never even touched on in Wicked Lovely, and while I suppose it has not place there, it is so central to this novel that it felt a little out of the blue. Even if she had just hinted that he had a darker past somehow. (There is always the possibility that she did hint at it and I missed it – I read very quickly and don’t always catch everything, especially if I don’t think it’s relevant.)

Anyway, overall, I’d say a wonderful sequel and I’m looking forward to finding the next one.

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