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review 2019-07-08 03:13
Wicked Lovely
Wicked Lovely - Melissa Marr

I sort of remember buying this paperback years ago, but I cannot for the life of me remember why I picked it. Maybe it was a bargain table blind buy. Maybe I was feeling adventurous. Maybe I was on drugs. Maybe all three, I don’t know. Given the near-total lack of romantic bones in my body (and the specific preferences of the few romantic bones I do have), a cover inviting me to “Enter a world of faerie romance” would normally be a deterrent. But enough about present-me scratching my head over past-me’s random book buying. On to the book itself!


Yeah, seriously though, what was past-me thinking? This book is 328 pages and hardly anything happens. 90% of it is Aislinn freaking out about what the faeries want with her while her friend Seth tries ever so patiently to get out of the Friend Zone and Keenan stalks Aislinn and worries about how the world will end soon if she isn’t the Summer Queen. The other 10% is Keenan’s ex being sad and tragic and his mother, the Winter Queen, being a colossal bitch with vague motivations. This does not an engrossing novel make.


Also, I have a question. Why are YA heroines so often clueless when their parents/guardians obviously know the score? A lot of YA books do this, and sometimes adequate justification is woven into the narrative, but this? This is just bad parenting. The women in Aislinn’s family all seem to have the Sight. They can see the hidden world of the faeries and they think Very Bad Things will happen if the faeries ever figure this out, so they have a bunch of rules they follow to minimize their chances of being noticed. But apparently, in spite of this need to avoid faeries shaping and consuming her entire life, Aislinn never thought to hit the library and study faerie lore to give her an extra edge until Seth suggests it after knowing faeries are real for about five minutes. Literature on the faeries exists in the book’s world; it’s quoted at the start of every chapter, for crying out loud! Why doesn’t Aislinn’s super paranoid grandmother have her own library of faerie lore for education purposes? Knowing is half the battle, so why does Aislinn only know basic things like faeries frequently kidnap mortals and they don’t like iron? OH! Maybe there’s no G.I. JOE in Aislinn’s world. She doesn’t even know that knowing is half the battle! (Yes, I know, I’m rambling and being silly now and my inner 80’s child is jumping out. Sorry.)


And on a truly pedantic note, “fey = doomed to die” is a hill I’m willing to die on and it’s never not annoying to me when people use fey interchangeably with fae/fay. Blarg. Not even drugs and bargain book tables could make me read more of this series.

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review 2017-05-30 00:00
One Blood Ruby
One Blood Ruby - Melissa Marr One Blood Ruby - Melissa Marr Nice entry in signature Melissa Marr style - complex fantasy court politics and interpersonal intrigue, relationship drama alongside world-changing stakes, solid and engaging characters and romances, appealingly weird and dangerous faeries... Wraps things up nicely for the series (not sure if this is a duology or just a tidy ending to book 2.) It does seem to suffer from too large a cast with not enough length to hold them all - bouncing between viewpoints and characters makes it hard to emotionally invest and follow the motivations, a common problem with multi-POV large-cast stories... but you've got to give her credit for the complex plotting. On a possibly-related note, there was a surprising number of typos and rough phrasing/word choice issues for such an established author and strong publishing house, making me wonder if her publisher or someone on the team has been dropping the ball on resourcing her books well enough. I've seen some great stuff from Marr, and it would be sad if she's not getting enough support to keep putting out awesome books :(
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-30 08:07
March 2017 — Wrap-Up




Old Favorites




Dune (Re-Read)

I’ve covered this book in too much detail to add anything here. Well okay, I’ll just leave this joke here:
Check out the final review instalment here.


New Delights






Coraline is a book that I would have loved to read as a kid. It is full of Dahl-esque quirkiness…okay, who am I kidding? I loved it even as an adult! Two of my favorite quotes:




Read my detailed review here.

I dunno what to say about this book, except that it had nothing and everything in it! I wanted to pick it up as soon as I got off work and I didn’t want to put it down. The plot is simple and straightforward. The author hasn’t weighed it down with complicated science. You can see where the events are leading up to and yet… I am still ambivalent about the ending but I guess, I’ll just let it sink in for a bit before I come to a decision. This was my first Simak book and I can’t wait to gobble everything else by him!
P.S. The cover has NOTHING to do with what goes on in the book. 

Holocaust Horrors




The Complete Maus

This comic will just mess you up and yet, you’d be unable to put it down. Just look at how beautifully it portrays the impact of the dreadful event on not just the parents who experienced it but also on their kids who had to live with it:


New Additions to Old Favorites




Saga Vol.5.

Saga continues to be its beautiful, painful self. I’ve stopped thinking that the story is going anywhere. I just read it because I can’t not read it! Some of the artwork:





More Weird Customers Say in Bookshops

The first one was wayyyyy funnier.

New but Okayish




The Lady Killer

Beautifully drawn but lacks anything that’d make it stand out!  I don’t think I will be continuing.


Bag Lady

According to GRRM, this book is the first ever short story written in the Wild Cards series. However, it wast published as a part of the series, which had already changed and evolved.
I loved this nod towards Asimov:
“What are your orders?”
“To obey my creator, Dr. Maxim Travineck. To guard his identity and well-being. To test myself and my equipment under combat conditions, by fighting enemies of society. To gain maximum publicity for the future Modular Men Enterprises in so doing. To preserve my existence and well-being.”
“Take that, Asimov”, Travineck said.
He uncorked the bottle of vodka and raised the bottle on high in a toast.
“New Prometheus,” he said, “my ass.”
and this witty repartee:
“I am beginning to realize, said the android, raising a hot buttered rum to his lips, that creator is a hopeless sociopath.”
Black Shadow cnsidered this, “I suspect, if you don’t mind a touch of theology, this just puts you in the boat with the rest of us,” he said.




Read my review here.
A good month that was full of reading, I’d say. How was was your March reading-wise?
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review 2016-06-19 05:18
Review: Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely #1) by Melissa Marr
Wicked Lovely - Melissa Marr

Quick review for a quick re-read. I read this book for the first time many years ago, and I remember it being one that stood out not only for its striking cover, but for being a YA urban fantasy title with dark imagery in the presentation of the world of the fey. Yet, even with Melissa Marr's writing being mostly clear cut in the presentation of the world as well as the emotions of the different characters this tale revolved around, I found my re-reading of it having more than a few points of irritation. It may be because I've read more YA urban fantasy titles since this one or buildings of the world of the fey, but I honestly think there were issues with this that didn't translate as well as it could've.

I'll admit I liked the lore surrounding this tale - a cursed prince with his powers bound but yet the girls he chooses in a ritual to determine co-ruling his kingdom and freeing him from the curse leaves them trapped/bound to ice by the Winter staff. The former girls that are trapped are tasked to warn the next young woman against trusting Keenan's motivations (and fair reason, considering). Aislinn is the latest girl to catch Keenan's eye, and she's had the sight for the fey for all of her life.

Aislinn, on the other hand, has been on the run from the fey, trying to pretend they don't exist in order to avoid detection or attention from them. Yet when Keenan sets his sights on her, she's torn between fighting him for the freedom to maintain her life and relationships and keeping to the warnings that her grandmother has given her all her life. Granted, the premise by itself on this level would seem intriguing, but the presentation this story gives it really isn't that strong. I'll admit I struggled through the narrative more than I should've considering the sketch of the plot. It has a dark premise and dark promises in its building of the world and conflict, but much of it feels forced along. I mean, Aislinn is far too quick to break her grandmother's warnings just for the sake of being able to go where she wants, do what she wants, go out with Seth, the goth friend who's sort of become something more but she keeps him firmly in the friend category for *reasons.* I was frustrated by how easily she cast aside the warnings only to end up in obvious danger (though she does refuse Keenan's advances - which I could applaud her for on some measures.)

Keenan is incredibly stalkerish and creepy through the beginning stages of this novel - and I had a hard time liking his character or finding a connection to his motivations in the narrative. I honestly didn't like him very much in my initial read of this book and not much really changed in my re-read. Seth is a bit of a convenient side-character, established to further the romance depicted in the book. One could also say that while the characters are drawn in such a way to further the conflict and lore inside the book, it's so thinly drawn and hard to palpate that the intrigue never measures up as much as it builds itself up to. I even felt the antagonist in this book was very weak for lack of expansion and true connection to the overarching conflict of the work.

The audioboook was well narrated, but even then made me feel like I had to push through it in points. Still, I think what kept me moving through it was the strength of the writing and impression of the realm it builds (alongside a few action sequences that were well drawn to me.)

I'll admit it's hard for me to know how the series will unfold after this book, but all things considered, I want to see if this series has the potential to improve with the new installments. It's a hard sell given the flaws this book had, but I'm in it for the longer haul.

Overall score: 2.5/5 stars.

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review 2016-05-21 05:23
Ink Exchange- 3 Stars
Ink Exchange - Melissa Marr


Okay, first of all, let me say, I thought this was going to be a continuation of the first book. So... it wasn't and that's okay. Kind of wish it had been, but oh well. That said, this story was totally different than the first. It was much darker, even the writing itself. There were quite a few very deep subjects: drug abuse, rape, abuse. The writing flowed well and I enjoyed it.



Plot is tricky just because ink Exchange isn't what I thought it would be, and honestly, what I was looking forward to. So, I'm already bias. Still, this was a strong stand alone story. I didn't like it as much as Wicked Lovely, but that's okay. There were a lot of places where this story dragged for me. It was like Marr was caught up in flowery language or too many descriptions. Maybe I'm just being picky lately, but it's not my favorite.



Leslie is an easy character to feel sorry for. She's been abused, raped, abandoned. Yeah, it is pretty sad for her. But she's resilient, or at least tough, but that's only the exterior. She is pretty desperate on the inside for someone else to take care of her for once. She's pretty understandable. Irial was a pretty complicated character. For so much of this book and through nearly everyone's perspective, he's absolutely horrible, but there are rare occasions where he is actually pretty decent in his own way.



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