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review 2014-09-01 21:35
Desert Tales
Desert Tales: A Wicked Lovely Novel - Melissa Marr

Some people say they grew up with Harry Potter, thus considering themselves part of the "Potter generation". As for me, I grew up with Melissa Marr and the world of Wicked Lovely and the faerie courts. I picked the first book, Wicked Lovely, up when I was, oh, 11? 12? It was my rite-of-passage, if you will, so I consider it as growing up with these characters and their world.

I read the manga, and loved it, (although I forgot to rate them on Goodreads - whoops!) and so I picked up this book, and I also loved it. After finishing this one I must say that I'd actually recommend the book over the manga, not only because the manga style isn't for everyone, I've found, but also because somehow, the book felt more complete. The relationships between the characters was the same, although such details as Beira's appearance was something I didn't agree with in the manga, as well as just the fact that seeing these characters be given a defined physical form felt...off. 

The one thing I really will comment on is the ending. The Epilogue of the manga and the book are two VERY different things, and I found myself loving the book ending and hating the manga's, at the time when I read the manga. The book offers a much more logical ending when it comes to Rika and Jayce's relationship, as well as Shy and his feelings towards Rika. The manga was a much more soft-core, washed-down version, but if you read both the manga and the book you can pick your own ending, I guess, since Marr put both of them on the table. I still choose the book though, although the manga was still very good, and the art of it was original.

Well, I feel that this series has finally, truly come to a full close. I doubt there will be any more books written after this, whether they be about a continuation of the characters' adventures - and there's a large cast of them to choose from - or if it's a companion novel. In fact, I HOPE this is the last book in the series, because I feel like fans have gotten to experience everything the WL universe has to offer and it's time to let go, although many of us will be returning for visits, whether it's to relive the fiery love of Ash and Seth, or to experience Rika's admirable courage and strength, or to roll our eyes at "bad boy" Keenan. Anything after this would spoil the beautiful illusion that;s already been constructed, and so, finishing this book felt like a real, final goodbye to the world of faerie, although I know I'll be taking a peak back into the courts sometime soon.

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review 2014-07-14 16:30
“We are what we are, Niall, neither as good or as evil as others paint us. And what we are doesn't change how truly we feel, only how free we are to follow those feelings.”
Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely) - Melissa Marr

I choose to do a review of the entire Wicked Lovely series under INK because it is my favourite. I am obsessed with this book, its world, its prose, and its characters. Characters that come alive on the page and make you want to know them at a personal level. I am going to try and be as unspoily as possible because I want someone to read this and enjoy every twist and turn, every tear, every laughter as much as I did. What I loved about these books is the characters, as a writer myself I am very character driven, and Melissa delivers some of the most real and amazing characters i have ever read. They are not one dimensional, good or evil, they all have flaws and fears. A character who is the hero in one book could be the villain in another. No one is black and white which even in a fantastical world about faeries makes it believable. 

The series in its entirety is:

Wicked Lovely

Ink Exchange

Fragile Eternity

Radiant Shadows

Darkest Mercy

The Desert Tales Manga and Novel

and many short stories in the Anthology Faerie tales and Nightmares 

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review 2014-01-19 21:59
Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales: Sanctuary (vol. 1) story by Melissa Marr, art by Xian Nu Studio (Irene Diaz & Laura Moreno)
Sanctuary - Melissa Marr,Xian Nu Studio

I don't know why I bought this. I know it was a used copy, and I think it was really cheap. That's still not a good explanation, because OEL manga adaptations of books don't generally have a good track record with me. Plus, I haven't even read any of Melissa Marr's books.

I thought this was an adaptation of Marr's Wicked Lovely, but then I spotted the “Desert Tales: Sanctuary” portion of the title and wasn't so sure. It turns out that it's actually a spin-off that uses characters from the Wicked Lovely world. The manga volumes were later turned into a novel, Desert Tales – not the usual way these things are done.

I don't know that I would have liked this volume any better if I had read the Wicked Lovely books, but, just in case, I'll start by saying that my review should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I had no idea who Rika or Keenan or Donia were, although apparently readers of the Wicked Lovely series would know. Character relationships and timelines were sometimes hard for me to follow. How long ago was Rika the Winter Queen (or whatever)? How long has it been since she was mortal? Who's Donia?

The story, as I understood it, was this: At one time, Rika loved Keenan, a faerie king. He convinced her to go grab some kind of scepter, something went wrong, and she carried the Winter Queen's chill (ice in her veins?) for...a while. I wasn't clear on how long. When the volume begins, it's been some time since Rika became free of Keenan and the ice. Now she lives in the desert and moons over a young artist named Jayce, who can't see her because she's an invisible faerie. The desert faeries threaten Jayce, because they hate Rika and she's shown an interest in him, so she reveals herself to Jayce in an effort to protect him.

I could not figure these characters out. Rika hated Keenan and swore she didn't need his help or protection. However, her life in the desert didn't seem all that much better. The desert faeries hated her and threatened her and Jayce, one of the two people she actually seemed to like. Then there was Sionnach. On the one hand, Rika seemed to view him as a friend and guardian. On the other hand, when he was away from her, it sounded like he might be the one arranging for the desert faeries to torment her. Was he a prankster with a wicked sense of humor, or was he a secret villain? And, if he was a secret villain, did that mean that, after having been tricked by Keenan years ago, Rika let herself be tricked by yet another faerie? Did her time with Keenan teach her nothing besides how to moon over and cry about boys?

Jayce was boring. Pretty-boy cardboard, basically. It didn't matter how much weird stuff happened around Rika, he barely questioned any of it. He just kept blindly following after her and doing whatever she asked. When, near the end of the volume, she told him she wasn't human, his only response was to kiss her some more.

The artwork was uneven. Some panels looked decent, some didn't, and characters weren't always consistently drawn. It definitely wasn't the worse-looking OEL manga I've ever seen, but it didn't look good enough for me to consider keeping the volume just for the artwork.

All in all, I doubt I'm going to continue with this series. If I ever read Marr's Wicked Lovely books and enjoy them enough to continue on, I think I'd prefer to read the novel version of Desert Tales instead.


(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2013-12-24 00:00
Desert Tales: A Wicked Lovely Novel
Desert Tales: A Wicked Lovely Novel - Melissa Marr

Considering it has been a few years since I last read the Wicked Lovely series, I was a little worried that I wouldn't remember enough details about the series to fully enjoy this companion novel. Thankfully, that wasn't the case; although this book occurs at about the same time as Radiant Shadows, events from the series that impacted this book were thoroughly explained preventing me from feeling lost or confused at any of those references.

While none of the events in this book directly impacted the series in any way, it was really interesting to see how the solitary fae live -- and just how different they are from the Court faeries. The solitary fae can be cruel, vicious and ruthless, and they reminded me a lot of a pack of wild animals given that they're ruled by an Alpha whose position is determined by strength. Of these faeries, my favourite was probably Shy, a fox faery whose manipulations were both clever and slightly heart-wrenching. Through these actions, we get to see just what it means for a faery to love a human, and just how difficult it is.

Donia and Keenan - the Winter Queen and Summer King, respectively - also make appearances in this novel. Seeing them through Rika's eyes completely solidified my love for Donia and my dislike for Keenan, and definitely reminded me just how much I need to re-read the Wicked Lovely series in the near future.

This review can also be found at The In-Between Place.

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review 2013-12-04 16:56
Desert Tales a Wicked Lovely novel by Melissa Marr
Desert Tales: A Wicked Lovely Novel - Melissa Marr

This novel was a set of three Graphic novels originally. I didn't read the graphic novels, but was very excited that she turned it into a novel.

 I really love the Wicked Lovely world. Melissa Marr's writing has all this darkness underneath. (My favorite characters will always be from the Dark court.)

In this book you meet Rika, the girl before Donia, and the Alpha Sionnach. 

Sionnach reminds me of a Dark Court Fae, so naturally I liked him right off the bat. Raki, seemed weak and uninteresting to me. Her obsession over a mortal boy was also boring. I just didn't feel the connection. This doesn't come close to the other books of Wicked Lovely, it's flat and there is no meat to it. The closer you got to the end of the book, the more it felt like a real Wicked Lovely novel.

Best part of the book: Sionnach.


"Most foxes mate for life, but sometimes a fox faery has to use a bit of... strategy to help his mate get ready for that." He stepped in front of her and looked directly at her. "You were still mourning your mortal life, and I didn't know how to give you what you needed to heal. Then, I saw Jayce. I watched you become more alive, and I knew that what you needed was to be with a mortal, to be the mortal you should've been if Keenan hadn't picked you."

(spoiler show)

How could you not like Sionnach after reading this!

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