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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 2014-02-27 00:00
Radiant Shadows
Radiant Shadows - Sarah Baethge Radiant Shadows - Sarah Baethge Radiant Shadows: Beginnings (Parts 1-3) by Sarah Baethge

2.5 Stars

I have to say I found this book a little confusing. In part one the story is narrated by a human diplomat with the HVA (Human Vampire Alliance) which is an organization that exists to basically keep vampires inline (I think!). We are given a little history of vampires and how, although they drink blood, it is actually ‘life force’ they feed off and not the blood, therefore blood banks wouldn’t be an option for vampires. We have a rogue vampire who is consistent throughout the three parts named Randy, and I think his capture is the basis for the whole story. Unfortunately I couldn’t understand this book at all so I can’t be sure. I really tried though. Part two seems to be narrated by someone who might be dead, but again I am unsure.

I become totally frustrated with myself when I don’t grasp a book, I wonder if the plot is just poorly executed or if the problem is that my mind works in a totally opposite way to the author and I will never ‘get it’. It makes it difficult for me to rate works like this. I have myself a list of points to look at, eg character development, editing, originality etc and because I don’t know what’s going on, how can I even judge these things?

So, anyway, I decided to mark on what I can be sure of. The editing, needs work, there are some missing words and strange sentence structures. I didn’t enjoy or lose myself in the story. The characters, well I wasn’t sure who was who so I’m gonna say they were underdeveloped and I don’t think I’d recommend this book to a friend, although it would be interesting to see if they ‘get it’. As for everything else I look out for and use to form my rating value, I don’t know, so I’m giving the book the benefit of the doubt and handing it 2.5 stars. People really need to judge this book for themselves.

Copy supplied for review
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review 2013-10-11 17:07
Radiant Shadows - Melissa Marr

Best of the series so far, by far. Loved Devlin and Ani's characters and conflicts.

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review 2013-04-07 00:45
Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely)
Radiant Shadows - Melissa Marr Interestingly enough, this was the first book in Marr's Wicked Lovely series that didn't initially grab me and hold me the entire way through the book. I'm not sure why that is, except that Radiant Shadows started off a little slow for me.Not to worry, though this book may not be a gripping adventure from start to finish, Radiant Shadows still left me satisfied and anxiously awaiting Darkest Mercy. And let me be fair, the story definitely picks up the pace for the second half... With each of these books, I find myself liking the main characters and thinking that they must be my favorite of the series, yet. Devlin and Ani are no exception, except that I really do think they may be my favorite "couple." The chemistry between the two of them is beautifully written and a strong desire to watch their romance unfold kept me turning pages as the book came to its climax and conclusion. Ani is an awesome heroine, no doubt about it. Her character really jumped off the pages and came to life.We also gain a greater understanding of Marr's faery world by the time Radiant Shadows concludes. In truth, I think this series would benefit from a re-reading with each new book, and before the last book is released I intend to do just that. No, the main characters are never the same, but their stories (or threads) are all interwoven and I can't wait to see how Marr ties them together in the last book. There are a lot of little, yet important and sometimes complex, details from the first books that I want to have clear in my mind when I read Darkest Mercy. While I couldn't quite bring myself to give Radiant Shadows a 5-star rating (due to my initial trouble really getting into the story), it is still an amazing piece of the truly incredible faery world that Marr has created.
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review 2013-02-25 01:23
Book review: Melissa Marr's "Carnival of Souls"
Carnival of Souls - Melissa Marr

Full post here!


It’s abundantly clear form the first few chapters what the biggest strength of “Carnival of Souls” is — Marr’s ability to craft a tangled plot criss-crossed with power plays, political maneuvering, and backdoor deals that seem to abound in the tumult of The City. It’s hugely entertaining keeping track of who’s allied to whom, and the constant wheeling and dealing adds another layer of tensions to the one already built-in to the Competition.


It’s also wonderful that the people who populate The City and move the plot along are also such great characters. Aya is a study in complexity, and it’s fascinating to read about her inner conflict as she grapples with her desire for power and respect and her love for her former betrothed, Belias.


Adam, Mallory’s witch stepfather, is a pleasure to read as well. Deeply flawed but also deeply protective of his stepdaughter, her actions throughout the book will have readers raising their eyebrows and maybe even their voices in consternation.


The City, while not as fleshed out as one would like, is still likely to engross readers with its brand of danger and deceit. Pain and pleasure coexist side by side in The City. It’s something its citizens seem to enjoy all the more because of the constant threat of the Untamed Lands knocking right on their doorstep.


Marr should also be commended for the unflinching way that she depicts the savageness that exists in The City. Kaleb and Zevi have had to murder and whore themselves to survive, and Aya is working against a society that is deeply masochistic. Their lives and what they go through may not be pretty to look at, but one certainly can’t look away.


“Carnival of Souls” does have some missteps, foremost of which is the character of Mallory. It’s hard to root for her the way Marr has written her — someone devoid of her own choices and whose concerns seem to revolve only around Kaleb and Adam throughout the course of the novel.


There is also the fact that Marr’s engaging plot isn’t matched by equally engaging prose. More often that not, the words on the page come off as dry and listless, completely out of sync with the quick-moving plot. If the readers keep on turning the pages, it certainly isn’t for the prose.


“Carnival of Souls” ends on a cliffhanger, and while there is certainly enough plot to fill another book, the question is whether the book’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses enough for readers to want to have another go. As it is, the series has a 50/50 chance.

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