WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr
Faerie: Book 1
Paperback: 328 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
“The Summer King knelt before her.”
She takes hold of a staff. Then she freezes. But who freezes? And why do we care? Because the story involves a prophecy and the Summer King is desperate to fulfill it.
There are three rules when dealing with faeries. Aislinn knows them by heart.
Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
If they’re invisible, why bother? Because Aislinn can see Them. It’s a family secret. One that killed her mother, leaving Aislinn to be raised by her cautious Gram. But faeries are pretty and frolicky, right? Wrong. They are cruel, twisted, and take great pleasure in tormenting anything within their grasp. The rules are set to protect those rare humans who can see them. But when the rules fail her, Aislinn finds herself stalked, trying to keep herself safe along with her loved ones. Meanwhile, the inevitability of faery fate is closing in on her. Along with the frozen girl.
I had never even heard of this book until I read Dear Author’s Irresistible Review. (I loved the letter format for this review! Very clever.) Actually, I found the review for INK EXCHANGE (the sequel) and tracked back to WICKED LOVELY. It’s a round-a-bout way to find a book, but hey. It worked. I hadn’t gotten around to reading this book, but when I needed something for the latest trip to the Beach House, I picked it up. Hence, I read this book in chunks. It made it difficult to get into the full flow of the story; I wasn’t ever really drawn into this book like I wanted to be.
The plot is simple and straightforward. Each chapter’s mood is set by a quote from fairy lore. I enjoyed the unique setting for this fairy story. I like the idea of myth seeping into our modern sensibilities.
Faeries have always fascinated me. Even the scary ones. Faeries like this:
“A doe-eyed faery eased across the room; bone-thin with too many joints, she was vulgar and gorgeous all at once. Her eyes were far too large for her face, giving her a startled look. Combined with an emaciated body, those eyes made her seem vulnerable, innocent. She wasn’t.
None of them are.”
The characters were intriguing. Aislinn’s transition from shy, slightly fearful teenager to a negotiating figure-of-note was believable, especially with the support of her Seth.
I found Seth’s piercings and tattoos fun, but I got bored with the constant reference to them. As a reader, I want to be trusted to notice details and work them into my image of the character. I don’t want to be hit over the head with those details every time a character is mentioned.
That said, the steamy tension between Aislinn and Seth was well done (little gestures of hands and brushings of the hair…very sweet), but I was a wee bit disappointed with its fulfillment. In fact, I was totally yanked out of the story when Seth pulled out those medical papers. I actually laughed. I know being tested is a courtesy now-a-days, but sheesh. Not my idea of romantic. The testing I don’t find off-putting so much as the need to be tested. Why risk being exposed so often?
Anyway. Moving on. Keenan and Donia’s stories were a cool part of this book. In fact, Donia is my favorite character. Her choices and sensibilities lend a sense of hope and sacrifice, adding depth to the story.
There were lots of personalities, intertwining and maneuvering for power. Combined with the unique view of faery lore and a wee bit of mystery, this was a fun, distracting read. While not the best book I’ve ever read, it served its purpose. I was entertained. Enough so that I’m picking up the sequel today.