Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: April 2010
ISBN: 9780061659225
Source: Library

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely) 

Ani is caught between two worlds - Faerie and mortal.  She's neither one nor the other, and even for a halfling, she's quite different.  This attracts attention from many dangerous and powerful Faeries - all clamoring for her blood.  Devlin, assassin of the High Queen is sent to the mortal world for Ani, but finds he would rather keep her safe, both from the High Queen and her twin Bananach.  Soon, he must decide whether to keep Ani safe or to keep all of Faerie safe. 

Things I Liked:
Marr really has a way of sucking you into her world.  Even as I know in my head all of this is imaginary, I still can picture some of the faeries - Ani, Devlin, Irial, Niall, Seth.  They seem so real and full of personality, it's hard to remember they aren't real.  Her writing is gorgeous and the details are rich and vivid, see below for some of my favorite descriptions.  But, it's the story that makes you want more.  The decisions characters must make and the twisting path they take to get there are intense.  I had a  hard time putting this one down, particularly near the end.  Some loved tidbits:

"Like chaos in a glass cage." p 70 (Don't you just wish you'd made that phrase up?)
"Slowly, as if he were spun glass she could break, she leaned in and brushed her lips over his.  It wasn't even really a kiss, just a butterfly brush, but it felt like the sort of kiss that made the world stop turning - which made her even less able to speak." p 199
Things I Didn't Like:
I kind of have a love-hate relationship with these books.  I am not entirely sure what nameless thing is keeping me from outright adoring these, but I don't.  Sometimes, I would get distracted by the repeated use of a character's name.  I really wanted her to use some more personal pronouns, but I suppose it might have become confusing then.  Speaking of confusing, I also found that there were explanations and reasoning that really didn't make sense to me.  Ani, Devlin, and Seth in particular do not make complete sense to me.  Their abilities and power were not clear in my head.  Maybe it's just me, though.

Read the first three books in the Wicked Lovely series

Still reminds me of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

s-factor: !@#

mrg-factor: X
mostly "off the page," but the whole book feels very sensual

v-factor: -> 
a couple of incidents

Overall rating: ****

Any books or series you have a love-hate relationship with?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I definitely know what you mean about this series. It's up and down and right and left and my emotions range from IN LOVE (Niall, Irial, Leslie) to not caring the slightest (Keenan, Ash post-WL), etc.

    But I really am looking forward to the final book. I can't wait to see how she ties it all up.

  2. Let's see...I remember reading the Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine when I was younger. It was a great book, and I had a good time reading it.

    Until the sudden, wrenching twist at the end.

    And boy, was I mad!

    So, I'm afraid it wasn't much of a love-hate relationship. More like a relationship that's swiftly cut off with a knife.

    But other than that, Levine writes great books! :D

  3. Melissa,

    I am always mixed with M Marr's books as well, for me there's always something that doesn't quite satisfy in the resolution of the story, but I don't quite know why ... So they're usually a 3.5 to 4 star read for me. (But I haven't read this one yet.)

    My favorite Marr character was actually the Winter Girl in Wicked Lovely ... (not that you asked that question, but ...)

    Other love/hate books? The ones that spring to mind are Joanne Harris's books, eg Chocolat, Holy Fools etc I love her writing but have thought there's actually been something increasingly amoral about the characters and the stories with every book published. I say "increasingly" as it's close to invisible in Chocolat, but still there, but I haven't actually read another of her books after Holy Fools, I found it so distasteful.

  4. Angie, I'm looking forward to it as well. It may be up and down, but it's also totally addicting!

    Lauren, huh. I read that one and I think that I liked it a lot! I'm having a hard time remembering the twist, though. Interesting reaction for certain!

    Andie, it is something indefinable for me. I do really love the winter court and dark court faeries more than summer and high. I've never read any of Harris' books, but I'd be interested in Chocolat.

  5. I haven't read this series yet, I guess I'm on the fence about it.

  6. NotNessie, yeah they are good as far as some things, but not my favorite. I don't have anything to push you to one side or the other of the fence :)

  7. I listened to the first couple of hours on audio of Wicked Lovely, and even thought I loved the writing and narration, I couldn't quite connect with the characters. I think I decided I'm too old! I have no problem with YA, but I think I do better when the characters are geeky and nerdy, and these ones just seem too cool LOL!

  8. Shelley, that made me laugh! I totally relate more to the geeky characters too :)


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