Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty – especially if they learn of her Sight – and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
But it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything. (goodreads.com)
I ended up picking up the last book in the series, DARKEST MERCY, at a BEA so it was only proper that I start at the beginning. I think I remember buying my copy of WICKED LOVELY at my local closing Borders a couple years ago. And here we are.
Marr writes with a rather dark intrigue that permeates her words and I couldn’t get enough of it. They’re not WORDS as I’ve come to know them but she strings words together and when they’re combined they create with richly fluid story that my eyes just pour over. Keenan is effectively on the hunt, his sidekick, Donia, is riding along with him and doing her duty to ward the chicks off and Ash . . . well, it’s a Christmas miracle she isn’t in a padded cell by this point in her life. She’s spent her entire life being able to see Them but she has to ignore Them and not tell anyone they exist. If that’s not like ignoring your own crazy I don’t know what is. So she’s immensely twitchy from the get-go and I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to see where the story went and what Marr did with it.
Marr’s darkness. She makes the story go places that other authors writing in the same vein are afraid to go, both in content and in character. Ash and Seth are incredibly flawed but completely REAL characters that put depth on the page. Keenan has a one-track mind and is adamant to a fault while Donia is battling her own demons, real and perceived. Marr insinuates date rape, oral sex and flat out rape but does it deftly. It’s not for shock but more of a natural progression of the story. It fits into the plot and makes the reader see the dark, druggie side to the Summer Court’s fun, what couples can do without having intercourse and just how low Keenan is willing to go to achieve his ends. It all creates such dynamic characters that I couldn’t stop reading.
Ash is just amazing. I love her as a character. I love her for her flaws and for how strong she is. I love her pigheadedness and her ability to see logic. She’s a great character and I wish there were a million more like her in my readings. The world would be a better place.
And then there’s Seth, whom I think there’s more to than what we’ve seen so far. I really think he’s more involved than what I’ve been led to believe at this point, just because of how accepting he is of Ash’s crazy story when she first tells it. It seems like too much of a reach, like he’s hiding something. Then again when the POV switches and he’s seen through the eyes of a fairy they just see a mortal so I could be wrong. But I might not be. Jury’s still out on that.
The lack of WORDS. As much as I liked the story and the characters the writing didn’t blow me away. It was nice and dark and made my black heart beat a time or two but I wasn’t floored by it and it kept me from really loving the book. I wish there was more . . . magic in the book, just a little more flower to the prose. I wouldn’t say it’s flat but it’s not something that pops out at me either.
I secured a copy of INK EXCHANGE, the next book in the series, from PaperBackSwap and it’s on its way to me now. So . . . I think WICKED LOVELY is one of the best fairy stories in the YA market that I’ve read. I think I like it better than Kagawa’s series and that’s saying something because I really liked that. Marr didn’t do too much with the folklore, didn’t really do anything fantastic with a world (like what Kagawa did) but her darkness resonated with me and the story she told, along with the characters she created, touched me in a way that Kagawa’s didn’t. There’s a glimmer of hope at the end of Marr’s book but it’s so small that one would really need to dig to find it. Not to mention all the intrigue that was left hanging at the end. It’s . . . older and harkens to a darker, more sexual nature as opposed to a bit lighter, fairy tale quest fare.