Radiant Shadows / Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr. Book reviews

Radiant Shadows and Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely, books 4 and 5) by Melissa Marr. HarperCollins ‘6.99 each

Reviewed by Debbie Bennett

Radiant Shadows continues the YA urban fantasy series Wicked Lovely. Here we meet Ani, half-faery/ half-mortal and unable to feel fully accepted by either. Characters from earlier books are mentioned in passing in the first half and add some back-story, but it’s not until well into the second half of the book that Ani’s place in both worlds is really put into context.

For me this was a real disappointment after reading the first three volumes and loving them so much. I didn’t even know there was a book four until I got a review copy of number five, and to be honest, I wish I’d remained blissfully ignorant.

I love the concept and I loved the characters in the first three books. For me Radiant Shadows lacked depth and passion. The ‘rules’ of the mortal world and Faerie got so complex that I literally lost the plot and couldn’t work out who was related to who, who could touch/feed from/kill who ‘ and after a while I gave up caring. This reads like Marr was told by her publishers that the first three books did really well and she should write another one, but her heart wasn’t really in it.

Book five of the series, Darkest Mercy, returns to the characters from the earlier books, even though it’s set immediately after the end of book four. Clearly these are people that Marr is more comfortable with; we’re back to a much simpler storyline and therefore have more chance to focus on the characters and what they want. Aislinn and Keenan, the Summer Queen and King, are finally growing up and growing into the new roles and Faerie is changing with them. All the loose ends are drawn together with a resolution for all and the surprising twist at the end worked perfectly.

This book has far more depth to it and the relationships between the characters have real motivation. I read this almost in one sitting which says something for the storyline. Overall a great series, slightly let down by the fourth book, but definitely worth reading as a whole.

Radiant Shadows and Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely, books 4 and 5) by Melissa Marr. HarperCollins ‘6.99 each

Reviewed by Debbie Bennett

Radiant Shadows continues the YA urban fantasy series Wicked Lovely. Here we meet Ani, half-faery/ half-mortal and unable to feel fully accepted by either. Characters from earlier books are mentioned in passing in the first half and add some back-story, but it’s not until well into the second half of the book that Ani’s place in both worlds is really put into context.

For me this was a real disappointment after reading the first three volumes and loving them so much. I didn’t even know there was a book four until I got a review copy of number five, and to be honest, I wish I’d remained blissfully ignorant.

I love the concept and I loved the characters in the first three books. For me Radiant Shadows lacked depth and passion. The ‘rules’ of the mortal world and Faerie got so complex that I literally lost the plot and couldn’t work out who was related to who, who could touch/feed from/kill who ‘ and after a while I gave up caring. This reads like Marr was told by her publishers that the first three books did really well and she should write another one, but her heart wasn’t really in it.

Book five of the series, Darkest Mercy, returns to the characters from the earlier books, even though it’s set immediately after the end of book four. Clearly these are people that Marr is more comfortable with; we’re back to a much simpler storyline and therefore have more chance to focus on the characters and what they want. Aislinn and Keenan, the Summer Queen and King, are finally growing up and growing into the new roles and Faerie is changing with them. All the loose ends are drawn together with a resolution for all and the surprising twist at the end worked perfectly.

This book has far more depth to it and the relationships between the characters have real motivation. I read this almost in one sitting which says something for the storyline. Overall a great series, slightly let down by the fourth book, but definitely worth reading as a whole.