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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

aka I freaking love you, Melissa Marr!
Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely)
Radiant Shadows
Written by Melissa Marr
Release Date: April 20, 2010
HarperCollins Publishers
Checked out from Library - NOT a publisher requested review

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Summary (courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
Hunger for nourishment.
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.
Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.
Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death.
Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?
Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in the penultimate volume of Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.
 I can't even tell you how much I absolutely LOVED this book! It was all sorts of incredible! Radiant Shadows is one of the darker books of the Wicked Lovely series, with more physically-driven romance and violence than we've seen in the other three books. That is exactly the sort of treatment the series needed at this stage. Everything is set up so perfectly now for an explosive ending to the series, and I absolutely cannot wait for Darkest Mercy! Full review after the jump. WARNING: SPOILERS!

I finished Radiant Shadows last night, and in preparation for review it today, I read a couple of other reviews. I was shocked to see that more than a few fans said they didn't really love this book. I most certainly loved the crap out of it! It was faster paced than the rest of the series, which was HUGE for me because I felt like the first three books maybe moved a little too slow. Especially Wicked Lovely. But Marr really kicked up the speed on this one, which made it impossible for me to put down. Of course, she brought her incredible ability to put you into her world to the table, but I have come to expect nothing less than perfect in that regard from Marr.

I am SO Team Devlin. Devlin is now my favorite character! He's a big ol' shmexy ball of conflict and passion and brilliance, and I absolutely love the way his story with Ani moved along. The only thing I was a little confused about is his relationship with Rae. So are they all three together now? I guess, since Rae is all spectral, it's possible. And I also guess I'll have to read the next book to really get a handle on the dynamic of that relationship.

Bananach is really turning into the villain I wanted her to be. Coarse, violent, merciless and calculating...that is one awesome antagonist! And crazy to boot! I really love a crazy villain. Not so crazy that they don't make any sense, but this sort of brilliant-crazy that Bananach is becoming. She's very much an evil genius, and the fact that she isn't afraid to get her hands dirty makes her that much more scary. I know the conflict with Bananach is going to be amazing in Darkest Mercy. The anticipation will most certainly kill me.

There was a significant amount of blood spilled in the last couple of chapters of the book. One thing that I had read was that people were unsure if the Wicked Lovely series could translate to film well because of the lack of physical conflict. Well, there was certainly plenty in Radiant Shadows. Faery fights galore! Even the High Queen herself got a bit violent in this book, which was another thing that I really loved. Sorcha's drastic change after making Seth fey was really emotional as a reader. It really showed how love can turn everything upside down, even for someone who was supposed to be unchanging. Love even drove her to violence, which is very not High Court. Hee hee.

Marr left me with plenty of questions for the last installment of the Wicked Lovely series, but not too many to where it made me angry. I like to feel like the story has reached a temporary ending when I read a book in a series, and Radiant Shadows gave me that. The only thing that has been bugging me the entire story and now after is WHERE THE HECK IS KEENAN?! I'm so confused! But that's just me wanting to know, not a complaint about the book. I really have no complaints about the book. I loved it, and you should all go read it right now.

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