Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Series: Wicked Lovely #1
Published by HarperTeen
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
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. 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.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. His 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; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.
Thoughts: Wicked Lovely was, without a doubt, one of the most unique YA books I have read. First of all, there’s the universe. I was a bit nervous about the idea of faeries and was pleasantly surprised. Marr does not gloss over any of the horrors commited by faeries in traditional texts, and even encourages them by beginning each chapter with a quote about faery exploits. It was all appropriately horrific and enchanting.
Then there is the romance. Marr breaks the soul-mate stereotype I usually read in YA, and instead allows the people you love to be the ones you choose. Just because someone is destined to be the love of your life does not mean they are going to be!
Something else I appreciated was the realism of the (non-explicit) sex scenes. It is reassuring to read about a character – with an interesting sexual history – getting tested for STDs and waiting 6 months to ensure their accuracy. Perhaps that doesn’t sound romantic, but it was an absolutely heart-stealing scene.
Bottom line? Excellent read for young adults and adults alike – and a must it you are a fantasy fan!
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #1
Published by Harper Voyager
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
Also in this series: Evermore
The underground population of witches, vampires, werewolves—creatures of dreams and nightmares—has lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But after a genetically engineered virus wipes out a large part of humanity, many of the "Inderlanders" reveal themselves, changing everything.
Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Runner Services, is one of the best at apprehending supernatural lawbreakers throughout Cincinnati, but when it comes to following the rules, she falls desperately short. Determined to buck the system, she quits and takes off on the run with an I.S. contract on her head and is reluctantly forced to team up with Ivy, Inderland's best runner . . . and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crime lord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death . . . not to mention her own roommate.
Thoughts: Dead Witch Walking is ludicrously well written – excellent pace, characterization, universe building, etc. etc. Harrison is a gifted writer and created one hell of a character in Rachel Morgan. She had plot twist after plot twist – constantly revealing something new and exciting about this amazing universe.
So why haven’t I given this book a five star rating? Well, mostly because it took me so damn long to finish it. I honestly blame this book for my book blogging slump, as it took me almost 2 months to finish! That is never a good sign.
What it all boils down to are the characters. And these characters I just could not care less about. I have read some reviews that claimed Rachel was the most annoying narrator they had ever read. This is an exaggeration. Anyone who has read the Werecats series by Rachel Vincent knows that Faythe knocks all competition out of the water. However, it is unlikely that you will grow to care about Rachel in this book. I sure as hell didn’t despite my very best intentions. Had the book finished with her death, I likely would have shrugged and moved on.
Bottom line? Read it for the universe – the Hollows is an amazing place. Also, the series apparently gets a lot better by the third book. Oh, and get the UK cover! The US ones are just disturbing.