Since the fifth and final book in the Wicked Lovely series is coming out February 22, Darkest Mercy, I am finally getting around to reading the rest of the books in the series. I had read the first and third books in the series, which follows one plotline, but had put off reading the second and fourth, which follows a different plotline. Presumably, the fifth one will combine the two plotlines and tie them all up, so it's about time I got my ass moving. Here's the series (by Melissa Marr):
Darkest Mercy (out 2/22)
These books are about fairies, which is wonderfully different from all the generic vampire books out there (come on people--MOVE ON. I'm tired of even mentioning how tired I am of vampires) and not your typical Tinkerbell fairies but the honest-to-goodness, mischief-causing, from the old Irish lore-type fairies.
Ink Exchange is the second book in the series, and I really don't know why I was so loathe to pick it up. Probably because I really enjoyed the other two, and there's just no way a different character was going to be as entertaining and as interesting and I didn't want it to take away from the other two. =/ Whatever, there was really no excuse. I might even go so far as to say I liked IE better than the other two.
The Good: Melissa Marr's writing has tightened up and become much cleaner since WL. Even if it's a good story, if the writing is unpolished--either from new-author mistakes or from bad editing--I have a hard time keeping with it. The storyline of this book was darker (always a good thing) and had a much more mature tone. Where WL was light and fluffy and had an almost Disney feel to it, IE was more the dark nightmares of Disney, and I loved that. The different types of fairies and ranges of their powers (from the fun-loving summer girls to the death-obsessed I-can't-remember-what-they-were-calleds and the soul-drinking dark court fairies. Can you tell I liked the darker ones better?) I read it quickly, and I am excited to go to RS.
The Bad: This is more a fault of mine than MM's, but there was just too much time in between reading these books. There was a lot I couldn't remember, and the little things I could remember (such as: I thought Niall was the Dark King?) were given away/resolved at the end when Oh yeah, Irial gives his crown to Niall. =/ I was trying to remember what happened at the end of the third book, but honestly I can't remember much. Hopefully things will come back to me as I read RS, since I will finally be reading them in order again.
Melissa Marr is one of my favorite authors, ever since I saw her in person at my local Barnes & Noble. She is one of the most interesting people to talk to and I will be a huge supporter of her work, if not for the writing and the stories then for her and what she stands for. She is the only feminist I've met who didn't drive me up a freaking wall. I actually enjoyed listening to what she had to say, which is probably a good thing since I am also female and should be fighting for the same things, but as a whole feminists have bad attitudes and make me wish I did not belong to the same sex. I'm glad to have met at least one person who didn't make me feel that way. Her tweets are hilarious and sweet, and I would recommend following her blog but as of now she hasn't posted since January 2 and I'm a bit miffed about that.
All in all, Ink Exchange is the better plot arc of the two, but I would recommend the entire Wicked Lovely series (and I would also recommend reading them in order) to anyone who loves teen fantasy, especially the darker stuff. I love authors who aren't afraid to talk about the hard things, and I think this is especially important for a teen writer.