Sunday, February 24, 2013
Arty -- Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Aislinn (don't ask me how to pronounce it - I'm not proficient in Irish or Celtic or Gaelic or whatever it is pronunciation - I'm guessing like Ashlyn because her nickname is Ash) has the Sight - in other words, she can see faeries. She pretends she doesn't see them because they don't know she can, and she doesn't want them or other humans to know of her ability. But poor Aislinn is tormented by this knowledge and her entire existence seems to be one of victimization and misery at hiding her true self.
But hark! A hot faerie approaches! Seriously, he is hot - he's Keenan, the faerie Summer King. And he thinks Aislinn is destined to be his Summer Queen. Because of a 'feeling' and 'dreams' that have apparently gotten a lot of other girls kicked out in the cold - in other words, reduced to miserable Winter Girls, each successive Winter Girl having the duty of warning Keenan's next victim not to trust him.
Cue a tug-of-war between Aislinn, Keenan, Donia (the current Winter Girl who's still in love with Keenan), and Berea (I think her name is Berea), Keenan's mother and the current wicked Winter Queen. It's not as dramatic as it sounds - mostly it's just Aislinn running away and being blah and hiding out at totally-not-her-boyfriend Seth's house. And Keenan moping. And Donia moping. And Berea plotting.
I do have to say that it started out really good. I was interested. I was hopeful for something more interesting than your typical YA paranormal romance. Seth, despite being in high school, lives alone, drinks tea, has tons of piercings, and keeps a boa constrictor. He was cool at first. Original. Aislinn was moderately interesting and not too whiny. Donia and Keenan had good personalities.
Oh good story of faeries and intrigue and Court angst. You disappeared into a pile of teen angst, shaky characterization, and an exponentially growing number of wearisome plot devices.
The characters started to dissolve about a third of the way through. There's a feeling you get when you have a firm grasp on a character, who they are and how they work. None of the characters ever got that feeling - or, if they had it, it was for a few short chapters and then they lost it. The only character who was halfway consistent was Berea, and that was because she was a cackling villainess who was there to hurt people and enjoy doing it for no particular reason.
There was one plot twist that I didn't see coming and that I appreciated - it would give away major spoilers if I wrote it out, but let's just say Marr didn't fall into the tired old love triangle bit, at least not fully. It was just that by the time came to unleash the plot twist, I just didn't give a rip. Everyone was boring. Not unlikeable, per se, but just... blah. Who cares that some faerie-human lady loves some faerie dude who wants some human girl who loves some mortal guy and they're all trying to be killed by some evil faerie queen? Marr gave me no reason to care.
The prose was nice, there were regular sprinklings of originality, and the cover is absolutely gorgeous, but there's just not enough good here to warrant a recommendation. In the end, the execution of the story is just as bland as the cover is beautiful.