Thursday, August 19, 2010

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

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?

I thought this book was okay. Not terrible, but not something that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go...not like Wicked Lovely did. There is no doubt that Marr does an excellent job of world building and creating intricate plots. But her characters don’t pop off the page as well as they used to, and the tension isn’t as palpable. I didn’t find Bananach as terrifying as I think I was supposed to, and I didn’t sympathize with Ani at all. I liked Devlin, though. He was the most interesting character in the whole story. Though the resolution with Ani, Devlin, and Rae felt a bit...icky.

Radiant Shadows lacked that inescapable draw that Wicked Lovely had. The characters just aren’t as interesting as Aislinn and Seth—and it didn’t help that Fragile Eternity kind of ended on a cliffhanger, and Radiant Shadows didn’t satisfy that conclusion. It just introduced more questions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for unanswered questions that keep me reading, but I don’t like to feel that I have to wade through something potentially unrelated in order to get to a satisfying conclusion.

I loved Wicked Lovely. Loved it. Raved about it to friends, and counted down the days to when the next book came out. But, since then, the magic that made Wicked Lovely spark has slowly waned. I’m not sure why that is, though. Marr introduced a new aspect of Faerie when she introduced the High Queen, and that was interesting. But the results of the High Queen’s actions, which took up the bulk of the plot, weren’t as compelling as Marr’s other books.

Still, I really want to read the final book, Darkest Mercy, when it comes out. I’m very curious how Marr is going to tie this up, and I am hoping for the original spark to return.


Bish Denham said...

I have yet to read Wicked Lovely. I've heard lots about it.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Really interesting. I haven't read any of these books, but I might at least try Wicked Lovely. Thanks for this review!

Amanda said...

There's an award for you over at my blog!

Tabitha said...

Bish - Wicked Lovely was *awesome*. If you lived closer, I'd march right on over to your house so you could borrow my copy. :) The rest haven't been so incredible, and I'm not sure if it's because I'm increasingly confused as to where the story is going or what...

Michelle - definitely try Wicked Lovely! It's a fabulous book that I read in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I'm hoping that the final book will bring everything together, and ultimately give me a reason to love the other books as well.

Amanda - how awesome!! Thank you so much!!

cleemckenzie said...

I'm way behind on my reading. If you keep posting tantalizing reviews I'll never catch up. :-)

C.R. Evers said...

Thnx for the heads up. I may still read it, but it won't be at the top of my list.