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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

'Wicked Lovely' Challenge: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Hello, hello!


Welcome back to another day, another post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Great news for those of you following my progress in the Wicked Lovely reading challenge....I've finished books 2 and 3!  Whoo-HOO!  Currently reading the latest installment of the series, Radiant Shadows....and preparing for the review of this particular title to be featured on Monday, along with the winner of the contest drawing for their very own copy of this book.  If you haven't entered yet....there's still time!  Check the CURRENT CONTESTS section on the right hand sidebar of your screen for details....now, on with the show!

I read the first book in this series online when the publisher had it available for a week or so in it's entirety.  Needless to say, I loved it....thought it was fabulous, and quickly added it to my shopping list for future purchase.  Time passed and book releases came and went.....one day I stumble across Fragile Eternity in store and think...WOW!  A sequel!  I immediately began reading it only to discover I wasn't very familiar with some of the characters being discussed.  Come to find out....DOH!  Silly me, there was a book in between that although is not required reading, definitely makes the connections and story line flow more consistently...which leads me to the feature for this post.  Today's book of choice is....

Ink Exchange
by
Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely introduces us to the world of faeries, while its focus sits squarely on the Winter Court.  (If you are not familiar with the first book or it's been a while since you read it, here's my review as a mini-refresher.)  Ink Exchange introduces us more fully to another one of the four courts....the Dark Court.  As can be expected by its name, this group of faeries is a far cry from the merriment and frivolity seeking Summer Court.  The Dark Court does not grow stronger on peace and joy and revelry.  They seek nourishment from fear, lust, anger, and all the atrocities that befall both mankind and faeries alike (hmm, perhaps befall is being too kind as a good portion of the time, they provoke them in their wake)....each of which have a decidedly different taste but are welcomed just the same.  In the days of Beira's reign (that would be Keenan's mother and the former Winter Queen), the banquet had been set and nourishment was never out of their reach.  Unfortunately (for them), those days are gone and the peaceful times currently being endured are costing them not only in enjoyment but strength.  They need the blackness of darker thoughts, actions, and reactions to satiate their appetites...and their king, Irial, has just the plan to accomplish this.  To provide a constant flow off emotions to feed not only himself but his court, a new procedure is being experimented with...one that would provide a human conduit of sorts to funnel all the sweetly dark emotions to them.  But how or perhaps more daunting...who?

Enter Leslie...Aislinn's (that's the Summer Queen) best friend and schoolmate living blissfully unawares of the faery world in whole.  Perhaps "blissfully" is not the correct word to use in her situation though.  Leslie does not have the best of life surrounding her, at least not immediately around.  Her home life leaves much to be desired and thanks to her drug dealing brother, she has a much darker secret that she refuses to let show.  To put it simply, she is a survivor.  In an attempt to stake a claim on her own life and regain some of the control that was taken from her, she embarks on a mission...to be inked (that's getting a tattoo to most of you).  The day finally arrives and as she searches the walls of Rabbit's parlor the static images do nothing to entice or stimulate.  Rabbit suggests something a bit more unique and pulls out a special book of "one-time-only" tattoos.  She turns the pages, gazing at the images as they seem to move before her eyes when suddenly....there...there it is.  She knows she has to have this one and only this one.....little does she know what is truly about to unfold.  Is Leslie really as strong as she claims?  To make it through what she has, there is little doubt, but the long term consequences of our actions are rarely seen at the start and the shadowy images she sees surrounding her current choice...let's just hope that the price she will pay is not beyond her current funds....

What can I say...I loved it!  Dark and mysterious....dangerous and alluring....the Dark Court and it's inhabitants provide for an astonishing look into the inner workings of the blacker natures of some faeries (and humans, can't forget us mortals).  Love them or hate them, those that dwell in this shadowy world are certainly a force to be reckoned with. Author Melissa Marr works her magic once again in this tale of Faerie weaving threads of imagination with handfuls of real world darkness.  The character she created in Leslie is one that was afflicted due to circumstance but not disabled in mind or spirit.  She has come through something terrible to be faced with a less than ideal situation but still uses the choices given to her to exact a path of her choosing.  Is it filled with rose petals and rainbows?  No.  Is it a blissful ignorance where emotion is ignored?  Nope.  Her path is one that neither leaves her in a state of emotional hibernation nor overrun by feelings of fear and doubt.  It is in the real world where bad things can happen to good people and vice versa. 

I'd be remiss to close this post without a few words regarding Leslie's friends and those characters of which you are bound to see more of in the future books.  Aislinn is for the most part doing well though still in the position of wanting both her mortality (and boyfriend Seth) and the faerie court she now governs (alongside Keenan, the Summer King who most certainly seeks her "complete participation" in the court).  Niall, the Summer Court consult and bodyguard (for all intents and purposes), has an interesting role to play in this installment of the series as well as he seeks to out run the reaching influence of the Dark Court, but yet can not hope to escape them entirely (I know, I know...it's cryptic, but I'm really trying not to spoil the story here....so hard....).  Let us not forget Irial....the king of the Dark Court himself. 

The trouble with Irial....okay, well he is trouble technically, along with the Hounds and Bananach (raven-like faery of War....more of her in book three)...he's truly misunderstood to a certain degree.  I'm not saying he's a lamb in wolves clothing, but he does have a softer side if you will that can either be his strength or his detriment depending on the situation.  Most of the time, you don't know exactly what you are getting when he is involved...only that it will suit his needs entirely (more than one instance of his power being felt in a certain night club while dancing....did I mention they feed off feelings of lust?).  I believe if one would call upon the movie world to correct him, Austin Powers couldn't have said it better..."Oh, behave!"  Speaking of movies...rumor has it the books are being turned into one (or perhaps several, one never knows)!  (YAY!)  I'll definitely be in line for that one....

If you are reading the Wicked Lovely series....I highly recommend reading them in order.  Although not entirely required, it provides a lot more background on the characters as more and more are introduced and in grander ways.  Definitely suggested reading for YA fans of mid-teen to adult age groups....due to some of the content, less likely a bet for the youngest crowd (it's not really graphic or filled with "sailor speak", it's just the dark nature of some of the situations discussed).  The next book in the series is Fragile Eternity (finished!) followed by Radiant Shadows (currently reading)....reviews for both will be coming soon!


COMMENT CREATOR
If you've read the series, you know the characters.  For this comment creator...tell me your favorite character for better or worse from the books and why you singled them out.  The comments are open....

Until next time....happy reading!

6 comments:

The1stdaughter said...

I have yet to read this series, but based on your review it looks like something right up my ally. Great review and incredible progress! I'm definitely putting this series in my TBR pile!

Carrie said...

If you like this one, you should read Stopping Time, parts 1 and 2. It is a novella that is only online that lets you catch up with what Leslie is up to. Amazon lets you download it for free for kindle users. They also have a free download for Kindle for computer if you need it too (that is what I did).

....Petty Witter said...

I've heard a lot of positive things about these books but have yet to decide if I want to read them. Funny how quickly vampires came and went, now it's the turn of fairies.

GMR said...

the1stdaughter: Yay! Glad to help add to your TBR pile. It really is a good series...and thanks for the progress congrats! Its so hard to continue...just kidding! Just wish I had more time to read! ^_^

Carrie: Oh yes, I downloaded it when I saw it was available...but haven't read it as of yet. Thanks for the heads up on the content though! I was very curious as to who or what it covered...now I have a sneak peek! ^_^

Petty Witter: Ah, I'm afraid vampires will be here for quite some time but they've faded back into the dark of night....(sorry, couldn't resist!). Yes, this is a great series...if you are on the fence as to whether to read them or not, I'd recommend trying the first one. More likely than not, you'll be hooked. ^_^

kimscarecrow said...

Donia is my favorite! But she kind of made me sad in FE. Leslie is a close second though. I'm so ready for book 5. :)

GMR said...

kimscarecrow: Yeah...Donia is an interesting character, but oh so bad in FE! Tisk tisk with the ice crystals....
I agree as well on Leslie though...she was such a strong character even when her feelings were not her own. ^_^

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