Sunday, 1 December 2013

Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr

2.5 stars

Wicked Lovely is neither wicked, nor lovely. It is, however, exactly the sort of simple and undemanding refuge from real life that I need at the moment.

Although usually invisible to mortals, Aislinn has always seen faeries and so has lived her entire life following a few simple rules. The first rule of Faery Club? You do not talk about Faery Club. Sorry, that's not it at all. The rules are these: Don't stare at the faeries, don't talk to the faeries, and don't attract their attention.

But despite a life-time of practicing the first two rules, the faeries are suddenly paying attention anyway. The Summer King has been bound by the Winter Queen, and will only be freed on finding his Summer Queen. Keenan (the Summer King) thinks Ash is special - and not just because she seems to be suffering from some weird disease that means she's unable to sit or stand without leaning against Seth, the mortal boy with whom she's in love (and who's too good to be true - protective without being overbearing, strong yet sensitive, more in tune with her needs than she is and devoted to serving them, and who lives in a converted train car like most teenagers of no apparent means and no visible family do. At least, I think he's a teenager, although thinking about it now he doesn't go to school with Ash and so could just as easily be in his early twenties, in which case what the hell is he doing hanging around with high school girls? The creep).

Unluckily for Ash, once she's been chosen she can't be unchosen. Instead she's left with a choice. Become one of Keenan's Summer Girls, the vapid nymphomaniac fey that warm the beds of Keenan and his Court, or risk lifting the Winter Queen's staff to see if she's really the Summer Queen as Keenan believes (or, as has happened with all of Keenan's past loves, be condemned to carry the Winter Queen's cold instead). Not much of a choice when you'd rather hang out with your human boyfriend instead, eh? But luckily for Ash, it turns out that she's the kind of heroine who can have her cake and eat it too.

Reading this on any other week could have seen me far more bugged by the book's flaws, but for now I'm too busy licking my own wounds and instead found it pleasantly distracting, without ever becoming so engrossing that I'd be tempted to retreat into the book entirely, or posing any real danger of stressing me out (cough, cough, Harry Dresden) or making me emotional (I'm looking at you, Robin Hobb).

That said, I'm also not particularly bothered about continuing with the series.

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