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The Bowen Press – May 1, 2009

It was such a treat to get this graphic novel and realize it was a completely different story within the WICKED LOVELY world.  Keenan makes a brief appearance, but other than that the reader is introduced to totally new characters.

Rika lives in the isolation of the desert.  She maintains invisibility around humans in order to observe them.  She misses her humanity and feels some animosity toward Keenan for turning her into a faery when she attempted to become his Summer Queen.  Rika wasn’t THE ONE and instead had to take on the chill of the Winter Queen until another girl came along and took her place.  Rika didn’t want to be around Keenan after she became a regular faery because of the painful memories attached to him, so she made her home in the desert far away from the Faery Court.

Lately she has been observing Jayce, an artistic and handsome young man.  When some mischievious faeries cause Jayce to fall during rock climbing, Rika must become visible in order to save him.

As Rika and Jayce get to know each other, they are pursued by other faeries and Jayce is put in danger.  It seems that Rika is being manipulated by someone she trusts.

The reader will definitely be anxious to read the next installment in this graphic novel series.  Melissa Marr has given us all new characters to fall in love with.  Thank you Melissa.


Wicked Lovely:
Desert Tales, Volume 1:
Sanctuary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HarperTeen – May 5, 2009

Laurel is starting school for the first time and in high school no less.  Everything about it seems wrong.  Her years of homeschooling fit so well with her lifestyle.  Being able to go outside to complete her studies and having meaningful conversations with her mother were perfect.  Now, being cooped up in a building without windows and natural light just feels wrong.  But, no matter how much begging she does, her mother says it’s time. 

Starting a new school would be bad enough, but she is also having to learn a new town.  The family moved in order for her father to live his dream of owning a book shop which means gone are the days when she can go out back and wander the woods behind their home.

Laurel meets David and they become fast friends.  He is extremely helpful when Laurel is faced with a frightening change to her body.  A bump begins to grow on her back.  At first, she tries to ignore it, but it becomes so large that eventually she knows she has to tell someone.

What they discover changes both their lives forever. 

WINGS is such a great story.  It is unique, touching, and funny.  It will definitely become one of your favorites.  The characters are so well developed that you’ll feel like you know them personally.  The way WINGS ends, it seems possible that there could be a sequel, but if there isn’t, it will be okay too.  There is a sense of closure and satisfaction when you get to the last page.


Wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Random House Books for Young Readers – January 27, 2009

Liza didn’t witness the war between the humans and the Faeries, but she lives with the after effects.

In Franklin Falls, a town devastated like all the others during the war, the townspeople are fearful of magic.  Since the war and all the death caused by the Faeries, they fell nothing good can come from it. 

When Liza’s baby sister was born with eyes as silver as moonlight and faerie-pale hair as clear as glass, her father did what was expected.  He took her up on a hillside and abandoned her.  He said, “If the faerie folk want her, let them take her.”  Liza slipped out of the house later that night in an attempt to save her sister, but it was too late – the animals got there first.

Three weeks after losing her sister, Liza’s life changes forever.  Strange visions keep popping into her head.  The visions scare her and lead her to believe she has magic inside of her just like her sister did.  Liza runs from everything she’s known.  She runs away from Franklin Falls and into the woods she’s been warned against all her life.   Her only companions are her cat and a boy named Matthew – who has secrets of his own.

Together they make their way through dangerous terrain hoping to find answers to the many questions they have.  What they find out leaves them questioning everything they’ve been taught.

BONES OF FAERIE is a fast-paced story.  As a reader, it is easy to get attached to the characters.  Liza’s visions are marked by italics for easy identification throughout the story and the language is clean which makes this appropriate for even young fantasy fans. 

Click here to visit the BONES OF FAERIE website.

Be sure to stop by Janni Lee Simner’s page too.

As a bonus, here is a short story set in the same world as BONES OF FAERIE.

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Bones of Faerie

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 Little, Brown Young Readers (October 2007)

BETWIXT is a difficult novel to summarize or explain.  To tell the truth, it is a little confusing. 

Three teenagers:

Sweet and popular Ondine,
Tough and determined Morgan, and
Runaway loner Nix

are inexplicably drawn together and thrust into the dark and dangerous world of the fay.  Each deals with the news of their true identity differently.  In addition to dealing with the fear of what is to come and learning about their new powers, Ondine, Morgan, and Nix must face evil fay, called cutters, who are out to kill them.

BETWIXT is complex.  There are several characters to keep up with and the world that Ondine, Morgan, and Nix are preparing to go to once their transition period in the earthly realm is over, isn’t explained very well.  The ending lacks closure and might not satisfy the reader.  If you are wanting a book dealing with faeries, there are better choices available.

LAMENT by Maggie Stiefvater
WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr
WONDROUS STRANGE by Lesley Livingston
TITHE by Holly Black


Betwixt

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Kelley Winslow is seventeen and living every young person’s dream.  She is living on her own in New York City pursuing her passion.  Kelley dreams of being an actress and Broadway is her goal, but until she can get there, she will settle for anything she can get.  Even if it means working as a stage hand while also acting as Understudy to the main role in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.

In Central Park, where Kelley likes to spend some of her free time, there is a world hidden to the human eye.  It is the location of the Samhain Gate which is set to swing open on Samhain when the Fae will fight their way across into the human world to cause havoc.  King Auberon, Winter King and Lord of the Unseelie Court, has placed the responsibility of keeping the gate secure on thirteen guards referred to as the Janus.  Sonny Flannery is the newest member of the guard detail and excited about his first Samhain.

When Kelley and Sonny meet, their lives change forever.  Kelley finds out there is more to her ordinary life than she thought and Sonny realizes he’ll do anything to protect her from the dangerous forces around her.  As they spend more time together, their feelings for each other grow.  Will Sonny and Kelley be able to navigate the treacherous world of the Fae? 

WONDROUS STRANGE is a delightful story.  Lesley Livingston has created a cast full of wonderful characters and blended the realistic with the fantastic in a seamless way.  The romance between Sonny and Kelley is palpable and the ending will leave you begging for a sequel so you can enter their world again.

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The long awaited sequel to WICKED LOVELY is here.  Melissa Marr was kind enough to give us INK EXCHANGE, a companion to WICKED LOVELY, where we met other characters from this wildly inventive and tantalizing world, but a true sequel is what we really wanted and now we have it.

 

Aislinn (Ash) is dealing with what being the Summer Queen means.  She has both physical changes and emotional adjustments to come to terms with.  She is spending more and more time with Keenan because of Summer Court business and monthly celebrations with the Summer faeries.  Ash feels a pull toward Keenan, even though she knows she doesn’t love him, and feels guilty for the time she spends away from Seth – her true love.

 

Ash’s transformation isn’t just an adjustment for her; it is taking its toll on Seth too.  Being with Ash is what he wants more than anything, but the jealousy he feels when she is with Keenan monopolizes his thoughts when he’s alone.  Physically, his time with Ash is difficult too.  Ash’s strength has drastically increased since she has taken her role as the Summer Queen.  Sunlight flows from her skin, especially after Summer’s monthly celebrations, and the heat that radiates from her leaves burns on Seth’s skin.  Seth is willing to take the pain as long as he has Ash in his life, but he doesn’t know how long he will be able to keep her.  Between Ash’s increased responsibilities to the Summer Court and Seth’s human mortality there doesn’t seem to be much hope.

 

FRAGILE ETERNITY takes us back to the world we fell in love with in WICKED LOVELY.  Alliances that were strong in the first book start to shift as needs and circumstances change.  The Summer Court, the Winter Court, and the Dark Court all have their own agendas.  Will Ash and Seth get caught in the middle?

lamentDeirdre Monaghan is a gifted harpist with a consistent case of stage fright.  She knows, without a doubt, that sometime before a performance she’ll need to vomit.  We meet Dee on her way to a music competition and she is exactly like she always is – a jumble of nerves.  As soon as she gets checked in, she has to run to the restroom to throw up.  Unexpectedly, a cool hand falls on the back of her neck, comforting her during her routine.

Luke Dillon is a saving grace.  After calming her down after her upset stomach, he takes Dee’s mind off the important competition by practicing with her.  Luke’s skilled flute playing compliments Dee’s harp beautifully and it doesn’t take long to decide to amend Dee’s competition entry from solo to duet.  For this moment on, their lives are intertwined.  

Dee feels a strong attraction toward Luke.  At the same time she is getting used to her feelings for Luke, other strange things are happening to her.  The most obvious thing that is going on is the fact that four-leaf clovers are popping up all around her.  She sees them everywhere.

Dee begins to think things aren’t quite right.  She doesn’t know if she can really trust Luke even though she desperately wants to. Luke seems to be hiding something, but Dee can’t quite put her finger on what.  There is no way Dee could know that the world Luke is involved in is one that Dee doesn’t even know exists. You see, Dee’s musical talent has attracted the attention of the Faerie Queen and Luke is her gallowglass, her soulless assassin.

Maggie Stiefvater has written an interesting tale where the magical world of faeries and the commonplace human world meet. A great love story is the bridge between the two worlds.  The sequel BALLAD will be released Fall 2009.