Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Just finished reading Melissa Marr’s Graveminder which brings to us the quiet little town of Claysville – where everything is not quite what it at first appears.

I loved Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series and so was really keen to read this story which is her first foray into adult fiction.  I think she manages to write a unique, gothic and compelling story based around an unusual town which is bound by strange rules.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot as this would give away much of that which is best revealed during the reading.  I personally didn’t know too much about the story and had avoided reviews for that purpose so I won’t spoil it with this review.

To quote the description in Amazon:

When Rebekkah returns to her small-town home for her beloved Grandmother’s funeral, little does she suspect that she is about to inherit a darkly dangerous family duty on behalf of Claysville’s most demanding residents – the dead.

Everyone in Claysville knows that the Barrows are no ordinary family, but no one can really explain why. When respected matriarch Maylene Barrow dies suddenly her granddaughter Rebekkah returns to the small town she grew up in, where she must face the demons of her past – the suicide of her half-sister Ella, the person she was closest to in the world, and the subsequent break-up of her parents’ marriage. And she also re-encounters Byron, Ella’s old boyfriend, someone to whom she has always felt a deep and mysterious connection.

But the demons of the past are nothing compared with what the future has in store for Rebekkah. Her grandmother has left her an inheritance both wonderful and terrible. An onerous responsibility now rests on her shoulders – one for which she is ill-prepared to say the least.

For behind Claysville’s community-spirited, small-town facade lies a dark secret. One that ties Rebekkah and Byron together in an inextricable bond, and that will require them both to sacrifice everything to keep their friends and neighbours from harm.

So, hopefully that will have wetted your apetite.

MM as got such a wonderful imagination. This was a really good idea.  The writing flowed and the world building was easy.

I loved the ‘other’ world that MM has created and the tunnel that has to be traversed to find it.  I thought Mr D and Amily made for really good reading and could probably carry a whole other adventure of their very own.  It’s bizarre to say so but I could definitely spend some more time in their world.  I also thought Maylene was interesting and it was a shame we didn’t get to spend too much time with her – although you never know with this new fantasy world – it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that she might appear again!  And my other favourite character was Amity.

The main problem that I had with this book was, to a large extent, with Rebekkah who to be frank I couldn’t cotton on to and to a lesser extent Byron, who I just wanted to develop a bit more backbone.  I couldn’t understand him being so accepting of everything Rebekkah dished out and I wanted him to just stand up to her.  The whole relationship between the two fell a little bit flat for me which was a shame and the conversations became a bit repetitive.  Also, and I can’t really explain why but I found that after a really strong start there was something a bit lacking about half way through – but, that being said, the action and drama picks up at the end.

I’m not sure if there are any more novels intended, this novel could certainly be read as a stand alone but there is also a lot of scope for other stories.

Overall I thought this was very entertaining – I loved the world created (strangely reminiscent of the Morganville Town?) but don’t read too much into that specific reference!  It also has a lot of chills and dark creepiness.

Rating B+







Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Darkest mercy is the final installment in the Wicked Lovely series.  Possible spoiler alert – if you have not read the other books in the series (btw why not?) this may contain spoilers for you.

This book picks up from where Radiant Shadows left off. There is a lot more going on in this novel as many strands are pulled together for the conclusion. Keenan has been missing from his Summer court for months and Ash is ruling the court alone, filled with self doubt and anxiety over her decisions. Without it’s two regents being in harmony the court is weaker than it should be and with Bananach doing everything she can to provoke a declaration of war this is an uncertain time for the Summer fey. Donnia is also missing Keenan but has resolved to stay strong for the Winter court. She is becoming increasingly concerned over news of the Dark court and it’s recent conflict with Chaos, particularly as Seth is missing, as is the veil to faery, and rumour has it that Irial has been badly hurt.  This final episode brings lots of the characters previously exlored back into the fray – it does leave some of them out but that is because their story has been resolved to a certain extent.

I really enjoyed this book and think MM has done a fantastic job of resolving the situation between Donnia, Keenan, Seth and Ash. To be honest I couldn’t see how this was going to be achieved but with the introduction of a few twists I think it has worked really well. I also thought that the conflict at the end was very well done and I enjoyed the introduction of a couple of new fey – but I won’t say anything more because I don’t want to spoil this element.

Obviously ending a series is always difficult and it probably isn’t possible to please everybody because we all have our favourites after all!  In that respect I must confess that Radiant Shadows was my personal favourite because I loved the romance between Devlin and Ani. But, I think this ending works well and is the best possible scenario because it allows the characters to stay true to their feelings.

On the whole I think this has been a brilliant series that I would certainly recommend for any readers who like to read about fey.

I suppose if I had any criticisms they would be that things worked out too nicely – but you can’t really grumble about that can you?? And, of course, this was the last book which is very sad ;(

I could definitely read more – but all good things most come to an end I suppose.  Thanks to MM for a very entertaining series.

Rating A+


Darkest Mercy

Darkest Mercy

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Posted On 2 December 2010

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This is the fourth book in the series and focuses on Ani and Devlin.  Ani is the part mortal daughter of Gabriel and Devlin is the assassin (or bloody hands) of the Faery queen.

This story picks up where Fragile Eternity left off with Seth having just returned to the real world.  The Faery Queen, Sorcha, is no longer the calm and emotion free zone she previously was and is now experiencing sorrow and doubt at the absence of Seth.  As she pines the stability of the faery realm is in decline.  Meanwhile Devlin, who is back in the mortal world to watch over Seth (at Sorcha’s request) has been distracted by his attraction to Ani.

This book has got such a lot of elements which are really well meshed together.  In fact, this is my favourite of the books so far, I think that’s probably because it focuses much more on the dark court which I prefer.  I think Melissa Marr has done an amazing writing job with her fey.  No longer are fairies pretty little winged things in gossamer dresses.  Melissa Marr’s fey are cruel and not just the dark court.  And yet, the dark court, which undoubtedly has the worst reputation, definitely came through in this book as the court with the most loyal and caring feelings to its own kind.

I really liked the story of Ani and Devlin and look forward to seeing how the whole situation is resolved.  I really liked Devlin and felt sorry for him as he’d been repressed for such a long time.  In a way, I’ll be sorry to see this come to an end, I could probably quite happily continue reading different stories from different courts.

I don’t really have a lot of criticisms for this book, as I say, I think it was the best so far and I particularly like the way that I didn’t second guess the ending, in fact I was puzzled as to how it would all work out!  MMMmmm criticisms – well, not a lot, I suppose I don’t really like Sorcha – I know she is supposed to embody logic but she isn’t logical herself – which I understand is because of the change in her circumstances but even so she is just too inconsistent.  Actually, that’s probably not a real criticism – I just don’t like her character and in actual fact that’s probably the author’s intention.

Rating -A

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely)

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely)