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Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely #5) by Melissa Marr

Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: February 22, 2011
Pages: 336
Source: Won ARC from HarperTeen
Rating: 4 Stars - I Loved It!
Description: The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.

In short: The final book in the Wicked Lovely series, Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr, is a satisfying finale and the most action-packed and intense book yet. Keenan becomes more tolerable.
Darkest Mercy was a truly satisfying finale to an involved series. It had tons of interesting plot developments and twists that made reading very quick and easy. It was definitely the most action-packed and fast paced of the series yet which was refreshing because one of my main complaints from the previous books in the series was that there was a lot of talk about the end of the world but very little action to back it up. The main drama of the previous reads was focused on the relationships. In Darkest Mercy, we get both relationship drama and action to create a truly intense read.

In Darkest Mercy, the reader gets to read from the point of view of a record total of eight different characters, including three that we hadn't heard from before in the previous books. This brings the total number of unique character point of views to fourteen! Quite a feat, especially because I never got confused or had difficulty distinguishing between so many different voices. If you're interested, here is the breakdown of the characters featured in each of the books (may be spoilery so highlight to read):

Wicked Lovely: Aislinn, Keenan, Donia
Ink Exchange: Leslie, Niall, Irial
Fragile Eternity: Aislinn, Seth, Donia, Sorcha
Radiant Shadows: Ani, Devlin, Rae
Darkest Mercy: Aislinn, Seth, Keenan, Donia, Niall, Far Dorcha, Gabriel, Chela

I'm still left with quite a few questions about faery mythology after Darkest Mercy. I'm the kind of person who likes tons of details and world building in everything I read so I was a bit disappointed that I still had a lot unanswered at the end. If you're not one of these people who is so obsessively involved in knowing every little detail about the mythology in a book then this probably won't bother you.

The characters in the Wicked Lovely series were ones that I had a hard time relating to. I almost feel like they were too "cool" for me with their multiple piercings, tattoos, motorbikes, and cigarettes. I'm just a simple nerd, a square really. And yet, I found that I really came to care for and love (almost) all of them. I'm probably going to miss Seth and his quirked eyebrow the most. He's a very easy character to love. And I don't think I mentioned this earlier but he lives in a train house! I mean, how cool is that?! I wish I lived in a train house.

And of course, I wouldn't be able to write a review for a book in this series without mentioning Keenan. In previous reviews, I've made sure everyone knew my loathing for him, calling him a plethora of things, including fake, manipulative, selfish, a prick, and a dick. He is able to redeem himself in Darkest Mercy which leads me to sympathize with his character a bit more than in the previous books but I have to say, I still dislike him on a whole. When faced with the decision between his court or his true love, there is only one clear choice that he could've made to make me like him and he took way too long to settle on it.

Previously, My Reviews for Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, and Radiant Shadows.

Melissa Marr is going to be making a special appearance in celebration of the release of Darkest Mercy! She will be doing a signing and Q&A at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego which will also be streamed live for everyone! Be sure to tune in on February 23rd at 5PM Pacific Time!

Other Reviews:
A Blog About Nothing
A & C Book Junkies
Eleusinian Mysteries
An Avid Reader's Musings

Stalk the Author (not for serious):

*Read as part of the YA Series Challenge


  1. Glad you liked it! I didn't read most of your review b/c I've only read the first book. But it sounds good that this one is full of action. Nice way to finish things off.

  2. Aylee, you crack me up with your loathing of Keenan! He was not my favorite in the first one, but I'm glad to know that even though it takes him entirely too long, he's able to slightly redeem himself:) Always a pleasure to read your reviews, I look forward to finishing this series now that I know the last book makes all of the previous books worthwhile:)

  3. I haven't got this one yet. I think I have the first 3 on my shelf. They sound awesome. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Ah, Keenan. Redemption is futile for some, especially if they aren't really seeking it.

    Looks like you had fun with the series on the whole and reading your reviews was always entertaining. I'm convinced I need to give the series a go soon. Thanks Aylee.

  5. I was never a fan of Keenan - I love Seth but I was happy at the ending....which I will not reveal for those who haven't read it yet :-)

  6. I haven't read any of this series. I think I probably should. Wow I have so many books to read this summer. It's going to be great. Thanks for an awesome review!

  7. I definitely agree that there was a lot of talk in the earlier books so it's nice to know that there's finally some action. I just want a happy ending for Ash and Seth in the end.

  8. Alison: It really was a nice way to finish things off!

    Jenny: I'd be interested to know what you think of the series as a whole! I'm glad Keenan was able to sort of redeem himself in this one. But honestly, I had so much fun hating on him in my reviews!

    Slowest Bookworm: This one just came out yesterday! Hope you enjoy the sequels!

    Missie: "Redemption is futile for some, especially if they aren't really seeking it." Great way of putting it! I would definitely recommend giving the series a go. You might find that it's not for you but at least you gave it a try!

    Karen: Very happy with the ending too... at first I thought it was a little too good to be true but then I decided that I was really happy for all the characters.

    Sara: I know, right? So much to read and so little time.

    A Canadian Girl: Yeah, I'm sure for a lot of people, they wouldn't mind that all the drama comes in the form of relationship drama (things do get pretty complicated in that respect) but I was really waiting to get more action that really befit the whole "end of the world" feeling.

  9. Juggling all of those narratives would be so hard! Glad you liked this one.

  10. "Keenan becomes more tolerable." amen to that! He's never been my most favourite character but I liked him better in this book.

    Fantastic review, Aylee! I was reluctant to start this series at first but I'm so glad I gave in. I'm thrilled to have taken the ride and can't wait to see what Melissa brings to her new YA series.

    And thanks so much for linking to my review! :)

  11. I can't believe how many narratives there are! What a great accomplishment on the author's part that you were able to keep them all straight and distinct.

    It's funny, I didn't like the first book and I really have no interest in reading the rest of the series, but I've completely enjoyed and even looked forward to reading your reviews on them.

  12. Logan: It would be! I was pretty impressed.

    Brodie: I'm glad that I read it too. I think I probably would have enjoyed it more had I not read them all back to back and during a period of such high stress in my life... but overall I did enjoy the experience.

    Small Review: It certainly is a great accomplishment! And thank you! I've enjoyed writing them all.

  13. I'm so glad this is a worthy finale! It's so frustrating when a series is so great and the final book is such a disappointment. Great review, Aylee! Still love your header, by the way. I just started Order of the Phoenix - I hope it's as good as the previous books. ;)

  14. Wonderful book review and glad you enjoyed it. I recently won a paperback arc of Darkest Mercy but haven't started reading it yet, since I'm a little nervous about faeries.

  15. Jessica: I know exactly what you mean. It was a very satisfying end for sure. Interested in finding out what you think of Order of the Phoenix... some people dislike it because of Angst!Harry.

    Akasha and Lexus: LOL! Yeah, this was the first faerie series I've ever read. It was a good starting point I think though. Looking forward to reading more about them!

  16. Glad to see you liked the last book! I kind of skimmed over the review because I haven't read the books yet. However, I have read other people felt the same about having some lingering questions. It's also nice when a character you can't stand redeems himself, Good to know!

  17. He does redeem himself a bit... but I still hate the bastard. lol.