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Series Review: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Series Review: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Seven Black Diamonds (from Goodreads):

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal. Her father’s “unconventional” business has meant a life of tightly held secrets, concealed weaponry, and a strict code. But Lily’s crime isn’t being the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Her guilt lies in the other half of her DNA—the part that can coax ancient rumors from stones and summon fire with a thought. Lily is part fae, which is a crime in her world.

From the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humanity and fae. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir—a death that was the fault of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has shielded her from the repercussions of her ancestry…until she is sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, straight into the arms of the Black Diamonds.

Mysterious, glamorous, and bound together in their mission but constantly at odds, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy are a Sleeper cell of fae, planted in the human world to help destroy it from within. With covers as rock stars and celebrity children, the Black Diamonds carry out the queen’s war against humanity. And unbeknownst to Lilywhite, she’s been chosen to join them.

Now more than ever, Lily’s heritage puts her in peril, and even the romantic attention of the fae singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the safer world of organized crime.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there.

breakdown

Series: Seven Black Diamonds
Author: Melissa Marr
# of Books: 2 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Faeries, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: March 2016 – February 2017
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Melissa Marr is the one I credit with introducing me to the wonderful world of Faeries. Wicked Lovely is a series that has stuck with me over the years and in some ways, it has become my gold standard for Faerie novels. I had marked this series on my library wishlist but never found the time to read it. So when I needed a new audiobook and this popped up, I figured this was the perfect time to dive in!

The Concept / The World:

I loved the mix of dystopian and fantasy. This isn’t the world we know today and thanks to the interference of Fae, it’s quite the place. I loved the mixing of fantasy and reality.

One thing I love about Melissa Marr is her ability to create these layered worlds yet have them be totally accessible and understandable to the reader. She weaves quite the tale!

The Plot:

This plot moves very fast thanks to the multiple POVs we get. You get that 360 view of all these plots happening at once and the anticipation for how they will all cross over is addicting.

I think Seven Black Diamonds (#1) has a faster paced dramatic plot whereas One Blood Ruby (#2) is more character driven. Both have their strengths and weaknesses as a result. I think Book #2 feels a little rushed at the end because the drama is so concentrated in the last few chapters. And I also felt like some things were left too open-ended because there are so many characters to resolve with.

The Characters:

There are a lot of them but it was crazy how quickly I became invested in all their stories. Even if we only spent a few moments with them, I thought they were quite layered. Which is why I would have liked a fuller ending with more closure because we do meet so many great characters that you become attached to.

The Romance:

This is weaved so seamlessly throughout. I loved all the romantic interests.

My Audiobook Experience:

The narration is beautiful to listen to. Where I struggled was with the multiple POVs in third person. If I was listening for an extended period it was good because I would get the character name we were focusing on at the start of the chapter. But if I stopped in the middle of a chapter, it took me a while to reacquaint myself with who I was following at that moment. And there are a lot of characters to remember and not having the true ability to flip back and forth to doublecheck things provided a learning curve.

Series Rating: 4/5

Seven Black Diamonds 4/5  |  One Blood Ruby 4/5

overall

Perfect for readers who love multiple POV and fast paced stories!

Read if You Like: multiple POVs, Faeries
Avoid if You: dislike third person POVs

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Series Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #13
Series: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
# of Books: 5 (Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows, Darkest Mercy)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Faeries, Romance, Fantasy
Heat Rating: warm

Thoughts:

This is one of my favourite series for a lot of reasons.

One is the whole concept of the world Melissa Marr creates. I have read a lot of faerie stories and there is always a little spin to each and every one. With this series, it takes the faery world and makes it a dark, modern tale. The characters aren’t your standard goody-two shoe faeries or humans thrown into a world of chaos. These characters can be twisted and evil whenever it suits them and that works for me!

Two is the relationships. There are a lot of characters in these books–not so much that it is hard to keep track of, but enough to keep you interested–but I loved watching the relationships develop between them all. I had a hard time with some of the love triangles deciding who’s team I was on so that was great! Surprisingly, I actually didn’t mind the love triangles in this one as much as in other books–so win! Even the bromances grabbed my attention 😛

Three is the ever twisting plot. Again, this goes back to the world Marr creates, but I never could totally predict what was going to happen. All the characters had their own agendas and weren’t afraid to get dirty to achieve it. I think it also helps that books 2 (Ink Exchange) and 4 (Radiant Shadows) focus on a different set of characters that we have been introduced to in other books instead of (Aislin and Co. who are the stars of Wicked Lovely). The characters in these “companion” novels go through events that help shape the rest of the series. It is very important to read these books in the order I have listed (or as you see on Goodreads) because the events occur in chronological order. I remember picking up Fragile Eternity and reading it first because it was tag-lined “sequel to Wicked Lovely“. I was completely thrown off and confused reading Fragile Eternity because there are some events in Ink Exchange that influence what happens in Fragile Eternity (ex. the roles some Faeries have) and make no sense whatsoever unless you read Ink Exchange first.

I read Radiant Shadows and Darkest Mercy a year of so after I Darkest Mercy was published. It took me a while to get into the swing of things so I recommend that you read these books as close together as possible! Regardless of when I read them, Darkest Mercy  is the perfect conclusion for a series! Although I didn’t like the very short epilogue (mostly because it only focused on two characters but I understand why it was done that way) I was very satisfied with the conclusion of everything in the end–it was my favourite book of the series.

Conclusion:

One of the most captivating and darkly beautiful books series I have ever read. If you are looking for a series about faeries who aren’t afraid to manipulate and follow their darker natures, read this series! It is definitely an older younger adult read so just be aware! Also, did I mention how beautiful the covers are? They look great on a bookshelf 😉

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange, #1) and Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker, #1)

Synopsis for Wicked Lovely (from Goodreads):
Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty – especially if they learn of her Sight – and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
But it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr’s stunning twenty-first-century faery tale