Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wicked Lovely/ Desert Tales: Sanctuary by Melissa Marr

Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely was a hugely successful book, which was followed by additional success of the follow-up novel Ink Exchange. The third novel, Fragile Eternity, was released during the summer with equal enthusiasm from Marr’s fans.

Piggybacking the success of the series Marr has released the first of three manga books called Desert Tales. The author states the series is not necessary to read in order to follow stories from the novels, but rather acts as a companion series. The stories involve some characters from the Wicked Lovely books.

The first story, Sanctuary, follows Rika, a former Winter Girl, who finds solace in the Mojave Desert. According to the Wicked Wiki, Rika was Keenan’s fourth Winter Girl and was eventually replaced by Donia. Rika is removed from the Faerie Court, which she prefers. She seeks isolation from the active faerie lifestyle, which is why she chose to live in the desert.

She enjoys her invisibility until she meets Jace, a human. The desert faeries regularly taunt Jace and his friends. Rika is forced to revel herself when she saves him from a dangerous fall prompted by the faeries. There is an obvious spark between Rika and Jace, but similarly to other story lines in Marr’s Wicked Lovely book, trouble is inevitable for a faerie and a mortal from two very different worlds.

Overall, this story is not nearly as captivating as Marr’s original books. Her language, which tends offers lush descriptions of scenes, emotions, and experiences, is completely lost. The art works, produced by Xian Nu Studio, also does not serve the story line well. They are black and white manga-style illustrations, which do not capture the true beauty of the desert, Rika, and the other faeries. Perhaps if the illustrations would have been in color it would have changed the spirit of the story. Overall, the first book of this series is weak compared to Marr’s Wicked Lovely books, but you be the judge…

Wicked Lovely sidebar:
For those who enjoyed the novel Wicked Lovely it was recently announced that the rights to the book were sold to Universal Pictures. They are currently working to adapt the book into a movie.

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