Review: Desert Tales

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Desert TalesDesert Tales by Melissa Marr
Series: Wicked Lovely
Published by HarperCollins on October 8, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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three-stars

Return to the world of Melissa Marr's bestselling series and discover how the events of Wicked Lovely set a different faery tale in motion. . . . Originally presented as a manga series and now available for the first time as a stand-alone novel, Desert Tales combines tentative romance, outward strength, and inner resolve in a faery story of desert and destiny.

The Mojave Desert was a million miles away from the plots and schemes of the Faerie Courts—and that's exactly why Rika chose it as her home. The once-mortal faery retreated to the desert's isolation after decades of carrying winter's curse inside her body. But her seclusion—and the freedom of the desert fey—is threatened by the Summer King's newfound strength. And when the manipulations of her trickster friend, Sionnach, thrust Rika into a new romance, she finds new power within herself—and a new desire to help Sionnach protect the desert fey and mortals alike. The time for hiding is over.

When Desert Tales showed up on my doorstep, I was a bit bemused. I actually really liked the Wicked Lovely books, but they also dated back to my really early YA reading, and I just wasn’t sure how this was going to work out for me at this point in my reading. Plus, it’s a series add-on, which isn’t usually something I’m a huge fan of either. Still, Melissa Marr was enough of an inducement to get me to try it, when I had time. I am glad I did, because now I actually want to go back and reread/finish the Wicked Lovely books, since I’m pretty certain I will still really like them.

Melissa Marr’s writing actually really works for me. It’s not super ornate or incredibly simple, residing in that happy medium that’s both impressive, but not particularly pretentious. She also writes the kind of paranormal where everything isn’t shiny and happy and innocent. Though the faeries in her world are beautiful, they’re also mostly cruel and deceiving, even if they can’t lie. Her love interests stand out in YA, though they would blend in with NA heroes these days perhaps, tending to be more edgy than clean cut.

Another thing to love about these books is that Marr writes strong heroines. Rika lives a quiet life in the desert, nursing her long-broken heart, but she is a force to be reckoned with. She is protective and quick to love, even after all of the pain. Actually, I think the ease with which she falls in love might be part of why she hid herself in the desert, that and trying to feel warm again after her stint as the Winter Girl.

The plot of Desert Tales will spoil Wicked Lovely, but, if I remember correctly, it won’t spoil much, if any, of the rest of the series. Not remembering things too clearly, Desert Tales wasn’t confusing, and I think it could be read by someone new to the series. Some of the impact might be lost, but it should still work fairly well.

My main issue was with the romance. It irritated me most of the way through. These freaking paranormals always want to date humans, and I do not see the appeal, especially when the paranormal is decades old and the human is a teen. Gross, right? Plus, Jayce is boring. And Rika stalked him for a long time before they talked, which apparently doesn’t bother him. 3 starThat said, the epilogue pulls the romance together perfectly. Marr explains everything in a way that really made sense, and she ended up bringing things to a conclusion I really approve of, even if getting there was frustrating.

This late addition to the Wicked Lovely proved to be a pleasant addition to the series. Fans will likely not be disappointed.

Favorite Quote:

“Ashamed of your choices?” Keenan asked.

After a moment, Rika answered, “Only the one, but that was a long time ago.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

So I'm kind of like "aww, man, why is that happening?" and then it gets better.

So I’m kind of like “aww, man, why is that happening?” and then it gets better.

3 responses to “Review: Desert Tales”

  1. Ooh I’m glad that you liked this one! I never continued this series after the first book, but I remember how well the characters were developed, and I’m glad that Melissa keeps up the trend with Rika. I never really got the paranormal creature loving a human thing either, because I feel like it’s so weird to have lived that long and have never been attracted to someone before that one human. But I’m glad it was tied up in a nice way 😀 Fantastic review, Christina! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler Tour StopMy Profile

  2. I read the Wicked Lovely series years ago and actually I don’t think I finished it. Which is weird since I was really enjoying it. So I don’t know how I didn’t finished.
    I’m glad you liked this one. This is the first review I’ve seen for it and I’m happy that it was good and isn’t a cheap spin off of the series.
    Not sure if I’m going to pick this one up, I think I might reread the books I did read in it and then finish the series before I get to this one.
    Great review 😀
    Kim @ Kimberly’s Novel Notes recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (73)My Profile

  3. Melissa Marr’s writing really works for me too. I like how you describe it, not too ornate, not too simple.

    I have not read Wicked Lovely, but I felt like Desert Tales whetted my appetite for those books and if I ever escape the TBR, I’ll give them a shot.

    Isn’t it funny how taste changes over time?
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Brotherhood | AB Westrick | Book ReviewMy Profile

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