Tag Archives: Melissa Marr

Where Nightmares Walk by Melissa Marr

Overview
Faery Tales and Nightmares

Title: Where Nightmares Walk
Author: Melissa Marr
In: Faery Tales & Nightmares (Melissa Marr)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 31st March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: It doesn’t stop me as I try to heave myself higher.

Synopsis

We all have nightmares, but some of us need to run a little further than others…

Thoughts

This is a ridiculously short, short story. To the point that I wasn’t even sure whether to count it as a story read… but then I really enjoyed it and realised that I wanted to write about it. So I figured that that was fine. I mean, even the collection didn’t number the pages of this short story, but instead, had the roman numerals on all of the pages.

Having said all that, I absolutely adored this short story. It felt like a nightmare somehow. Just as reading nightmares should feel and sound. Or at least, that’s how I would explain it / how it felt to me. There was just a great surreal and abstract feel to this tale. One that perfectly sets up the writing by Melissa Marr that I’m sure is about to follow.

All in all, this short story was very haunting and beautiful. I loved the feeling that reading these few pages inspired in me and it made me want to pick up the Wicked Lovely books all over again and actually get to the end of the series for the first time!

<- Faery Tales & NightmaresWinter’s Kiss ->

Image source: HarperCollins Publishers

Home Improvement: Undead Edition edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

Overview
Image result for home improvement undead edition book cover

Title: Home Improvement: Undead Edition
Author: Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner, Victor Gischler, Patricia Briggs, Rochelle Krich, Heather Graham, James Grady, Melissa Marr, E. E. Knight, Seanan McGuire, S. J. Rozan, Stacia Kane, Suzanne McLeod & Simon R. Green
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 7th June – 24th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Two weeks after their first post they met in the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Larchmont.

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Synopsis

There’s nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or otherworldly portals in the parlour… And when you add in a hefty dose of the supernatural, the normal, everyday challenges of home D-I-Y become even more hazardous!

International number 1 bestseller Charlaine Harris has joined forces once again with award-winning mystery writer Toni L.P. Kelner to construct a brilliant anthology of fourteen forays into the frightening world of home improvement.

Thoughts

This is a great and fun collection. It’s amusing and light. Filled with lots of gorgeous paranormal stories and just seriously fun. What I love most about it though is that each and everyone of these stories features the process of home renovations in some way, shape or form. And, as a home owner myself… I can attest to the fact that sometimes home improvements are literally hell…

I love that this collection brings the supernatural and paranormal into our everyday experiences. Everyone has a home and, in the case of these somewhat more magical lives… after all, even vampires and witches and the fae still need a home… but their complications are a lot worse than the ones that I have had to face…

This collection had some authors and series that I’m familiar with. And some that are new to me. As with many of the good anthologies that I read, my wish list has grown yet again. Which is really what I want when I read a good anthology.

<- In Brightest DayIf I Had a Hammer ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

The Strength Inside by Melissa Marr

Overview
Image result for home improvement undead edition book cover

Title: The Strength Inside
Author: Melissa Marr
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 14th August 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “Clever thing, aren’t you?”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

The Bori want nothing more than to build a fence, and raise their young in quiet. But an annoying neighbourhood watch woman feels the need to constantly interfere… until she sees the strength inside.

Thoughts

I absolutely adored this short story. And, halfway through I realised that’s probably because I kind of love everything by Melissa Marr that I’ve read anyway. She manages to make some faery tale style works and paranormal fantasy stories just that little touch darker. Not so much so that it’s uncomfortable. But enough that it’s not all happy and light. Exactly the kind of story that I love.

I’ve never come across Bori in a story before. And I’m now curious to see whether they are a “real” mythological creature, or one that is entirely of Marr’s own imagination. I’m hoping that they are in other stories… I really liked the idea of them and was completely drawn in from the very beginning.

There is nothing that I love more in a story than a little busybody getting their comeuppance. Alright, in this story it was a little intense and drastic, and I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed it quite so much. But I did. And I laughed. And it was just a great, fun short story that had a little bit of death and darkness to make me fall all that more deeply in love.

<- The Mansion of ImperativesWoolsley’s Kitchen Nightmare ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Naked City edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
naked-city

Title: Naked City
Author: Ellen Datlow, Jim Butcher, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Kushner, Christopher Fowler, Patricia Briggs, Pat Cadigan, Peter S. Beagle, Naomi Novik, Matthew Kressel, Kit Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Nathan Ballingrud, Melissa Marr, John Crowley, Holly Black, Jeffrey Ford, Lucius Shepard, Caitlin R. Kiernan & Elizabeth Bear
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 28th June – 26th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Out in Brooklyn in a couple of spots you can walk down a street and almost think it’s a hundred and twenty-five years ago.

Synopsis

In this thrilling collection of original stories, some of today’s hottest paranormal authors delight, thrill, and captivate readers with otherworldly tales of magic and mischief. In Jim Butcher’s “Curses”, Harry Dresden investigates how to lift a curse laid by the Fair Folk on the Chicago Cubs. In Patricia Briggs’s “Fairy Gifts”, a vampire is called home by magic to save the Fae who freed him from a dark curse. In Melissa Marr’s “Guns for the Dead”, the newly dead Frankie Lee seeks a job in the afterlife on the wrong side of the law. In Holly Black’s “Noble Rot”, a dying rock star discovers that the young woman who brings him food every day has some strange appetites of her own.

Featuring original stories from twenty authors, this dark, captivating, fabulous, and fantastical collection is not to be missed!

Thoughts

This is a seriously diverse collection of urban fantasy short stories. Not to mention fun and engaging. Probably moving right to the top of my list if I’m being honest. Normally my purview of urban fantasy is kind of small. But the breadth and width of these stories and the style in which they’re written… just wow.

I loved the fact that most of these short stories were standalones. I used to really enjoy finding new series through short stories and novellas. But, I have so many now that sometimes just reading a standalone without having to hunt out more of that world (I’m obsessive, I do this EVERY time) was kind of nice. I got a great taste of the imaginations and storytelling talents of a variety of authors, without actually feeling the need to buy more, more, more. Honestly, there is nothing worse than finding myself a new series to obsess over and then realising that I have a whole slew of new books to buy…

Although this is an urban fantasy collection, it does have a darker twist to it than usual. Every single one of these stories is a little bit dark, a lot bit fun and most don’t have a happy ending. Which, I tend to love, because I get a bit over all the happily ever afters… but it’s definitely something to keep in mind as you rip through the stories.

<- CorpsemouthCurses ->

Image source: Patricia Briggs

Guns for the Dead by Melissa Marr

Overview
naked-city

Title: Guns for the Dead
Author: Melissa Marr
Series: Graveminder #1.6
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Dates read: 26th November 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: He sipped his drink and stared at Alicia, who now stood with her hands on her hips.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Frank wants a job with the gun runner of the undead world. The interview is unique in so many ways. But, he might just get the job after all… if he survives.

Thoughts

I always like a good gun runner story. One that takes place in the land of the dead – well, it wasn’t entirely what I expected, but it was definitely enjoyable. The fact that the female in this was seriously tough and starts out the story by shooting a man… well, that is going to draw me in immediately.

I’ve been on some uncomfortable job interviews but starting out by getting shot and then ending by watching someone get killed. Well, it’s a lot more intense than any of the interviews I’ve ever been on. And hopefully ever will go on. But it was certainly an interesting way to tell a story.

This was a fantastic short story. Now I can’t wait to buy the books in the larger series! I’ve had them on my wishlist for a while, but this has certainly given me the inspiration to actually buy it this time.

 <- The Way Station ReviewAnd Go Like This Review ->
Image source: Patricia Briggs

Love is Hell by Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfield, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin & Laurie Faria Stolarz

Overview
Image result for love is hell book cover

Title: Love Is Hell
Author: Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfield, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin & Laurie Faria Stolarz
In: Love is Hell ( Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfield, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin & Laurie Faria Stolarz)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Young adult
Dates read: 10th July – 24th September 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Harper Teen
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: There hadn’t been any Scarcity classes back in his day, and he never understood how I could get worked up over an ungraded course.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Sure, love is hell. But it’s totally worth it. 88 In these supernatural stories by five of today’s hottest writers – Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Scott Westerfeld (Specials), Justine Larbalestier (Magic or Madness), Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere), and Laurie Faria Stolarz (Blue is For Nightmares) – love may be twisted and turned around, but it’s more potent than ever on its quest to conquer all.

From two students who let the power of attraction guide them to break the had-and-fast rules of their world to the girl who falls hard for a good-looking ghost with a score to settle, the clever, quirky characters in this exciting collection will break your heart, then leave you believing in love more than ever.

Thoughts

I both thoroughly enjoyed this series and consistently wanted to punch some of the characters in the face. I was expecting tragic tales of passion, lust and love. Instead I got a series of young adult tales with some seriously whiney leads. Not in every circumstance. Not in all ways. But enough so that I couldn’t give this collection a five star rating.

There were a few stories in this collection that I thoroughly enjoyed. They reminded me of the books I read as a child that had just a tantalising hint of romance. Nothing overt and sexual, but enough there to make you think that happily ever after was possible. I even found some of the stories incredibly cute. after all, there is something enjoyable about the innocence of young love that I just don’t find in many of the books that I read today. There was also a lot that had me questioning what constitutes romance these days, and what love is truly about…

Love isn’t something that is simple, beautiful and complete. Or at least, it hasn’t been in my experience. It’s this intensely complex and difficult thing to deal with. It makes part of your life better and can leave you feeling more complete. But it also leads to a lot of complications and indecisions. Some of these stories highlighted that beautifully in this “love is hell” theme. Some not so much. But it was definitely worth the read.

 <- Love Struck ReviewSleeping with the Spirit Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers

Love Struck by Melissa Marr

Overview
Image result for love is hell book cover

Title: Love Struck
Author: Melissa Marr
In: Love is Hell ( Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfield, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin & Laurie Faria Stolarz) & Faery Tales and Nightmares (Melissa Marr)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: CelticFae, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 24th September 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harper Teen
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: He paused, considered telling her that he suspected that Veikko had entrapped her, and decided against it.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Alana has been entrapped by a selchie. But what if all of the stories she’s heard aren’t true? What if it’s love, and not entrapment?

Thoughts

I’ve read quite a few stories about selkies and the fae. Or at least, stories which have a moment featuring them throughout. This was an incredibly different take on a familiar tale though. Which I’m beginning to expect from Melissa Marr. For starters, the selkie isn’t the one necessarily doing the entrapment, and vice versa.

Alana is kind of a perfect partner for a selkie. A race of seal-beings who are all about lust, love and sexual fixation. Alana on the other hand is basically living a celibate life. She doesn’t necessarily want to pursue the lust that her mother has so heavily involved herself in. And she really doesn’t want to tie herself down to one being, regardless of how deeply she is drawn to him. It acts as a nice balance to the traditional tales.

The betrayal and secrets interwoven throughout this story are kind of beautiful. Even though I was pretty sure I knew who the “good guy” was, there were still constant moments of doubt. Moments where you wonder if what you perceive to be the truth was really the truth and so on. It was enough of a mystery to hook me in and make me want to never put the story down. And then it ended. And I was left feeling the urge to pick up yet another Melissa Marr story.

 <- Fan Fictions ReviewLove is Hell Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers

Unbound by Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson & Jocelynn Drake

Overview
Image result for unbound book cover kim harrison

Title: Unbound
Author: Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson & Jocelynn Drake
In: Unbound (Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson & Jocelyn Drake)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Short story collections, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 29th March – 7th May 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: EOS
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Startled, Jenks turned in the air even as Daryl caught her breath only to start coughing.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Five master of dark fantasy cross the borders between our world and others.

Not all huntersa are bound by human laws…

Revisiting the paranormal realms they’ve made famous in their wildly popular fiction, New York Times bestselling authors Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson and Jocelynn Drake – plus New York Times bestselling YA author Melissa Marr with her first adult supernatural thriller – unleash their full arsenal of dark talents, plunging us into the shadows where the supernatural stalk the unsuspecting… and every soul is a target. 88 Get ready for the ride of your life – because the wildest magic has just been unleashed…. and evil is about to have its day.

Thoughts

This was a great collection of urban fantasy novellas. Not only did it introduce me to a few new worlds (that are now sitting impatiently on my To Buy List), but it also swept me away into a couple of worlds that I already love, and can’t wait to sink my teeth into again and again. The great balance of known worlds and new ones made me incredibly excited to crack the pages of this collection, and I’m mostly just disappointed that it took me so long to do so…

The stories in Unbound run across a series of paranormal settings and creatures. Yet, they all have powerful women as their core. There is something that always draws me back again and again when the woman is the powerful lead, when she is independent and strong. Even if things tend to go a little haywire when they try to do the right thing…

It took me a little while to read this book. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to dive into the stories, but rather the opposite. I was a little concerned about the depths of my obsession with the stories. I didn’t want to go out and buy a heap of other novels when I still have so many to read. But, honestly, if I wasn’t concerned about spending too much money… I probably would have read all five of these novellas in a day or two. They were all completely amazing!

 <- Two Lines ReviewLey Line Drifter Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publisher

Two Lines by Melissa Marr

Overview
Image result for unbound book cover kim harrison

Title: Two Lines
Author: Melissa Marr
In: Unbound (Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson & Jocelyn Drake)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 7th May 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: EOS
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I’ve done everything I could to avoid this moment.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Eavan resists sex and murder that morph her into a glaistig until Daniel Brennan, sex slaver, tempts her into both.

Thoughts

I’m incredibly disappointed that this novella wasn’t part of a bigger series. I loved the idea of these fae women who rely on sex and death to live. That one of the children of the family refuses to continue in the line that is accepted by all of her family. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved this as a standalone, but I quite possibly would have loved it even more if I knew I had a whole new series to sink my literary teeth into.

In some of the older literature women are often demonised when they are strong and sexual. It’s a recurring theme throughout a lot of the stories that I read. And although I really don’t like the routes of the theme, I do love reading about it. Strong, independent women that are not exactly pure and innocent. That are sexual and powerful in their own rights. Eve manages to encompass this, but still have that beautiful, human vulnerability that is sometimes lacking a little in the characterisation of such women.

There is a love interest in this story, but it is a teasing one. And, unlike many other stories which have a love interest, I didn’t actually mind that their relationship was left open-ended. Normally I like the couple to get together in the end of the story. To have a bit of the “ride off into the sunset” feeling to it. There was no such thing in this story and I completely revelled in it. After all, this story really wasn’t about a romantic entanglement, it was about temptation and choosing your own path.

 <- The Dead, the Damned and the Forgotten ReviewUnbound Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publisher

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Overview

Wicked LovelyTitle: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
Series: Wicked Lovely #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Fae, Paranormal fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Harper Teen
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Seth came up behind her.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.

Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.

Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. When the rules that have kept Aislinn safe from them stop working, everything is suddenly 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.

Thoughts

I loved this book when I first read it, and I love it today. There is something so completely captivating about this kind of dark faery tale that makes it impossible to put down. Something that seems to draw me in again and again and again. I like when retellings of old paranormal creatures, such as the fae are told in a way that sticks true to past tellings – that they are not good. They are not romantic. They are wicked. And lovely.

Although Aislinn is obviously different from every other girl that has been pursued by the Summer King (otherwise why would there be this story?), she is completely independent of him. And I love how she attempts to retain this independence throughout the entire story. Even when she is overwhelmed by fear, and well, overwhelming odds, she doesn’t succumb or relent. I love this independence and the modern-take on how faeries work in today’s society. That, and the fact that the female lead isn’t easy to take control of and push around.

I’m not sure that this is a good book to read when you want to be productive elsewhere. It has just enough of a pace that if you want to put it down, you can. But it is still fast enough that you really won’t want to. I read it in 2 days, and this is when I was supposed to be working on some fairly important things – it was just too good to stop. Even though I’ve read it a few times before…

 <- Faery Tales and Nightmares Review Ink Exchange Review ->
Image source: Goodreads