FROM THE COVER:
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.
Half-human and half-faerie, Ani is driven by her hungers.
Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.
Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans – and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?
My rating: 3 stars.
I truly believed Radiant Shadows – the 4th book in the Wicked Lovely series – would shine like the first. And again I was left feeling disappointed. Wicked Lovely introduces the wonderful world of Faery to its readers, but with each sequel the world dissipates, and Radiant Shadows was no exception.
I had high hopes because the book revolves around Ani, who’s a Hound. In the previous installments, the Hounds get little recognition, and I was curious to learn more about them and how they work. And while Marr does provide some insight in the beginning, by the end of the book it gets left behind in the wake of drama and romance between Ani and Devlin.
Don’t get me wrong – Ani and Devlin are both very interesting characters and have backgrounds unlike any of the others. That is, until their relationship progresses. As they grow closer, the story loses its personality; although a story about Ani and Devlin, I couldn’t help but feel as though their relationship with each other was too reminiscent of the relationships in the prior books. It began to feel as though I’d already experienced reading this before, and because of that, I yearned to see the other characters make appearances. When they didn’t (save for a very select few), it only made me care less about Ani and Devlin.
It’s beginning to feel as though every character is pre-paired with another, which is in turn becoming both predictable and unbelievable. Same goes for the plot. Radiant Shadows started off quickly, then just as quickly tapered off and dragged until the very end. Instead of a lot of information about Faery being released in each installment, only snippets are getting through, thereby forcing readers to wait for the answers to their questions.
As a stand-alone novel, Radiant Shadows isn’t much of a disappointment, except for its slow pace and predictability. However, as part of a series it leaves much to be desired, especially since its predecessors offer much more hope.