A Reader posted a review at 2010-07-15 02:00:21.
I don't usually read novels about faeries or the fae world but I found the plot description of "Wicked Lovely" interesting so I decided to try it out (I purchased it as a Kindle title). It was better than I expected, and my expectations were quite low to begin with.
The story centers around mortal Aislinn, a teenager who is also blessed/cursed with faery sight, i.e. being able to see faeries. She apparently inherited this sight from her Grams who is also her guardian (Aislinn's mother Moira died when Aislinn was an infant), and her mother too had the sight. Aislinn has always been warned by her grandmother to stay away from the fae folk, and pretend they don't exist. But recent events have compelled Aislinn to question this approach - a couple of the fae are following Aislinn around and she wonders what it is they want of her. Turns out Aislinn is crucial to the rivalry between the Winter Queen, Beira, and her son, Keenan, the Summer King. Keenan has been searching for the one mortal girl who will be his consort. If Aislinn agrees to a life-threatening test and passes, she will rule by Keenan's side, otherwise she will be relegated to being one of the Summer Girls, who basically revel and have flings through all eternity until they eventually fade away.
Things are made even more complicated by the presence of two others - Donia, formally mortal, and now doomed to bear the chill as the Winter Girl, and who yearns to be free of the eternal cold. Then there's Seth, a mortal boy who Aislinn finds herself attracted to. The story centers on this complex love triangle, i.e. Donia-Keenan-Aislinn and Aislinn-Keenan-Seth. In dealing with the romance aspect of the story, I liked the way the author wove in safe sex references into the plot, i.e. Aislinn and Seth take their time to get to know each other before deciding if they should have a physical relationship; Seth, given his past flings actually takes tests to determine he is free of STDs to prove his seriousness to Aislinn, etc.
Part of the strength of this book is also the research the author has put into her subject, with quotes from books dealing with fae mythology and weaving this mythology into the narrative with an element of credibility. The characterizations are uneven - I personally found Beira and Seth to be more of caricatures than real characters. Beira is portrayed as altogether evil without any back story as to why she is so. Seth is too perfect, there is no real flaw to this guy, and I found that pretty hard to swallow. However, I was captivated by Donia's characterization - this former mortal and now fey immortal is complex and incredibly interesting. Her plight as Winter Girl drew me into her story and made me empathize with her. Keenan and Aislinn were also quite well-drawn.
This is an above-average YA fantasy read and will appeal to those who are fans of the genre. I plan to read the second installment in the series.