Saturday, March 12, 2011

Darkest Mercy

Last month I was given the chance to read Melissa Marr's latest masterpiece and final book of the Wicked Lovely young adult series, Darkest Mercy. As with all good things, I knew the series was coming to an end. But rather than fill me with sadness and a feeling of loss like so many other conclusions have, this final installment filled me with sweet contentment (which I imagine would be similar to Summer Wine!)

I was utterly elated upon finishing Darkest Mercy. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to end the series. (If you've read the book than you know exactly what I mean!) I went in with exactly zero expectations of what would happen and I was pleased at each turn of every page. Marr doesn't simply wrap up all the loose ends in a nice, neat bow. Rather she takes the beginnings and weaves them into the endings, so that the entire series forms a perfect imperfect circle of beginnings, middles, ends... and new beginnings. Because the story never really ends, does it?

It's always just starting.

It's that line of hope, that light in the distance that keeps many of us going and its that touch of personal insight that makes me love her books so much. She puts so much of herself into her work that its like reading someones diary. Or reading your own diary. She has a gift of being able to connect with her readers through her words and characters that is just baffling to me. Because who hasn't been faced with a tough decision and thought, "Well... what the hell am I supposed to do now?" Marr answers that question again and again in her series.

Do what you can.

Do what you have to do.

Make the choice yours.

Darkest Mercy is right back to where the first book left off. Making choices. The choices are, in some ways, more important than they were in the first book. Though in Darkest Mercy they affect more than just one person. As the characters have all grown, the things they have to deal with must also change. Marr has taken a rather large group of characters and brought all their stories together for a stunning and lift altering conclusion. In Darkest Mercy every character has to make a choice, take a stand and protect what is theirs. Maybe its something larger than yourself or maybe its just one person...

While the other Wicked Lovely books have seemed more centered on choices I feel that Darkest Mercy also centers itself on hope. Not empty hope or false hope, but true hope and the belief that there are better things. That good can conquer evil and love will prevail. Of course it's not all a fairy tale, is it? A lot of things will happen along the way that we don't want to happen. Things that we'll pray were just a dream or a joke or reversible. But its not a joke or a dream. These things are going to happen whether you want them to or not.

This book draws parallels from the world around us as well. Darkest Mercy reminds us that there is real darkness in the world.

But there is also great light in the world, within yourself and others.

If you're not familiar with the series it is something I always recommend to anyone looking for a good read-- especially to young women. Marr has created not one but several strong female heroines in her books that I, even as a grown woman, am proud to call my role models.

And if you're familiar with the series I encourage you to re-read the first book again. You will be shocked at how beautifully Marr weaves in and out of the beginning and end of this series. It's also a special treat to read your favorite characters again as they were in the first book knowing where they end up. ;)

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this or any other reviews on this blog. I was sent an advanced reading copy of the book which I then sent out to another lucky reader for review. (Thanks again to Melissa for giving me the opportunity to read the book!)


Blodeuedd on March 12, 2011 at 9:28 AM said...

I still have book 3 to borrow from the library, so I might just wait until they get this one

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