Laura Martinelli's Reviews > Faery Tales & Nightmares

Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr
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Apr 24, 14

really liked it
bookshelves: library-reread, own, sci-fi-fantasy, short-story-collections, young-adult, tie-in
Read from April 16 to 20, 2014

So, I’ve gone off about supplementary short stories before, and that the recent glut of online extras make it really hard to finish entire series because there’s a short prequel, or spin-off or “behind the scenes!” Yes, it’s easier to get all of the content because of the availability (rather than waiting for a collection or rebuying a paperback or multiple copies *glares at the Lunar Chronicles*), but it feels like more work for the reader, and in most of my experiences, there really isn’t anything new added to the series as a whole. While Faery Tales and Nightmares isn’t completely a Wicked Lovely spin-off collection, the bulk of the collection is made up of stories set in that universe, and get more into the events that were occurring off-screen during the meat of the series.

I do think that Marr is a much stronger short story writer—a lot of her original works in this collection are to the point, with evocative prose. I really loved “Winter’s Kiss,” it’s a short sweet fairy tale (I thought with shades of “Snow White and Rose Red”). I wasn’t expecting to like “Transition,” but there’s an interesting character twist by the story’s end that kinda actually makes me want to read a full novel with these two characters and the very messed-up relationship that can result from that. I’ve read “Love Struck” in a previous collection (Love is Hell), and while I don’t like it as much now, I do think it’s an interesting take on selkie folklore. The other two original stories, “The Art of Waiting” and “Flesh for Comfort” were good, but didn’t really stick with me as some of the other stories did
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As I said, the meat of this collection are the Wicked Lovely stories, and luckily the majority of them are just small character moments that occur off-screen. The only story with any real impact is “Old Habits” and it’s actually the one I wish was reprinted for either Ink Exchange or Fragile Eternity, because it does get into a lot of the changes with Niall taking the throne of the Dark Court. Yes, it’s largely inconsequential to the plot line in either book, but given how important all of the changes are in this world, I feel like it did need to be in one of the books to explain things further. The original inspiration for the series, “The Sleeping Girl and the Summer King” is probably my favorite story in the entire collection—it’s not actually involving any of the characters from Wicked Lovely (merely analogues at best), but it’s still the most effective, and you can see the seeds of the series in that story. Of all the stories, not just for Wicked Lovely but the collection as a whole, I think that “Unexpected Family” is the weakest. I know it’s only a dozen or so pages, but when the whole plot is Seth going to see his mortal parents, there really needs to be more than just “Oh, hey so I’m a faerie prince now and going to outlive you, we cool?” and his parents being fine with it. (Which is such a contrast from the final story “Merely Mortal” which is basically Keenan utterly failing at being a mortal boy and Donia mocking him for it. And the Winter Court having to explain away magic as “special effects.” Again, for as much as I hate Keenan, I actually really liked him “Merely Mortal.”)

I really would love to see a complete original collection from Marr, and I do think it’s worth seeking out the original short stories in this collection. As I said, she is a very talented prose writer, and I think with the obvious nature of short stories, her writing is more effective here than in her books. As for the Wicked Lovely stories, I wouldn’t say to definitely go out of your way to hunt these down, with the exceptions of “Old Habits” (for plot reasons) and “Merely Mortal.” It’s a good collection, and I did really like it, but I think it’s one that you’re going to have to really be a fan of her other books to fully enjoy.
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04/16/2014 marked as: currently-reading
04/20/2014 marked as: read
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