Friday, May 27, 2016

Review: Seven Black Diamonds

Seven Black Diamonds (Untitled, #1)Author: Melissa Marr
Series: Untitled, #1
Released: March 1st 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Length: 400 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal. Her father’s “unconventional” business has meant a life of tightly held secrets, concealed weaponry, and a strict code. But Lily’s crime isn’t being the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Her guilt lies in the other half of her DNA—the part that can coax ancient rumors from stones and summon fire with a thought. Lily is part fae, which is a crime in her world.
From the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humanity and fae. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir—a death that was the fault of reckless humans.
Lily’s father has shielded her from the repercussions of her ancestry…until she is sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, straight into the arms of the Black Diamonds.
Mysterious, glamorous, and bound together in their mission but constantly at odds, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy are a Sleeper cell of fae, planted in the human world to help destroy it from within. With covers as rock stars and celebrity children, the Black Diamonds carry out the queen’s war against humanity. And unbeknownst to Lilywhite, she’s been chosen to join them.
Now more than ever, Lily’s heritage puts her in peril, and even the romantic attention of the fae singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the safer world of organized crime.
Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there. 

After a fairly long absence, Seven Black Diamonds signifies Marr’s return to the fae world, albeit in a somewhat different setting. Her debut series Wicked Lovely was about the fae and it was extremely successful. I can only assume it’s where she still feels most comfortable. Those who’ve read both Wicked Lovely and Diamonds claim that there are many parallels, which I can neither confirm nor deny. I can only say it wouldn’t bother me if both were successful, but Seven Black Diamonds is a far cry from Made For You, a paranormal thriller and the only one of Marr’s books I’ve truly enjoyed.

Seven Black Diamonds offers so many different points of view in such a brief time that it’s difficult to keep track of all of them and their stories. I felt so confused throughout the first half and I was forced to go back and look up some details just to confirm I wasn’t going crazy. It’s difficult to get attached to any of the characters when so many are pushed in front of you at once. To be honest, most of my focus was on trying to figure out who was who and what might be their agenda.

This was so obviously the first in a series, a ‘meet the characters’ sort of deal. There really wasn’t much of a plot, nothing structured or tangible at least, and all of it was mostly about establishing complicated relationships. There was supposed to be one big revelation, but it was clearly visible from a mile away and Marr failed to bring any excitement into it. The weak love triangle that really wasn’t a love triangle at all (which made it all the more unnecessary) further complicated things.

I can’t really find much praise for Marr’s writing this time either. We could perhaps blame it on so many brief chapters told from different perspectives, but the narrative didn’t run smoothly and it lacked any real emotions. I wish I could have believed any of it, but it just wasn’t convincing. Seeing as I am a fan of at least one of her books, I can honestly say that Melissa Marr can do much, much better. Perhaps it would help to stick with one or two characters in the future, preferably Lilly and Eilidh (and just btw, it drives me crazy that they routinely call a heavily scarred girl Patches). Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll pick up the sequel and find out.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. Fae aren't really my fave paranormal creatures, so I haven't checked Marr's debut series and I had no intention to start another series either, so thank you for confirming my choice for me, Maja!

    If she writes other standalones like Made You Up, I'll totally be there willing to check them out though!

  2. Hmmm...I’ve only read the first book in her WICKED LOVELY series, but I didn’t enjoy that one too much. Then again–I was only in the 7th grade when I picked it up! Might give that one a re-read and if I like it, then I’ll give this one a try. Great review! :D

  3. Okay, so it's not just me then. I've picked this book up, read a little & put it down so many darned times hoping that I'd fall into it *sigh* Sadness.

  4. it's trua that after a while when an author you like releases a book you expect somthing more and it's that that you didn't get what you wanted there

  5. Oh too bad! I'm behind on my Marr reading, but I may have to put this one off. If I hear good things about the sequel I might give it a go, but need to remember what you said here.

  6. I read her Widked Loverly series about a million years ago, and liked it, but I doubt i would enjoy them now because of some crazy love triangle stuff that I wouldn't have the patience snymore. I did enjoy her supernatural mystery Made For You, though, this doesn't seem like a good story for me. Too much going on and another love triangle! No. Great honest review, Maja. I can see why this wouldn't work for you.

  7. UGH THIS IS SO DISAPPOINTING. :( I looved Made For You but that's the only Marr book I've read. So I was super excited about this one because PRETTY and also FEY THINGS. But too many characters and weak romance??? Nope. Nopity nope. My pet peeve is having a ton of characters thrown at me at once. UGH.
    Thanks for this review!! I'll definitely library this one instead of buying and save myself some frustration. ;D
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  8. So disappointing... I loved Wicked Lovely - Ink Exchange is still one of my favorite guilty reads. And the fact that she turned back to the faery world should be good news... Ah, well. I haven't read Made for You yet, so I think I'll try that from her next. As always, a pleasure to read your thought, fair lady :)

  9. I didn't get to read Marr's debut series since the ending was spoiled for me so I'm sad to hear that her newest series isn't as good as her original works. I trust your opinion implicitly so I won't be picking this one up--I hope your next read is a lot more satisfying than this one, Maja!


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