The Dark Realm of Elfpunk: A Review

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to two of my favorite authors from my favorite literary genre, Holly Black and Melissa Marr. Elfpunk, also known as Faerypunk, stems from the urban fantasy genre. This unique branch of fantasy is special for its use of mythical creatures in urban settings, and when done right, makes for a magical, modern tale. The term was comically defined by Scott Westerfield, a judge of the 2007 National Book Awards; “Elfpunk is pretty much full of elves and fairies and traditional sh–.”

My favorite books by Melissa Marr were written from 2007 to 2013 and are all part of Wicked Lovely, a Young Adult series consisting of six primary novels, five short stories, and one 3-volume manga series converted into a full length novel. Thus far I have only read the primary novels, but am eagerly seeking out the other, more elusive publications of the series. The first four books tell the tale of a small set of individuals – both earthly and otherworldly creatures – and the last book weaves each separate story into a mesmerizing, dramatic finale. Marr does an amazing job of keeping her storylines straight and connected, and has created an entire world that exists invisibly alongside our earthly realm.

Holly Black is arguably most well-known for co-writing the Spiderwick Chronicles with Tony DiTerlizzi, a middle grade series of five primary novels, three companion books, and three secondary novels. I have read all of these and loved them, though they were written more for those younger than me – and her books more geared toward my age are even better. The Modern Faerie Tales is a series of three books: Tithe, Ironside, and Valiant. Tithe and Ironside are two of my favorite books of all time; tithethey spin the story of a changeling struggling to find her place in both the human world, and the strange courts of Faerie. Gritty and enchanting, you will not be able to put these books down.

Elfpunk is my favorite genre for a few reasons: for one, who doesn’t like magical creatures? Two, the fantasy and punk elements make for interesting dystopian literature. Finally, these stories make good use of the inexplicable movements, dark figures, and lurking shadows that we all see, but never dared to define.

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