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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Melt by Michele Barrow-Belisle is a Faerie Song Saga novella. Venus destroyed everything in her path during her last trip to Drearyton Cove, but now she knows her greatest enemy is her sister so she returns to find the mother who abandoned her. She has two weeks to find answers. Two weeks to uncover the secrets of her past and what led to her abandonment. Two weeks before her father comes to find her. As she makes her way through a normal life, she turns to Lorelei's best friends for help, and works to unveil the murderer behind the death of witches. She explores a life she never got to live, and a chance to understand the mother and sister she never got to know. What she finds is the last thing she ever expected: a possible redemption and a surprising new chance at love.
Michele Barrow-Belisle unravels the complex story of Lorelei's greatest enemy: Venus. Barrow-Belisle takes this villain you want to despise and makes you completely sympathize with her. Venus's perspective allows for a chance to understand her and to see her as more than just a villain. In her search for her past, she explores an inner search for her own identity as she's still both Venus and Isobel, but at the same time she's no longer either one. She has to find who she is now and what actions she's going to take moving forward. Her names are often interchangeable, depending on who she's speaking to, as her mother refers to her as Isobel, the daughter she lost, and most others refer to her as Venus, the villain she became.
Barrow-Belisle returns to where Lorelei began, bringing the story back into this small town and tying up story lines that began in the first books of the Faerie Song Saga series. By returning to this town, Venus is faced with the actual fall-out of her actions and sees up close the devastation she caused, which dives into her new experiences with guilt and how that now affects her. It's this guilt that gives her a real sense that redemption is possible, and makes you actually root for her to achieve it. Melt delves into Venus's motivations and history, weaving her discovery of family through a redemption story and a journey for identity.