Customer Reviews: Still Life (Wildside Romance)
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on July 28, 2004
Ghostalker and dreamwalker Nyssa searches for information to fill the vast gaps of what she knows about her past. Nyssa is almost obsessed with finding out who she is and what her connection to hobgoblin Qasim is.

Cop Jack Frost becomes concerned with Nyssa's probe reaching the attention of those who would use and abuse her or others who will kill her. To keep her safe from the FBI and goblin goons, he dispatches the entity Abrial, but initially she refuses his help. That changes as the Feds and the goblins begin to give chase. Travelers on the run with no hope of dispatching a courier to Jack, the two outsiders Nyssa and Abrial fall in love. However, their relationship means new groups who would not want a merger between a ghostalking dreamwalker and a night entity for fear of what the next generation will bring.

The latest walk on the "Wildside" is a wonderful romantic fantasy that adds new elements that brilliantly fit and enhance the existing Jackson mythos. The action-packed story line is filled with mythological creatures, who along side of government agencies make Wildside seem real. However, the crucial component that invigorates STILL LIFE is the love subplot between two souls who know they should not, but could not prevent their feelings from showing even with danger mounting from seemingly everywhere.

Harriet Klausner
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on August 9, 2004
Nyssa has few memories; dreams are the majority of her reality. Amnesia has hidden her importance in the struggle between humans and goblins, but when she begins to know that she has information critical to the war, she places herself in danger. To keep her safe, Jack Frost, the death fey/boss on the side of light dispatches Abrial, a dreamwalker of the Unseelie court. Her dreams made Abrial love her, but he believed that to be a doomed love. Even if she could defy his moira and love him, inside her is a dark secret that her own father would kill her to take.

**** With unerring surety, another Wildside romance enchants readers, daring them to love. The pace remains tense and fast through the climatic finale. Ms. Jackson deftly balances the elements of romance, magic, and adventure to complement each other. Sadly, we will have somewhat of a wait until she escorts us to through this dangerous world again. Whatever comes next, it will be good. ****

Amanda Killgore for Huntress Reviews.
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VINE VOICEon August 5, 2004
I love the Wildside books. This is the fourth one. I hope there will be many more.

While the characters are good, the romance leaves alittle to be desired. Abrial is a wonderful character, he is the Unseelie Queen's Executioner. As Mabigon is dead, he is free of her.

Nyssa really doesn't know who she is. But she has some bad suspicions. She is hunting for her lost memories. This leads her into the past. IT also brings her to the attention of Abrial and Jack Frost.

Yes! All of our former friends are in this book. I loved catching up with all of them.

Jack sends Abrial to get Nyssa and bring her to Cadalach. They have to fight goblins (including Lilith), the government, HUG, and the hobgoblin (Qasim). The chase is on.

Very fast paced, with a great plot. But I felt there was not enough emphasis on the romance. Yes the guy gets the girl, but it was way too easy for them to fall in love.

Abrial has had to live without many emotions to protect himself from the stress or memories of the many kills he made for the Dark queen (Mabigon). Nyssa had so many questions in her life she didn't let herself get involved with anyone.

There seemed to be a great deal of room for both to be more shaken by the emotions they feel for each other. Anyway I would have liked to have understood more.

All in all, I never miss one of the Wildside Romances. Neither should you.I enjoyed the book and sat up late to finish it.
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Melanie Jackson is a lyrical, poetic writer so strong on imagery. I have long seen this in her writing from the first book I read of her, and this skill has lonely grown with each book. A good writer makes me "see" their story, not just read it, and few have such power to paint pictures as Jackson. She has done Historicals and paranormals, but she has really hit her stride with her Goblin series (Traveler, Outsiders, The Courier). They are original, fresh and I cannot wait to see what the Goblins destroy next! There tales are lush with ancient Celtic lore and myths, and Still Life - the fourth in the series - is another winner. I am hoping to see her Goblins one day destroy the Kentucky Derby or play havoc with the Highland Games. Surely, they are going to attack Venice...row, row, row your boats Goblin style!
In the fourth tale, Nyssal Laszlo, suffers from amnesia, yet in her dreams, snippets of the forgotten past are coming to her. In these dreams, she discovers she had the power to project her mind. While researching ancient myths and lore, she discovers an ancient relic. Medieval monks presumed it was the skeleton of an angel, but Nyssal recognizes it for what it really it - the skeleton of one of them pesky smelly goblins. This triggers vivid dreams in Nyssal. She has an important role in the never-ending battle between man and goblin, but is unaware of this. With each projection of her mind, she grows more concerned she carries important information locked within her. She repetitively walks in her dreams into a portrait, a still life, rich in color and detail. And each time she returns to the still life, she discovers dark things, learns who she really is - whether she wants to or not.
The Unseelie Court - bad faeries - had a long ago pack with the Goblins, and they fear Nyssal's dream projections. Abrial, is a dreamwalker and he is sent by Jack Frost to pursue Nyssal in her dream state. As Abrial follows her in this dream realm, he comes to love her, but in his heart, he fears their love is doomed. Inside Nyssal is a dark secret making her a target. Even her father would rather see Nyssal dead than reveal what is hidden deep with in her.
Abrial is a strong hero, the dark tormented Alpha male. The executioner for the Seelie Court, Abrial has so long lived without emotions, blocking them in ordered to live with the guilt of those deaths he caused. Nyssal's mind projection is able to break down his barriers, reach him.
Jackson once again takes myths, legends and lore and skillfully weaves them into the struggle to save mankind from the Goblin menace. The pace is fast, the concept imaginative and fresh, showing Jackson is a paranormal writer who blazes her own paths through the Goblin Wood. Yes, there will be a 5th Goblin tale. A shame we have to wait until next year!
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on August 29, 2004
I have enjoyed Melanie Jackson's Wildside series especially the first book in the series, The Traveler. Still Life is her newest book in the series.

As usual Jackson goes into depth detailing the Goblin "Lutin" empire, the Fey, and H.U.G (Humans Underground)- the machinations, conspiracies and political propaganda that surround each component of her altenative universe. You have no trouble buying into the world she has created.

What I found lacking in the book was the characterization and love story between the lead characters Abrial and Nyssa. I found no differentiation between them and other characters in the preceding books so far. Abrial was painted as this mysterious, aloof character who was once an Executioner for the Unseelie Court- yet he came of as a regular Joe. The mystery surrounding him was downplayed and their was no in depth examination of his character. It would have been interesting to read about the Unseelie Court through his eyes but the author simply left us hanging with Abrial as a whole. I never warmed up to him because I felt I did not know him at all.

Nyssa was better written and you understand more about her because it is integral to the storyline but nothing that really made me relate to her. The sensuality in the book was lukewarm and I was never convinced as to why these two were falling for each other. Another aspect that was left kind of hanging in the book.

Overall, I would give this book a 3.5 stars. If the romance story had been as strong as those in her other books it would have been better. But I would still pick up the next book just to see what is happening in the Wildside universe (and keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a better entry.)
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on August 24, 2004
Without giving too much away, let me say first off that Ms. Jackson has chosen a heroine worthy of her talents. As I began this book, I was sure she going to give us a truly courageous story.

But sadly, I was disappointed to see it descend into the same tired old anti-goblin propaganda--particularly in the case of Qasim. Why, the way she draws him, one would almost think he was the villain of the piece. Is there no respect for property in this country any more? All the poor hobgoblin is trying to do is get back a critical item belonging to him. Granted it was hidden in a--shall we say--most unorthodox place.

All this hysteria over what would be, at worst, a trifling mutilation is surely unnecessary. And to what avail? The love scenes sizzle, the action crackles, and the humor bubbles throughout the story. Ah, Ms Jackson, if only you could rid yourself of your unfortunate prejudices, you could do so much good for our cause.


Second Deputy Assistant to the Undersecretary

in Charge of Human Relations,

New Orleans Hive
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on August 21, 2004
As part of the Goblin Underground, I must protest Ms. Jackson's continual misrepresentation of Goblinkind. What's so wrong with Goblin fruit? Frankly, it cannot be any worse than chocolate? Both are addictive, but chocolate can make your face break out and can put a pound or two on the saddle bags. So which is worse? Goblin fruit! WHY??? Simply because Ms. Jackson tells us so. Now she is maligning the Unseelie Court. Is there nothing sacred to this woman?

There is small doubt she is a talented writer, and this is a very imaginative read, just can she go co harass gremlins or cave trolls and leave us poor Goblins alone? But will she? Not as long as she keeps convincing us how cleaver she is.

Abrial is a cool hero, slayer for the Unseelie Court, but I sure liked the guy with dragon wings.

Ms. Jackson, beware! The Goblins'll get you if you don't watch out!!
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on September 23, 2004
This series is close to an end and in a way I'm pretty grateful. While it was interesting, it could have been so much better in the hands of a stronge writer. The women have been strong and the men incredibly sexy. The problem is the uneven pacing. When the romantic time comes in the book it is rushed and extremly unromantic. The endings are too abrupt and many times confusing. What starts off as a bang usually ends with a whimper. Don't get me wrong,if you need a paranormal fix this book would calm your hunger pains but it won't sate your appetite.
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on August 24, 2004
This is nowhere as good as previous books in this series, which I enjoyed very much. I found this hero and heroine to be much too bland, who didn't live up to their colorful family backgrounds. I never felt like I got to know them very well (and maybe they weren't worth the effort). The long chase across the desert was singularly lacking in suspense. The appearance of characters from previous books felt like so many unnecessary cameos to me. In short, I had hoped for a flashier, meatier read from Melanie Jackson and was left feeling unfulfilled.
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on February 8, 2016
not for me
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