Wondrous strange. I love the title of this book, which also happens to be the title of the trilogy. Can you think of anything that is such a mix of wonder and strangeness that the two components cannot be distinguished? In this book, both faeries and love are "wondrous strange". This book is about faeries, a topic that has been speculated, discussed, and written countless times. Like many stories about those peculiar creatures that do not have the ability to lie, this story has been heavily influenced by Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this rather "fresh" story about faeries. It has a very original plot, although it did have its fair share of the usual corniness since the main character Kelley is the daughter of 2 faery monarchs.
I loved the two characters Sonny and the Fennrys Wolf. Yes, he is called THE Fennrys Wolf. Fenn doesn't have as big a part in this book than in the later two books, but he is still an essential character. Both are Janus, warriors appointed by the winter king Oberon to guard the gate between the worlds of fey and mortals. All Janus are mortal changelings, snatched out of the mortal realm by faeries. Also, both are pretty darn cute but in different ways. Fenn was a Viking warrior before he became a changeling, so he has the “Grrr I’m a tough guy! DO. NOT. MESS. WITH ME.” attitude. But secretly, he’s a teddy bear inside. Sonny is the newest member of the Janus guard and is Irish. He’s just a plain old teddy bear, but he will still kick your butt if you call him a “teddy bear”. Unlike in Shakespeare’s writing, Oberon does not rule the summer kingdom with Titania. He is the Unseelie king. Sonny, raised by Oberon, never thought of associating love with a mortal until he met Kelley, his mysterious not-so-mortal "firecracker". ;) Inside reference! Gotta read this book to understand it!
Kelley is a strong female lead. She left her home and her aunt to pursue her acting career. No, Kelley is not a movie star. Kelley acts out Shakespeare plays as part of the Avalon Theatre Company. She somehow juggles her mortal life with discovering her faery heritage and learning how to deal with it. Talk about multitasking!
I really liked Wondrous Strange, but I felt like there were some slow parts that caused me to lose interest. This still was a phenomenal book, but it wasn't perfect. The writing of Lesley Livingston was wonderful, full of breathtaking imagery and innovative action scenes. You won't be bored when you read a battle scene!
If you're looking for a fantasy romance, Wondrous Strange is not what you're looking for, although I highly encourage you to read it. This book has a bit of romance, but there aren't any steamy scenes that cause a major crush on the male protagonist.
I absolutely loved this starting from the moment a Kelpie appears in Kelley’s bathroom and runs itself a bath! Kelley saved the Fae horse from drowning and it unexpectedly followed her home. At least her high maintenance roommate handled it well:
“My eighty-dollar bar of hand-milled Japanese herbal complexion soap. From Japan. He ate it. He also ate your two-dollar bar of Irish Spring. I let him eat that one. Actually, I gave it to him to eat.“
This book is so fun, and cute, and magical, and humorous! I love Kelley; she doesn’t let anyone push her around, strives towards her dreams, and can throw a mean punch. Of course she has no idea that she’s not much different than the character she’s portraying in her first major role. Sonny, a mortal who guards the gates to the Otherworld, notices that there’s something special about the seemingly human Kelley and follows her around. This gets him a fist in the face. Eventually Kelley learns the truth and needs Sonny’s help to evade the magical creatures which are after her.
I also appreciated that romance wasn’t immediate and in-your-face. There is no insta-love, cosmic connection, “we’re meant to be together” nonsense. In fact, Kelley brushes off Sonny as a stalker and weirdo in the beginning (and of course punches him). Their romance doesn’t even begin to develop until near the end, and it’s very sweet. But almost as soon as it arises, their love must take the backseat to the action of the Wild Hunt.
A wonderful mix of mythology and Shakespeare, Wondrous Strange exceeded my expectations and stood out from other YA Urban Fantasy books. I most definitely recommend this one!
Book Review: I think I see a new obsession on the horizon. Faeries!!!!!!
I honestly don't know why I picked this book up off the shelf. I had
passed it often and thought the cover was pretty, but I always had a
beef with faeries for some unknown reason. I finally picked it up and
read the summary and was quite intrigued. I liked it very much and you
know I am always a sucker for a good series. Even though this was a
short book it told a lot without seeming rushed or hurried. And not a
lot of authors can do that. Kelley was very new because it's not often
that I read about an actress. The things in this book were something I
wasn't used to and I found that I still loved it! You should totally buy
it! The next book in the series, Darklight is already out and
waiting for you!
I confess that I hate the book cover, so this isn't the reason why I
decided to read this book. Around the blogosphere, this book, along with
Darklight is lighting up like a
"firecracker." (Those who read the book will know what I'm talking
about!) So I decided to read and review it for myself to see what all
the fuss is about.
Pros: the plot is well laid out, the
characters are well-developed and entertaining, plenty of action and
humor, and the book was well-written.
Cons: Wondrous Strange lagged in the
beginning, and took me a while to get into. But I was glad a fellow
blogger (Kelly at Midnight Glance) told me about that specific con of
the book before I read it, so I knew that it was going to get better.
And it definitely did! A minor con in the book was one of the main
characters' name: Sonny. I didn't like his name at all. I wish
Livingston would've switched Sonny and Maddox's names. I felt that
"Maddox" was a better fit for Sonny's character, and the name "Sonny"
seemed more like a main character's sidekick name. But like I said, very
Even though I really enjoyed Wondrous Strange, this isn't one of my favorite books. I
can't really say why, but it's
Lesley Livingston wrote a great first novel, and I will add
Darklight to my huge
Wondrous Strange is an absolutely stellar debut from Lesley Livingston. Wondrous Strange is just magic, and you find yourself addicted from page 1. Wondrous Strange bends reality just enough to incorporate the fantasy and still have that realistic feel about it.
I have seen Wondrous Strange compared to books like Wicked Lovely and Tithe everywhere. I haven't read Wicked Lovely, but I have read Tithe. I liked Tithe, but I felt Wondrous Strange crossed the line and became amazing. I loved the incorpotation of theater in the plot. The story was that many know, so as you read the book you saw the characters in different places. I loved the point of view switch at times - you had parts told from Kelley's point of view and other's from Sonny's.
The characters all just come alive! Even minor characters that play such a small role, stick out in your mind and are memorable. Sonny was such a sweet character - you can't help but to fall for him. Sonny and Kelley's romance was so sweet and had me awwwing at it throughout the entire book.
The ending will leave you breathless, and begging for the sequel. I would recommend Wondrous Strange to everyone! Whether you're a fairy lover or not, this is a book to read!
What can I say? I was hooked on this book. It was a quick read and very enjoyable. It weaves together fairy folk lore and modern day New York and creates a fun backdrop. The story also mixes in themes from a Midsummer Night's Dream. With creative twists and fun plots, I had no trouble reading this book within an evening and wishing there was a more at the end!! The story seemed very well thought out. Wondrous Strange was surprisingly comical at times and then would turn to drama and romance with perfect timing. The only downfall for me was the main character. I wanted to know more about her as a person. She was not as developed as I would have liked. I hope in the next installment, we can find out more about her. As a side note: the cover is GORGEOUS! If you like stories of fairies, you will no doubt enjoy this one! I would recommend this book for 13 and up.
I loved this book. At first I was like Â¨meh, this is a stupid book."But then I kept reading and got hooked on the book. I stayed up all night reading it. Each page , each paragraph,each sentance, each word leaving me wanting more! Many unsuspecting things . I truly hope that this becomes a series. IÂ´d love to see/read Kelley finding and saving Sonny. Wondrous Strange kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time i was reading it . I reccomend it for anyone who loves a bit of mystery, and fantasy. And magic. Truely a great book.
17-year-old, Kelley is an actress living in New York. She's potraying Titania, faerie queen, in a performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, but she never thought real faeries existed... until she met Sonny.
Sonny is a changeling; A human child raised with Faeries, destined to become a guard for the gates seperating the human world and the faerie world.
The story alternates between Kelley and Sonny, giving the reader an insight into each character's mind. Both characters were well thought. I think that's what makes this story so good. Wondrous Strange will have you counting the days to the release of the sequel.
Wondrous Strange starts
out...oddly. Like a nightmare. Well technically speaking it starts out
like a play's script, but the actual start of the novel begins like a
nightmare. All I really saw was 'THE WILD HUNT' and suddenly I was so
interested. I love The Wild Hunt--the mythology, stories based around,
whatever have you. So for me that was an insta-bonus point.
I've heard remarks that this is very similar to Tithe,
which I have not read. I'm not sure why...just haven't. Which might be
for the best. I wanted to enjoy this book on its own merits after all.
I did enjoy it--I enjoyed Kelley's sparking anger, Sonny's oddly
innocent bravery, Maddox's protectiveness, Puck's malicious playfulness
and the casual cruelty that only those with lots of power over someone
can inflict so easily.
Sure some of the twists were
predictable, but that's not a bad thing since its fun watching the
characters all sort of go 'How did THAT happen?'. And this really is a
sort of 'Who's Who' of Celtic mythology. You name it and it does
appear. Which was fun for me because I got to flex my way out of use
Celtic lore skills.
The pace is set pretty quick, with the
timeline being roughly nine days long and once things are set into
motion they don't stop. Character development is sparse for the most
part, with only the major revelations spurring any true growth. It
would be kind of hard not to grow as a person honestly after some of
what is said.
Truly my favorite character was Puck. Say what you will--the man knows how to have a good lark.
((reprinted with author's permission))