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.
Kelley is a normal teen girl and aspiring actress. She final lands her big break as Titania in a production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. One evening, she heads off to Central Park to practice her lines, and has no idea how close she is to the real creatures of Shakespeare’s work…
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!
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.
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.
From book jacket: For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her. Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faeries enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year. This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting Human world, something different is happening& something wondrous and strange. And Kelleys eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her. Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery and her growing feelings for Sonny in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.
Favorite characters, quotes/lines: Sonny: I like it when the guy love interests are protective&!
When I finished this book I felt: I was a bit disappointed. I did like it, but it wasnt as amazing as I thought it would be. For a first novel I thought it was good& but Ive read better books& nothing about this one really stuck with me.
Other books to read by this author: this is the authors first book
I would recommend this book to: teen supernatural romance readers
Kelly is a 17 year old understudy given her big break when the woman playing Titania in an-off broadway production of a Midsummer Nights Dream is injured. The world of Faerie becomes all too real for her soon after she saves a drowning horse in Central Park and captures the attention of Sonny Flannery, a human changeling guarding the gates between Faerie and Earth.
The combination of magical elements from Celtic lore, the excitement of the theatre and the feisty cast of characters ensnared my attention from the start, and left me gasping for a sequel at the end. I liked how the story switched from Kellys point of view to Sonnys and the surprises that unfolded at the end. I did not see those coming. The supporting characters all had their distinct personalities and were memorable. Thinking about the horse in the bathtub chomping on lucky charms still makes me smile! I LOVED this book.