Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, Book 1)
by Lesley Livingston
2009 HarperTrophy Canada
Softcover Edition; 330 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-55468-274-4
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Local Library

5 / 5 Stars

Seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow thinks that playing the role of the fairy queen Titania in a production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream could be her lucky break - if she can pullit off.  But when she meets the handsome Sonny Flanney, Kelley has to face the shocking truth that the world of Faeries is all too real - and that she is an unwitting part of it.  Sonny warns Kelley that she is no mere mortal, and that she is being hunted by powerful forces from the Faerie realm.  Now, Kelley must come to terms with her heritage - and her growing feelings for Sonny - if she wants to save not only herself, but also the human world that she holds dear.

My Thoughts
I was completely enthralled and engaged by this novel right from the beginning.  It had a great plot, fantastic characters, romance, adventure, and fantasy.  If you are a fan of anything faerie and the faerie world, you will absolutely love this book.

Kelley is a struggling actress who lands the lead role in Midsummer Night's Dream.  As she struggles to come to terms with her new role, she ends up in Central Park and meets Sonny, a Janus guard for the Faerie King Auberon, who unwittingly brings her into the faerie world and the dangers therewithin.  Kelley is a super protagonist.  She is tough, skeptical, determined, yet vulnerable at the same time, with none of the ditziness so apparent in other heroines.  I really enjoyed the scenes when Sonny is trying to convince her of her Faerie status and she reacts like any normal human being would react, she thinks he's insane and that he's stalking her.  Go Kelley!!  I felt connected to these characters right from the beginning and for me, that's really important when I am reading a novel.  I enjoyed Sonny's bumbling charm, despite the fact he's a seasoned killer, and I loved Kelley's skepticism in the face of what she sees around her.  Sonny is what I think of when I think of hero.  Can I sigh here?  And then there was Puck, a truly unique and fun character whom I adored, and Kelley's roommate, who was not what I expected.  

The plot itself was really enjoyable.  While I did guess at some plot points, there were enough things that caught me off guard, that I was completely oblivious to, that made it fun to read.  And the action was non-stop, with one thing happening after another, with little room to breathe.  But that's one of the things that made this novel so fun.  I also enjoyed the fact that there were other creatures to be found in this novel other than faeries - like Black Shucks, kelpies, and leprechauns - all neatly woven into a seamless whole. 

Ms. Livingston writes with a lyrical style that immediately grabs your attention and draws you in.  The story was very original and all of the characters were fun and quirky.  Wondrous Strange is a fantastic debut novel by a remarkably talented author and I am looking forward to reading the next novel in this series, Darklight.


  1. Great review! I have similar thoughts about Wondrous Strange and I think you'll like Darklight a lot although I didn't think it was quite as good but I think that occurs frequently with the second book in a series.

  2. thanks for the review, i've added it to my TBR list. also, took your button!