Title: Wondrous Strange (Click here to browse inside this book)
Author: Lesley Livingston
Published: December 23, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperbound ($17.99 CDN)
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Wondrous Stranage, Darklight & (unnamed 3rd novel)
Copy: Provided by Harpercollins Canada
From the Publisher:
Kelley Winslow is living her dream. Seventeen years old, she has moved to New York City and started to work with a theatre company. Sure, she’s only an understudy for the Avalon Players, a third-tier repertory company so far off- Broadway it might as well be in Hoboken, but things are looking up—the lead has broken her ankle and Kelley’s about to step into the role of Titania the Faerie Queen in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Faeries are far more real than Kelley thinks, though, and a chance encounter in Central Park with a handsome young man named Sonny Flannery plunges her into an adventure she could never have imagined.
Sonny is a Janus Guard, charged by Auberon, the King of Winter, with watching over the gate into the land of Faerie, which lies within Central Park. For Sonny, the pretty, young actress is an enigma. Strong and willful, she sparks against his senses like a firecracker, and he can’t get her out of his mind. As Hallowe’en approaches and the Samhain Gate opens, Sonny and Kelley find themselves drawn to each other—and into a terrible plot that could spell disaster for both New York and Faerie alike.
I picked up Wondrous Strange many times while browsing the shelves at Chapters but never could commit to buying the book for reasons I can't remember. This was one of four novels sent to me by Harpercollins Canada and one of the many books I read on my vacation. To say the least I am now kicking myself in the pants for not picking up Wondrous Strange sooner!
In Wondrous Strange Lesley Livingston has created dynamic, endearing and genuine characters that by the end of the book felt like old friends and hated enemies. Her writing and dialogue seemed effortless and while the story itself was not as dark as many of my favorite faery books I found this to be refreshing. I enjoyed the variety of mythical characters that were included in this story which appear to be very well researched. I feel Lesley Livingston did an excellent job weaving mythical characters in a new and modern way that will appeal to fantasy addicts and faery enthusiasts.
The story of Kelley's history and parentage is creative and full of surprises and the plot twists continue to the very end of the story. The book takes place in New York and while I have never been all that interested in visiting the renowned city, after wandering through Central Park with Kelly as the author describes various monuments and later with Sonny as he works to protect the gates of faery I have changed my mind. If ever I get the opportunity to visit Central Park I am sure I will be unable to resist looking for faeries around every tree and under every bridge.
This review wouldn't be complete without mentioning the chemistry filled relationship that develops after a chance encounter in Central park between handsome Sonny Flannery and Kelley Winslow. It won't take long for you to fall a little bit in love with Sonny and by the end of the novel when they are both risking everything they have and everything they have ever known to be together you'll be gripping the pages with white knuckles in suspense and anticipation.
If you enjoy young adult fiction I highly recommend you add this book to your summer reading list. If you have previously read the works of Melissa Marr and Holly Black then I guarantee you will love Wondrous Strange. Darklight, the second book in the planned trilogy is already available and I am sure after reading the first novel you will be as eager as me to get your hands on a copy!
My Rating: 4/5