Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wondrous Strange - Lesley Livingston

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.

Since we are still in the reading phase of a few books, we decided to dig up an oldy, but a goody!
I was so addicted to this trilogy!  We'll talk about the first book of the three for those who haven't YET read these books (what are you waiting for?).  We wouldn't want to give away the good stuff!
Seriously, I flew through all three books in, like a weekend.  And yes Sonny Flannery, our faerie hero, was my book boyfriend for the duration of this reading adventure.
So, a few things caught my eye when I decided to start with this book... 1 - love the title!  "Wondrous Strange" just sounded so wonderfully strange (I know, I know...I couldn't help it), 2 - hauntingly beautiful cover!  It just screamed "Pick me up, and start reading me.  You really want to hear my story", 3 - Canadian writer!  woot woot for my Canadian peeps (!), and 4 - Shakespeare ...*collective sigh*...
Livingston has written a beautiful story of the faerie world that is beyond what you ever thought a faerie world would be.  She has also introduced us to a cast of characters that are unique in their own way, and that are so unbelievable addictive to read about. 
We follow the story of Kelley Winslow, an aspiring actress who has landed the role of Titania, the fairy queen in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.  After a chance encounter with a certain hunky fairy named Sonny, a Janus Guard, Kelley learns that she is actually part of the faerie world where she must learn to deal with this new found knowledge, and still learn to live in a human world...while trying to thwart her impending death.  Romance, action, adventure...Sounds good, doesn't it?
My favorite aspect of this book was the interaction between Kelley and Sonny, and reading how their characters develope, as well as their relationship.  The supporting characters, Maddox,Camina, Bellamy, Jack (to name a few)  are also unforgettable...all with their own individual strengths and personalities.
Livingston's writing style is so addictive.  Her writing flows flawlessy from one page to the next, leaving just enough at the end of each chapter to make you want to keep reading.  Before I read this trilogy, I was not really into reading about the faerie folk, but after reading these books I came to love them, and for awhile, i couldn't get enough of them!  The plot twists and turns that Livingston adds through her book kept my head spinning, and my mind guessing.  I swear, I was pretty much smiling the entire time I was reading them.
 It's one of those...once you read it, you have to keep going...meaning, have all three books on hand!  You'll want to have your own mini-read-a-thon.

I originally came by Wondrous Strange because I saw that two authors who I absolutely adore (L.J. Smith who wrote Vampire Diaries, Night World, Night of the Solstice, The Secret Circle, etc AND Melissa De La Cruz, Blue Bloods) had said good things about it. Half the time, since I'm very easy to sway, I end up taking a look at it. I hadn't expected (key word expected) much from the novels before reading them and thought that they would be something I would read when I had nothing else to read. I'm so glad that when I had gotten Wondrous Strange I had nothing to read, or I would have missed out on something awestastic (yeah I just said that).
It even has a bunch of great of creatures like Sirens, the faerie royals from Midsummer Night's Dream and other creatures that you may or may not have heard of.
The first few chapters are pretty interesting, I've yet to read a novel about an actress... especially when she ends up being dragged into the world that she's been acting out. It was slightly amusing at times, especially since I developed two crushes during this whole novel, one on Sonny and one on Maddox (who I think is pretty hot). Sonny is just too cute though, he even offers her a rose in the park even though he kind of starts to stalk her.
The main character, Kelly is a very strong female character who reminded me of Val from the Modern Faerie Tale series. It must be because they're both fairy novels. One of my favorite parts that involve her is when she saves a horse from drowning in a lake and ends up keeping it in her... bathtub? Anyhow, the world that Kelly gets pulled into is the actual world that Shakespeare had based Midsummer Night's Dream around.
She ends up learning that she's a faerie, not just any faerie... but I won't ruin the shock for you. Let's just say that Oberon finds her interesting and so does the mysterious and very angry faerie Queen Mabh. Something I found totally cool, the Samhain Gate that Sonny has vowed to protect and every nine years on Halloween it connects the Faerie Realm and our world, letting all of the scary and evil things on the other side come and give us a visit. The issue with the gate? Now that we all know who Kelly is, except for you, Reader, we can understand why the merging for both worlds puts Kelly in more danger than we thought it would.
Did I forget to mention the Wild Hunt which is also part of the great danger that they have to face in the novel? Geez, there were so many twists and challenges in this... I LOVE IT!!!


Kelsey said... Best Blogger Tips

I got these books last year and have read and re-read them many times since!!! They just pull you in! And I agree with you Maddox is totally hot, he was my book crush since the start! :)

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