Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Wondrous Strange

Yey! 5 out of 5 stars for the Advils I took during and after reading this book. Advil really is the bomb. Oh wait, I am supposed to be reviewing this book? Sorry. Hold on, let me get a glass of water and some pain killers.

Author: Lesley Livingston

17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelley's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.


Wondrous Strange is very interesting at the beginning. Beautiful characters: a red-head theater actress, a killing-faerie-machine Irish boy, a horse that never poops, and some bipolar fairie monarchs. And even though I read a lot of faerie novels before, the plot is quite unique compare to other ones I read.

The cover is gorgeous. But the girl in the cover has blue eyes. Blue eyes! Oh well. I am willing to overlook that.


Now, here are my problems...

There is no denying that Kelley is a diva, afterall she's an actress. But her diva meter reached an all time high by the end of the first book. And on the last book, I simply cannot stand her. She is selfish and a pain in the butt to be with. I don't understand why Sonny stays with her. On the last book, when she dumped Sonny (to protect him, how unselfish of you, Kelley), she didn't even consider on where he might end up going. You could at least make sure he's going somewhere safe. So you ditched him, left him ignorant of his own powers and as a result, exposing him to more danger? Bravo! You are so brilliant.

I have to give props to the author, I did chuckle at some of the scenes. I find some of the dialogues funny, whether they're intentional or not. My reactions ranged from "hey, that's clever" to "are you kidding me?!" to "oh fuck it, I'll just laugh it off".


“Let’s try this, then,” he said. “I do compel thee by the name of… (drum rolls please) Bob.
The boucca stiffened and stopped in his tracks. He turned and pegged Sonny with a

shrewd gaze. Robin Goodfellow's new name is BOB? Are you shitting me? Really?! Oh god.

Somehow I didn't stop reading, 'cause I'm stupid like that.

Kelley talking about the Black Shuck. “I saw it just fine. Of course, I got a nice, close-up view as it was trying to rip my throat out. It won’t be trying that again.” No, you didn't. You passed out, remember? Oh Kelley, you and your dramatic lines.

Maddox: “You can’t afford to be wrong, Sonny. And you can’t afford to make mistakes. None of us can.” He finished wrapping the bandage and neatly tucked the end in, securing the dressing. “Not during the Nine-Night.” Finally! Someone reliable.

Then on the next scene: Sonny turned back to find Maddox gazing at her, a dreamy expression on his face.
The other Janus sighed, his head nodding in time to the song.
“Maddox!” Sonny’s voice turned sharp. “Snap out of it!”

“Hmm? Oh. I’m good….” So much for being reliable... -_-

Emma and Kelley talking over the phone: “Your necklace, dear, the amber clover—you do still wear it, don’t you?”
“Yes. Why?”

“Don’t take it off, Kelley. Please. For…luck.” Why she told Kelley everything about her heritage but not about the necklace is beyond me.

On describing Fennrys: There was the Fennrys Wolf, legendary for his berserker-like rages and sullen temperament.

The Wolf's reaction when Sonny cannot answer his questions: The Wolf rolled his eyes at that and retreated to perch on the back of a bench. Umm... Somehow, I cannot imagine a Viking Prince rolling his eyes.

When Wolf was arguing with the Janus guards and he lost that argument: There was a murmur among the circle of Janus, and Fennrys spun the knife in his hand and returned it to his boot. “All right, all right,” he said. “It wasn’t a serious suggestion. Bunch of whining—” (where is the berserker-like rages?!)
“Shut up, Fenn,” Godwyn said, fixing the muttering Janus with a warning stare. (yeah, shut up, Fenn)

Somehow, I ended up laughing at this scene: Before Kelley could answer, the front door swung wide and her roommate appeared in the doorway as if summoned. Sonny took one look at her and threw himself off the arm of the couch, sinking into a defensive crouch.
“Seelie witch!” he cried, striking a menacing en garde pose.
Tyff’s eyes blazed like comets. Her beautiful face twisted in an expression of pure hatred.

“Faerie killer!” she spat. This is unintentionally funny. Good job!


All in all, I did enjoy this book for all the wrong reasons. That there are too many comic reliefs, inconsistencies and unlikable characters.

Lesley Livingston has all the right ingredients and the recipe. Too bad she didn't know how to cook.


  1. I love this series… The Author is coming out with a new book this year, and I can't wait!

    1. Hi! It's good that you like this series, unfortunately for me, it's the opposite. But we have our own preferences anyway!

      I also heard about Starling and it sounds interesting. I might read it when it comes out.