June 9, 2011

The Wondrous Strange Trilogy by Lesley Livingston

So last weekend, I participated in a readathon, which was loads of fun! I unfortunately did not make it all 24 hours, and only read half the books I planned on, but I did read the Wondrous Strange trilogy which I've had for a while now.  And because I'm just a lazy person, and I read the whole series in one day, I'm just going to review the series as a whole.

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by HarperCollins Canada / Cdn Kids Mm

"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."

Darklight (Wondrous Strange #2) by Lesley Livingston

Hardcover, 310 pages
Published December 22nd 2009 by HarperTeen

"Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt.
Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.

When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power.
Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.
With breathtakingly high stakes, the talented Lesley Livingston delivers soaring romance and vividly magical characters in Darklight, the second novel in the trilogy that began with Wondrous Strange."

Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange #3) by Lesley Livingston

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by HarperTeen

"I don't love Sonny Flannery."
That's the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn't know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that's hidden deep underneath New York City.
But Kelley's not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she's got to find out who's after his magick—and how to use her own. She's got to uncover who's recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She's got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she's got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he's around Kelley.
The intrigue and romance that began with Wondrous Strange and Darklight come to a stormy head in Tempestuous, the breathtaking conclusion to Lesley Livingston's ravishing urban Faerie trilogy.

My Review:
I'm not really sure how to review 3 books at once... but I'd like to start off by saying this trilogy had plenty of action, an original and captivating story line, and was extremely well written.  There were also plenty of Shakespeare references which I loved.  Honestly, I think this series had EVERYTHING that you need in a good series.  Like, I can rank the plot up there with Harry Potter's storyline.  Yeah, I just compared it to Harry Potter.    

But despite all the obvious awesomeness and plenty of reasons for me to fall in love with this series... I couldn't.  I'm not really sure why, but the main characters didn't really click for me.  Kelley, the protagonist, seemed a little... blah sometimes.  She definitely wasn't boring or annoying either, but I couldn't really care about her for some reason.  And Sonny... yeah, his name bothers me, but don't get me wrong, I liked him.  I actually preferred it when the book was in his POV.  But as the series went on, I didn't really care for his and Kelley's relationship, it was kinda mushy, full of drama, etc.  However I LOVED all the other minor characters, especially Fennrys (is that how you spell his name?) and I wish there was an extrapolation of the love triangle that was kinda there, and at the same time, wasn't.  I liked Maddox and everyone else in the Janus Guard, it was interesting to see how they changed and their different personalities.  

Reading Lesley's bio, it says she has a master's degree in English and specialized in Shakespeare, which I think is awesome.  Kelley is an actress in New York and in Wondrous Strange, she takes part in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  An ironically, she is introduced into the faerie world, and you even get to meet *Puck(!!!)  In Darklight, the main Shakespearean theme is based around Romeo and Juliet, and in Tempestuous, it's The Tempest.  And on the first page of each book, there is a page off the script that Kelley has in her plays, which foreshadow events in the books.  I sound like a dork, but I love how Lesley Livingston uses Shakespeare and the predominant themes in his play to set up the basis for each book.  

Overall: I give this series as a whole 4 out of 5 stars :) If you want me to be specific, I'd give Wondrous Strange 3.5 out of 5 stars, Darklight 4 out of 5 stars, and Tempestuous 4 out of 5 stars.  I'd highly recommend this series to fans of the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr and other faerie books.  This series is definitely one of the better faerie series I've read so far.  I definitely look forward to Lesley Livingston's other works, she's a fabulous writer!

*If you were unaware, I am OBSESSED with Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, and I'm completely in love with Puck.  Puck in the Iron Fey series is of course, a completely different character than in Wondrous Strange, but it's neat how he plays a role in both series's


  1. This is a very interesting series. I've only read the 1st book, but your review makes me wanna pick it up again!

  2. @Dahlia It IS a really good series, I know my review made it sound like I didn't like it lol, but it was very well written :) I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the series!

  3. I've heard really good things about this series and I do have it on my WANT list. :) But I'm really loving the takes on MidSummer Night's Dream these days, so I might have to get it sooner than later. :) Thank you!

  4. @Melissa Thanks for commenting :) Most of what I know of Midsummer Night's Dream is from books lol, but I really want to read the play for myself :)