Lesley Livingston’s first novel, Wondrous Strange, is a quick, fun, and vibrant read. Seventeen year old Kelley Winslow is a fledgling actress living in New York City. As she struggles with a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a series of strange events begin to unfold and Kelley realizes that there is more to her life then there appears to be on the surface. Wondrous Strange is a Harper Teen novel that is very descriptive and enjoyable for any age. I finished it in around two hours easily and judging by the teaser at the end, there is more to follow for Kelley Winslow’s story. At least I hope there is…
The handsome Sonny Flannery gets mysteriously introduced into the novel and the reader hears the story from his point of view. The aspect of duel narrators in Sonny and Kelley really keeps this book engaging. The two points of view show the same story from two different outlooks, giving the reader a fresh perspective in every chapter.
Sonny is a guard, also known as a Janus, for the Faerie realm and has to protect the Earth from fairies entering into Central Park. There is a back story of a war between the Faerie realm and Earth. Entwined in this is also a look into the darker side to the world of Faerie. The king Auberon and the dark queen Mabh have a personal gripe with each other, each others’ respective ruling habits, and their own personal motives regarding Kelley. Sonny is loved by many in the world of Faerie yet his job of protecting the realms from each other often puts him in difficult situations. When Kelley and Sonny finally cross paths, sparks fly and the true nature of their connection is revealed.
When it is discovered that Sonny was stolen from Earth by the Faerie King to be raised as his own and Kelley was snatched from the Faire realm in an act of revenge, true ancestry is discovered. Kelley’s “Aunt” is actually Sonny’s grieving mother, and the slightly malicious Faerie King Auberon is Kelley’s father. When Kelley’s power and true lineage is revealed to not only to her, but also to Sonny and the higher ups in the Faerie world, things start to get interesting.
As the action unfolds Kelley learns much about herself and her destiny. Lesley Livingston does a great job of leaving the reader wanting more without being disappointed in the ending. The desire for the conclusion of the tale does not overwhelm the reader because the ending leaves rooms for the sequels that I hope are coming.
Lauren Kirk is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to working on her own personal writing, editing Messy Magazine, and writing for multiple sites, Lauren is also currently pursuing her MFA in English. More work can be found at : messymagazine.org and goldiesays.wordpress.com.
To find out more about Wondrous Strange and Lesley Livingston’s upcoming book Darklight, pleas visit the author’s website.