This was the first book in the Wondrous Strange series by Lesley Livingston. The second book “Darklight” is supposed to be released December of 2009. Supposedly there are going to be three books in this series.
Kelley has moved to New York city to pursue her acting dreams. She is employeed as an understudy in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and when the actress playing Queen Titania breaks her ankle; Kelley is suddenly thrust into a lead role. This is just what she had always dreamed of. Then one night she goes to Central Park to practice her lines and stumbles into a young man named Sonny. He is mysterious and appears near her a number of times after that. That same fateful night she rescues a horse from a pond, the horse follows her home and proceeds to live in her bathtub. What she doesn’t know right away is that the horse is a kelpie and Sonny is a part of the Unseelie King’s elite guard, the Janus. From here on out things get stranger and stranger; she needs to figure out how Sonny is involved and how she herself is involved before she is hunted down.
I will state right out that I am getting a bit burned out on these “girl is a part of fairy but doesn’t know she is” books. I thought everything about this book was okay, but none of it blew me away. I didn’t really like any of the characters that much, the plot was pretty predictable, and the book was only kind of engaging. It was a quick read, and I liked it okay. I just think I have read too many of these types of books lately and this one really didn’t stand out from any of the others.
Sonny fits the stereotype of a conflicted assassin-type perfectly; down to his unexplainable love of Kelley. Things happen much as you would expect them to happen. There were more action scenes than I expected, and they were done okay but they lacked energy and didn’t really pull me into the fight. When I finished this book, I was kind of like, “Oh, well that’s done. What should I read next?” It didn’t really make a lasting impression on me.
I recently read “Lament” by Maggie Stiefvater and I actually liked that book better than this one. Although this book had a lot more well-developed fairy world and you meet a broader variety of fairy folk than you do in “Lament”. I liked the writing style of “Lament” better. The writing style of this book was very straight-forward and easy. Which is okay, it made it a fast read. I would compare the level of this writing to Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series. Although I did enjoy the characters in this book more than the characters in “Wicked Lovely”.
You could also compare this book to Aprilynne Pike’s “Wings”; which I liked better than this book because I thought Pike dealt with fairies in a more interesting way. You could also compare this book to Holly Black’s “Modern Fairy Tale” series; but I absolutely think that Holly Black’s series blows all of the aforementioned ones out of the water.
So in summary, if you liked “Wicked Lovely”, “Wings”, “Lament”, or “Tithe” I think you will probably like this book too. I would recommend “Wings”, “Lament” and “A Modern Fairy Tale” over this book. I think it is similar to the “Wicked Lovely” series in writing quality. Will I read the next one in the series? Probably. I really love books about the fairy realms and there aren’t a ton of them out there. So, yeah I will pick up “Darklight”, but I will probably get it from the library.