by Lesley Livingston
Reading level: YA
Book type: prose novel
After declaring that she doesn't love Sonny Flannery, Kelley Winslow finds herself caught in the middle of trouble. Faerie monarchs are falling ill, weird things are happening in Central Park, and to top it all off, Kelley has lines to learn for her part as Ariel in The Tempest.
She must learn to summon and control her own Faerie powers... because dark forces are conspiring and nobody is safe.
This book is really difficult to summarize. That's probably because, much like its immediate predecessor in the trilogy, it has very little plot.
The whole time I was reading this book, I was lost. Because these books come out once a year, readers are either forced to re-read or remember what happened previously... and remembering is kind of hard when something is so unmemorable. While Wondrous Strange was a very enjoyable and well-plotted book, I felt that Darklight and Tempestuous were written just for the sake of making a trilogy. Wondrous Strange can stand on its own; neither of the second books can. (Contrast this with a series like Harry Potter. I read the whole series of seven books over a period of way more than seven years... and yet I didn't have to re-read anything because each book had enough explanation and back story to refresh the reader's memory.)
The characters fell flat for me in this book, too. I remember that I really liked Sonny in the first book. He was actually kind of crush-worthy. But here, he just came off as bland. The attempted love triangle felt forced, and I thought the resolution (although it had been hinted at) was just a tad too pat.
While the plot was virtually non-existent and the characters didn't impress me, the writing and editing were pretty good. That was one thing that struck me about Wondrous Strange when I read it. It's just too bad there wasn't more of a story in the rest of the trilogy to go along with the writing.
All in all, I didn't really enjoy this one. I was pretty bored throughout. The climax was a bit more of a whimper than a bang and I felt sort of cheated; this is the final book of the trilogy, after all. I would definitely recommend Wondrous Strange, especially to fans of urban fantasy. But the rest of the trilogy left me confused and unimpressed. Stick with the first book.
Overall: 2.86 out of 5