Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Odds bodkins! I’ve fallen into A Midsummer Night's Dream! Lesley Livingston’s debut “Wondrous Strange” is exactly that, a book of wonder and enchantment; a world of faeries, fauns, sirens, changelings, and the Hounds of Hell. The author is obviously familiar with Shakespeare’s works, and certainly has done a lot of research into legends, mythology and faerie lore. This wonderful story is captivating, the characters both surprising and interesting. It is listed as Young Adult, but I as a grandmother thoroughly enjoyed it for myself, in fact I only put the book down to go to sleep. A fast and gripping read.

The story is pure fairytale, authentic and creative. A 17-year old actress, Kelley Winslow, suddenly finds herself playing a major role in A Midsummer Night's Dream, that of Titania, when the original actress breaks her ankle. Her first rehearsal does not go well, and she is ordered to go home and learn her lines. Kelley has always been drawn to Central Park and finds it a quiet place to study; little does she know that it is also a gate to the Otherworld. A changeling, one of the guards of the Gate, happens to be in the park as she is rehearsing her lines and he at first mistakes her words as from the real Titania. The meeting between the two young people triggers a string of very strange happenings.

I do not want to put any spoilers in this review, the book must be read to feel it and enjoy it. The plot is fascinatingly played out, but the adventure needs to be experienced, for adventure it is. It has history, passion, danger, a world of opposites, fantasy, and young love. I loved this book and highly recommend it. A very strong debut, I will certainly be interested in reading more of Lesley Livingston’s books. 5 stars

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