Friday, December 10, 2010

Wondrous Strange - Lesley Livingston

I thought I was done with fairies.  I thought I had 'outgrown' them, or that I had seen it all, or they just weren't as fascinating as they were when I was 15.
Of course, I have suffered many disappointments since then.
First, there was this absolute piece of garbage, which is basically thinly veiled poorly written erotica. No, I am not prudish, and yes, I do enjoy a good sex scene.  But this did not have good sex scenes.  It had stupid sex scenes that didn't even always make sense. And it was so angsty. 'waaahhhh i don't want to be a fairy princess, i can't get over that other fairy dude i was with and they caught me in the tabloids wahhhh hey let me have sex with everyone i see!' 
Yes, excellent move there, fairy princess.  That makes perfect sense. Especially since there really isn't much in the way of plot.
Now, there are some books in which sex is important, such as Kushiel's Dart. And it was well written and the book had plot. Of course, it had nothing to do with fairies.
I tried to read Wicked Lovely because the name is cool, but I got bored.  Yes, there were these edgy characters, but they somehow seemed bland to me. And so I saw this one and I thought, 'it looks like wicked lovely. meh.'
But then, while I was sitting in Borders using the wifi, I got a message on Goodreads from Lesley Livingston, telling me I would like her book.  Since I was in Borders at the time, it seemed like a good time to go look at it.
So I did, and I said, 'hey, this might actually be good!'
And it is.
I finished this book the other night.  There was something about the way it was written that made me like it.  I suppose lines like 'THERE'S A HORSE IN THE BATHTUB!' helped a bit. And Bob.  I liked Bob.  Everyone likes Bob.  You can't not like Bob.
Kelley, the cover girl, was very "I'm seventeen, but I can make it in the big city, oh yeah I can, look at me I got gumption" and all that.  She was intelligent, she had a heart, she was interesting.  She didn't believe most things at first (of course, they never do right away, even Harry Potter had to ask again, to be sure), but then she came around to see the fairies! Oh the fairies!  They pop up everywhere when you're least expecting it.  And they often have no idea what's going on, which makes it even MORE FUN!  Ha ha!  The fairies don't know EVERYTHING! The fairies don't even know if all the other fairies ARE fairies!  They only know the famous ones, or the obvious 'not of the mortal realm' ones (you know the type. they have wings, or something all demonic about them like the Netherworld creatures in Soul Screamers).
Sonny, the other main character was also likeable. He was a non-fairy living in the fairy world (a changeling, stolen from the mortal realm), and he noticed something about Kelley that no one else seemed to have picked up on.  Clearly, he was fairly intelligent, considering NO ONE ELSE figured it out. Of course, it took him a little while, but hey, good enough. And the fact that he thought she was damn fine probably helped. He was also honorable and strong and manly. Yum.
Of course, these two characters are drawn to each other. They are the POV characters, they think each other is attractive, and while there may be setbacks such as, 'hey this hot dude keeps stalking me, i better tell him to bugger off,' but of course he won't.  He can't.  That's just not how it works.  It was fated. Duh.
Fairies, as the tradition goes, cannot really be trusted.  But neither can mortals.  And since fairies like to be all 'riddle me this, young lassie,' or 'i'lll make you a trade BUT I WIN EVERYTHING HAHA!' it's good to have smart tough main characters.
The biggest difference from the traditional changeling fairy stories I've heard is that the mortal baby was taken and not replaced with a sick fairy baby that was just going to die. In fact, in this version, it was an almost exclusively mortal babies being stolen and the mortals did not get fairy replacements.
So, in conclusion, you should read this book because:
1. It's not a poorly diguised piece of bad erotica
2. There's twists and stuff
3. The fairies just keep popping up everywhere!  It's madness!
4. The main characters do not suck
5. While some of the fairy lore is traditional, they do change a few things, and that keeps it interesting
6. The cover girl wears pretty dresses

And there you have it.

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