Review: Darklight by Lesley Livingston

January 23, 2010 Review 4

Review: Darklight by Lesley LivingstonDarklight by Lesley Livingston
Series: Wondrous Strange #2
Published by Harper Collins on May 8th 2012
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Abigail

Much has changed since Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt. Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself. When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magic is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power. Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.

Can you imagine what it would be like to discover that the characters from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream were real? That the Faerie realm actually exists and you are a Faerie princess? As the daughter of the Winter King and the Autumn Queen, Kelley Winslow doesn't have to imagine.

Darklight is the second book in the Wondrous Strange trilogy and follows the story of 17-year-old Kelley Winslow. While performing A Midsummer Night's Dream in the previous book, Kelley discovered that the actors in her play were more that figments of Shakespeare's imagination but actually had real life counterparts. Not only that, but she herself was Faerie and a princess at that!  With the aid of her new love Sonny, a changeling charged with guarding one of the four gates to Faerie, Kelley was forced to confront her estranged parents and save both worlds from destruction….or so I’ve been told.  See I didn’t get a chance to read Wondrous Strange first.

I try not read books out of order, but I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Darklight for review, and it looked so inviting that I couldn't stop myself from starting it right away. Of course, I then felt like I was playing catch-up through most of this book. In that sense, my review is a bit hampered since both books are really two parts of one big story. So rather than discuss every part of this book, I’m going to mention the highs and lows as I saw them:

The character who made the biggest impression on me was Fennrys Wolf. Like Sonny, he's a Janus Guard, a human who was raised by and imbued with faerie magic from the time he was a baby. He's kind of a jerk sometimes, but not in a malicious way. He enjoys pushing peoples buttons especially the jealousy prone Sonny. I’m hoping he’ll get even more page time in the next book.

The Faerie world created here is delightfully familiar with famous characters like Puck and Titiana from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, but then intriguingly Other with unique additions like the Janus Guard (changelings who guard the four gates to Faerie).  Blending the Faerie and Human worlds is also well done (who knew Central Park was one of the locations of a Faerie Gate?). And I didn’t expect (but quite enjoyed) the high number of action scenes in this book.

For my complaints, the majority of the story takes place in the Faerie realm, so the urban elements are necessarily lite.  I tend to prefer more urban in my urban fantasy.  Also alternating chapters from Kelley and Sonny’s perspective was a little frustrating as it tended to slow down the story progress.  Kelley’s chapter would end with a scene of impending doom and then the next chapter, rather than picking up with Kelley, would jump back to what Sonny had been doing during that time. And since Kelley and Sonny are separated for most of this book, they spend the story pinning for, doubting, and then pinning again for each other again.  I basically had to take it on faith their love had a strong foundation from the first book.

While not a cliffhanger in the traditional sense, the ending of Darklight definitely sets the stage for the last book in the trilogy.  A few plot lines are tied up, but most are left dangling even more tangled than before.  But with any good book, Darklight left me wanting more.

So how did Darklight fare even with my ignorance of the first book?  Pretty well.  Just don't be like me and read Darklight before Wondrous Strange. This book does relies heavily on the events and character development of the first book. Not that Lesley doesn’t do a good job of bringing new readers up to date, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to experience all of that first hand. Me? I’m an impatient idiot.  And even though I now know most of what happened in Wondrous Strange, I'm really looking forward to how it all happened. I want to experience with Kelley what is was like discovering her Faerie heritage, falling in love with and then almost losing Sonny, and embracing her unique position of straddling both worlds.  After that, I’ll get read Darklight again with new eyes and be more than ready for the as yet untitled conclusion to the Wondrous Strange trilogy.


4 Responses to “Review: Darklight by Lesley Livingston”

  1. IanIan

    Thanks for the great review 😀 This cover is so gorgeous, I might as well have to put this series on my TBR list <3

  2. misskallie2000

    Great review, thanks. The book cover is outstanding. Very sexy without necked bodies..LOL. I also love purple and this is a beautiful shade. I would love to read so will have to add to my ever growning to buy list.

  3. Donna [F.D. Ramblings]

    Nice review Abigail! I just finished Darklight and I'm posting my review tomorrow. I agree that you should read Wondrous Strange if you can. It will give the characters a lot more definition and clarity for you. I'm excited for the last book!