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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review: Tempestuous

Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange)Title: Tempestuous
Author: Lesley Livingston
Page Count: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: young adult, fantasy romance
Copy for review compliments of the public library

50 words or less: After the OMGWOMBAT cliffhanger at the end of Darklight, Sonny and Kelley have to save the world and stop a fae war, dodge some blows from their extremely dysfunctional families, and finally settle the debate of whether true love can conquer all.

*Warning: Possible spoilers ahead for the first two books. Ye be warned.*

It seemed like the wait for the release of Tempestuous was both too long and not long enough- too long because after the end of Darklight I was pretty much salivating to find out how the trilogy would wrap up, and not long enough because I didn't really want the story to end!  The story did end, though, and I'm happy to say that the ending was satisfying and worked for me on a variety of levels.

Things looked grim for Kelley and Sonny as a couple at the end of the last book.  Both of them were too freaking noble to communicate with one another and figure out how to determine friend from foe without doing the Mexican Hat Dance on each other's hearts in the process.  Without knowing who to trust or who is really on their side and not just working a totally different agenda, they strike out on their own; I'm pleased to say that they find their way back to each other quickly and authentically.

While he's wandering and feeling sorry for himself, Sonny stumbles across some unfamiliar casualties in the battle to keep the Samhain Gate between the human realm and the Faerie realm closed.  Watching him bond with these outsiders and feeling the genuine love they have for the human world was interesting and fun; the brief flirtation with another girl only sweetened the romance aspect of the story.

Likewise, Fenrys, one of the other guards of the gate who became Kelley's friend and ally through all of her trials and tribulations, provides a brief moment of question for Kelley, but ultimately helps her decide what her position truly is and what/who she really wants.  Fenrys, too, shows us that still waters run deep, and that the obvious motives one might have for doing things, whether they be good or bad, may not be the correct ones.

The bad guys here are certainly creepy and weird, and in fighting those bad guys, we get a good look at Kelley and Sonny's families as well- the details and stories are so closely woven throughout this book that seemingly insignificant things end up being really, really important.

Did I mention the Shakespeare?  Reading any of the books in this trilogy will make you want to dust off your Shakespeare copies from lit classes gone by, but I felt that pull especially strongly here with Tempestuous.  There were elements and throwbacks to a variety of plays woven into the story, and I found myself wanting to go back and reread and have the Shakespeare experience all over again.

I found the resolution to the story in this trilogy to be satisfying and fun; I can understand that some folks (cough cough team Fenrys) might not feel the same way.  I thought the final pages were sweet and presented a really strong sense of hope for the future.  All in all it was a great end to a great series, and I'm stoked to see what the author's future offerings will have in store.

Overall Grade: A
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