The Wondrous and the Wicked by Page Morgan
Publishing Date: April 14
Genre: young adult, fantasy, gothic
Since the Waverlys arrived in Paris, the streets have grown more fearsome by the day. As Ingrid learns to master her lectrux gift, she must watch Axia’s power grow strong enough to extend beyond her Underneath hive. By all indications, the fallen angel’s Harvest is near-and the timing couldn’t be worse.
Targeted by vengeful gargoyles, Gabby has been exiled to London for her own protection. Meanwhile, the gargoyle castes are in disarray, divided between those who want Luc to lead them and those who resent him and his fondness for humans. The Alliance is crumbling from the inside as well, its members turning against one another, and possibly against the Waverlys, too.
Axia has promised that the world will burn. And now, unable to trust the Alliance, separated from Luc, Gabby, and her twin, Grayson, Ingrid is left to face the demon uprising alone.
Ingrid is left in Paris with a different gargoyle presiding over her home. Her brother, Grayson, seems to have disappeared, when he’s actually learning more about demon dust with Vander in order to fight off his hellhound instincts. Gabby is trapped in London with Rory, Nolan’s cousin, and she insists on training to become an Alliance member, no matter what Nolan says. Meanwhile, Luc is separated from the Waverly family, and a civil war is approaching the Dispossessed, one that decides whether Luc should become their leader. But Axia’s Harvest could happen any day now, and Ingrid’s life — her blood — is at stake. But who can anyone trust? The Alliance, with their oath to slay demons? The Dispossessed, with their curse to protect humans? Or the Diacrypta, with their newfangled technology that may prove to save them all?
Okay, so, the publisher summary makes it sound like Ingrid is all alone, the poor dear. What is she to do? And while my summary is a bit jumbled, I can’t say too much without revealing the entire plot. But what is true about both of these summations is that Ingrid, Gabby, Grayson, and Luc all share equal page time with their voices and perspectives, weaving together seemingly dissimilar parts of the story into one complex and epic plot.
Trust me. It will all make sense.
That’s the thing about Morgan’s writing. With The Beautiful and the Cursed, we had several perspectives but it was primarily on Ingrid and Luc. As the plot thickened in The Lovely and the Lost, secondary characters had more to tell the Waverlys and Luc. And now, they all work together to bring down Axia and find their way to a happy ending. That’s not to say this ends everything all neat and tidy (for a moment, there, the Dispossessed does have an elder, a leader, but by the end that’s up for debate — plus, Gabby’s future and Vander’s future and basically all of Paris and these fantastical orders), but it certainly leaves you in an expected but very satisfying place.
I loved every single character in this book, bad and good and somewhere in between. The places the plot takes them matches their personality and decision-making and the way everything came together. Gabby’s stubbornness felt more like bravery and less like snobbery, and that’s a major character growth. Ingrid was always determined to do what she could to save those she loved, and thank goodness she used more thoughtful reasoning behind her actions in this book than in previous — more growth there. Luc point-blank gave up trying to govern himself. By being more human, he’s able to accomplish so much more — and his support from Marco was a welcome sight. Grayson was just an interesting character all around. We only knew him as a brother in book 1, and a struggling half-demon in book 2, so getting into his mind and understanding his thought process, motivation, and emotional turmoil was very interesting and eye-opening. It makes his big moment really hit you in the gut, too.
Though the historical aspect may appear simply as a backdrop for the story (that maybe this could take place at any time), it’s not. Morgan chose this time frame meticulously. It all comes down to the blood. All those scientific studies Vander worked on in the previous books help shed light to the situation in this one, and blood transfusions is one of them. Blood transfusions were dangerous in this time, yet new and fascinating and gross and taboo. That’s why Dracula was oddly enjoyable for readers when it first came out. Toss in the science versus religion conversation and this book goes well with that. Gargoyles are placed on cathedrals to keep the demons out. In this book, that’s true too, but they keep the humans within holy places and homes safe.
So who wins this war in science versus religion? Is it even a science versus religion topic? Is it about race or social class? Is it about the human condition?
I love this trilogy. It’s so unique, and Gothic, and fantastical, and deserves so much attention! Thank you for the wondrous journey, Morgan!
Thank you, Edelweiss, for providing this book from Delacorte for review!