Series: Emily Wilde #1
Published by Del Rey (1/10/2023)
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 336 pages
Length: 12 hours, 5 minutes
Narrator: Ell Potter, Michael Dodds
Source: I own it
Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world's first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party--or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily's research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones--the most elusive of all faeries--lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she'll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all--her own heart.
I absolutely did not expect to love this book as much as I did!! The hype for it is so well deserved! I went in with little to no expectations – I hadn’t heard much about this one, I just knew that it had quite high ratings and a “curmudgeonly professor.” I enjoyed Even the Darkest Stars, and liked the narrator based on the Audible sample, so I used a credit to get the audiobook.
And I’m so glad I did! This is definitely one I’ll listen to again. The audio is FANTASTIC!! Ell Potter brought Emily’s character and the story as a whole to life beautifully. If you enjoy audiobooks I highly recommend listening to this one!
I loved Emily as a character. The synopsis described her as curmudgeonly, but it’s not that she’s especially grumpy, she’s just not good with people. And she was totally relatable! Her people skills were lacking, and she was more focused on her work that honing said skills. She enjoyed the company of books more than the company of people. (We bookworms get it, amirite?)
I adored Bambleby, too! I loved that he would antagonize Emily, their banter had me cracking up! Their dynamic was fantastic! I also appreciated that there was very little romance in this book. It took the whole book to develop and had the slow burn that I adore in hate-to-love relationships. The first chapter Bambleby narrated was my FAVE! I was laughing out loud! It was great that he had his own narrator, and the accent was PERFECT. *chef’s kiss* Speaking of accents, that’s something else I loved about Ell’s narration – her accents were on point! (Side note: I thought Wendell’s last name was ‘Brambleby’ for the ENTIRE book…I didn’t realize there wasn’t an R in there until I saw the synopsis lmaooo)
The only complaints I have are minor. The first is that I didn’t connect to the side characters as much as I’d hoped to. The second, I was somehow underwhelmed by the ending with the king and I don’t know why. I can’t put my finger on it. (Which is why I only took off half a star!)
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5