Emily and Wendell have been searching for the infamous door to Wendells home and Emily just might have found the secret to finding it. When Wendell is attacked, leaving him beside deaths door, it becomes more important then ever to find it. Into the wilds of Austria they go along with Emily's quick witted niece to open the door and save Bambleby.
Since Becca read Emily Wilde's Encyclopedia of Faeries last year, loved it and was excited for the second books release, and I planned to read #1 this month as it is a book for a book club I am in, we figured we might as well make a buddy read and review Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands.
You do have a heart after all, somewhere deep. Very Deep. - Wendell, Emily Wilde's Encyclopedia of Faeries
I am one of those readers/watchers who needs an entire series to be out so I can binge everything at once. I hate having to do rereads (although I will reread/watch my favorite series over and over again) and I hate having to wait forever for the next book. Last year there were so many amazing books that came out that were the first in a series and while I bought them, they remained unread on my shelves awaiting the arrival of their unwritten friends (except Fourth Wing). I always say "I wish I had picked this book up sooner" and in this case, I do not. I feel like I really got a better picture of the characters and the world by reading both books for the first time together.
Emily Wilde's Encyclopedia of Faeries is full of adventure, mini stories, kinship, and a beautifully created world featuring an endless possibility of characters (we all love Poe! He's the Dobby of EWEOF, nothing better happen to him ever!) and places. It was so enjoyable watching the friendship between Emily and Wendell grow and change across the pages of her 'journal'. My only complaint in the whole book is Emily's depictions of herself. Drab, mousy, messy, ugly. I don't think she could have expressed her opinions of herself any more negatively or often. This is definitely something I was happy to see was missing from a majority of the second book. All in all I gave Emily Wilde's Encyclopedia of Faeries ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for its vibrant world and comical characters.
In Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands what I wanted most of all was more Poe. I loved that Heather Fawcett left that relationship open for more at the end of the first book and was not disappointed. I must admit that this book didn't have the same feel as the first. In part due to adding two new side characters, and not building the relationships with the townsfolk and faeries as she had in the first. This book just fell a little flat on the world building for me which was why I gave it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. I feel like we missed out on what could have been a grand adventure for Emily in Faerie, except we were given a lot of "i don't remember because I was enchanted". I do love that the whole book kept the same pacing, the ending didn't feel rushed or like anything was left unresolved. I will definitely be reading the next book because I can not wait to see what life is like for Emily and Wendell once they venture together into his kingdom.
If you are enjoying the Emily Wilde books as much as we are and impatiently awaiting the release of book three, I highly suggest checking out the Jackaby series from William Ritter. It has the same vibe to it as Emily Wilde's adventures, only a little more Sherlock.
This is where Chrissy and I differ - I love getting my hands on a series and anticipating the next book. I blame JK Rowling and George RR Martin for this penchant. I did sit on the first book in this series, but that was purely because my TBR list is out of control.
Dark academia is one of my favorite sub-genres, and we've had some incredible books in the last few years. However, Fawcett makes a unique choice by making her characters professors but takes them out of the traditional dark academia location of the uni. I love this choice so much. It offers so many options for changing locations.
I agree with Chrissy in the sense that the last quarter of the book relies way too heavily on the "Oops, I'm enchanted!" trope. However, I appreciated that we didn't have to connect too heavily with characters in the village that we know aren't in future books. The second book in a series is incredibly challenging to pull off. It has to connect with the first book but not repeat things while setting the stage for the next book AND maintaining its own story. It's hard. Nonetheless, Fawcett does a great job of hitting all these points.
While I didn't love this book as much as the first one, it hit all the notes I wanted. Wendell, Emily, Ariadne, and their compatriots are funny, magical, and the adventure remains delightful.
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