Cover Image: Boy of Chaotic Making

Boy of Chaotic Making

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Member Reviews

Who knew that inheriting a house could lead to so much change? It is 1847 and Merritt Fernsby inherited the family Whimbrel House - a structure that had been terrifyingly haunted when he first moved in. But thanks to the help of Hulda Larkin of BIKER (The Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms) it was discovered that the house had been inhabited by Owein - Merritt's great, great, many generations removed uncle who was once a boy, then a house, and now, with BIKER's help, inhabits the body of a dog. Merritt, meanwhile, has become engaged to Hulda. [These are the events of the previous two books in the series.]

Now Merritt receives communication from the Queen of England, Alexandrina Victoria. She knows of Owein and is interested in the dog. As queen, it is her duty to oversee British wizardry and to make sure it grows and thrives. Owein holds special interest, being hundreds of years old (thanks to being a house for most of those years).

The queen makes an offer - go to England and she will find a human body for the soul and marry him into the royal family so that they can add a soul-shifter into their lineage. For Owein, once a country lad in the young America, then a creaky old house and now a dog, this is a dream come true. But Hulda and Merritt suspect something nefarious is going on.

I am a fan of Charlie N. Holmberg's work - some of her books are among my absolute favorites - but something about this series hasn't worked well for me. I think it's just a little too syrupy-sweet (which didn't bother me so much with the Paper Magician series). The conflicts lack a certain bite - they just never feel as potentially devasting as they should in order to create the tension.

I think, also, that the 'star' of the book (and the series) is Owein - first as the house and then as the dog - and that creates a challenge that Holmberg hasn't really overcome. How do you give your 'star' the focus they deserve when they can't communicate well. It kind of boils down to what we have here, abut a third of the way into the book:

Owein barked, gaining the attention of every person in the dining room, even the servants trying to disappear into its corners. I'm not a dog! he shouted. I didn't choose this body! Can't you understand! I haven't been a real person for over two hundred years. If it makes this family happy, why is it such a terrible thing?
But of course, they couldn't hear him. They weren't communionists or psychometrists. Only Merritt's expression dipped with the weight of sympathy. To everyone else, he was just a worked-up mutt.

A 'worked-up mutt' doesn't carry a novel (or a series).

It's a fun concept and Holmberg works playfully (perhaps too much so, as I mentioned) with it, but it doesn't quite strike home the way I had hoped.

Looking for a good book? The Boy of Chaotic Making is the third book in the Whimbrel House series by Charlie N. Holmberg. It's fun and light-hearted ... which is kind of a problem here.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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Merritt Fernsby’s life has changed considerably since he inherited Whimbrel House. He’s engaged to Hulda Larkin, who opened his eyes to the uncanny. And he’s grown quite protective of his uncle Owein—several generations, and iterations, removed. Owein is presently inhabiting the body of a mixed-breed terrier when Merritt receives a missive from none other than Alexandrina Victoria, the Queen of England: I am interested in your dog.

This third installment was so great. It carried over the fun but mysterious innuendo of the magic within the "boy" and the "house". Taking the saga overseas just added a "what if" element to the story. You never know who is at risk. The story really does keep you on your toes until the end. I LOVED this trilogy. Please read if you like magic and family in your stories.

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I love this series so much! And this third installment didn´t disappoint.
It has even more adventures for our heros of book 1. You can´t help fall for them even more.
I loved the new setting and the characters that introduced, but I feel like the thrilling/spooky aspect that was very much there in book one has all but disappeared in this one.
Still cozy, still lovable, still beautiful though. Can´t wait to see where Charlie N Holmberg will take the series.

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What a perfect third installment of this series. The magic in this world is so well developed and rules clear. Hulda and Merritt are just as delightful and full in character as the first two books, but the further look into little Owein is just delightful. I was so hooked I devoured this book. And in CH fashion, the story wrapped up beautifully, not leaving my on an emotional hook, but also leaving that door open for the next story. It's one of the reasons I really love reading Charlie's books.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I could tell from reading it that Charlie Holmberg truly adores this series and characters. I felt like the pacing in a few places could have been tightened up, but that’s just me being picky. Otherwise, it was a quick, fun read with characters I’ve come to really like.

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The premise was good enough for me to read it but eventually it fell short as it was the 3rd book of Whimbrel House so it was a bit confusing. Though this book offered enough entertainment but this felt like a little fantasy. The plot is fast-paced but not enough for me to read this entirely as it felt thin. The mystery is quite bland despite dangerous things happening around the story.

This may not be my cup of tea but I will continue to read this for other time but for now I can say, I don't have the capacity to finish this story. Thank you Netgalley for letting me have an honest review.

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Boy of Chaotic Making is about the boy! So happy to have a book based solely around Owein BUT this would be confusing as a standalone. Readers will want to read the two previous books before diving into this one.

Hulda, Merrit and Owein are caught in another adventure in the third book of the Whimbrel House series. This time the focus is on Owein, the boy whose soul currently resides in a dog. Off to England they go in search of a human body for Owein but secrets, surprises and magic all make an appearance for an overall fun, action packed and fast paced read.

While I liked the story and had no trouble reading it something felt a little off, it fell flat for me. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was, but I reflected it in my star rating.

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A whimsical continuation of the enchanted world Holmberg has curated in Keeper of Enchanted Rooms and Heir of Uncertain Magic. This entry leads our characters across the pond to a stay in England where a mystery soon has the three embroiled in danger yet again. Tense action, a whole host of new characters, expanding on the world--the story leads the reader on a brilliant chase before bringing everything to a satisfying conclusion. Wonderful cozy-magical read.

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The Whimbrel House series strikes again with another fantastic installment. I love getting to see Merrit and Hulda’s relationship grow, their magic become more refined, and Owein becoming a more well rounded character. Out of the three books in the series thus far, Boy of Chaotic Making is the “lightest”, without the same level of frantic mystery, danger, or gruesome, dark magic at play. Instead, the characters travel in London after receiving a hard to resist proposal. Of course it wouldn’t be a Whimbrel House story without some chaotic mystery afoot (with near death experiences), however they aren’t fraught with the same fears or dangers as the previous books. It was also lovely (to only myself) because the story takes place on and around my birthday (March 5th) which just always feels like a warm hug.

While reading Boy of Chaotic Making, I gasped, I grinned, I laughed, and I teared up. It is a whimsical historical fantasy story with the perfect touch of romance and adventure. I love these characters and this world that Charlie has created. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next installment.

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So good and somehow even better than the first two, some tense moments and some incredibly sweet ones too. I can't wait to read more from the Whimbrel House found family!

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Something about this series is just so darn comforting! Yes, there are 'thrilling' parts, but I genuinely feel it is just so cozy! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!

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A cute addition to the series. Not quite as good as the first book but a cosy read. Hulda, Merritt and Owein are amazing characters. And Hulda and Merritt's love story is probably the only I've read that didn't make me cringe lol.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy.

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My favorite of the series! Owein levels up again, Merritt & Hulda make it official, and all the action takes place in a Gothic English manor! What's not to love? I hope this series and my adventures with these characters continues for a very long time.

I had a whole other plot direction in mind as I read, and Holmberg threw me delicious curve balls instead. This book was hard to put down once you get past the BIKER/LIKER boring stuff in the first chapters. I confess I love when the action takes place at Whimbrel House between the characters on the island and NOT at Hulda's job. I'm glad to see she's aware she needs more balance in her life :)

Onward and upward for this little found family! There's plenty of magical mischief to thwart and mysteries to solve, but most of all plenty of love and living to do. Whimbrel House is a series you will want to hug then share with others.

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We have read Hulda's story, then Merritt's. Now we are moving on to the story of Owein. He is just a boy stuck in the body of a dog. A foul set of events trapped him in a ticking time bomb. His own mortality may be solved by the Queen of England, of all people. The royal family has a strong urge to keep their magic lines pure, and Owein has a strong urge to continue living. Arranged marriage to one of the royal heirs seems fair enough.

Honestly, great story with some non-trope views on the subject. A touch of mystery arises as someone objects to the rather unusual situation and chaos surrounds the chaotic boy. We have some new characters on the scene with strong presence in the story. I had a heart-dropping moment that Holmberg was going to try to ressurrect a dead villain yet again like a bad 90s sci-fi, but it was twisted into an intriguing plot point.

Pro story moment comes in the worldbuilding. We get to dive deeper into the magics of the world as we visit England and their more concentrated lineages. And they have druids. Very Isles of them.

My only complaint lies with the tensions between Hulda and Merritt coming to the forefront a bit too much. It is their love story overarching the series, so I suppose a little of them in the background is to be expected. Fortunately it rode the border and ended up not overshadowing Owein and his personal crisis of identity. That was the star of the show and what kept me reading until the end.

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Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for granting me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! Unfortunately, as this book has already been published, I will not share my review on Netgalley at this time.

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Bravo! Charlie Holmberg has done it again and brings us another beautiful story in the Whimbrel House series, the third, to be exact, and I hope it won't be the last!
In Boy of Chaotic Making, Charlie picks up where she left off in the second book and tells the story of Owein, the boy who transferred his soul to Whimbrel House when he died and whose spirit was later stolen by Silas and transferred to the body of a terrier
As always, a very well written book, a clean story suitable for all types of readers, with abundant dramatic moments, the characters that we have learned to love in the previous books and new characters with very well described personalities.
Whimbrel House is one of those books that make the reader feel as if they had met an old and dear friend again: it makes you happy while you read it, at the same time you don't want it to end and when you reach the last page, you can only think about when there will be another meeting.
I thank the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The opinion I have expressed above is based solely on what I think and feel about this book.

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I’ve loved this whole series. This one was a little hard for me to get into but I still greatly enjoyed it!

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I had really hoped that this book would work as a stand alone but unfortunately, it does not. I really loved the character Owein, he had such a fantastic character arch in this book and it really made me cherish him. This was very fast paced, which was a welcomed change from the first two books. However, it was much more serious with a little less whimsy than the first two. There was also new plot lines added that were not present in the first two books that really had a hard time cementing into the story. Overall, I enjoyed the read, however it did not stand up as well to the first two in the series.

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I love this series! I love the way she’s built her magic system and the emotion she’s infused in the story. The plot keeps you hooked with subtle hints of clues and foreshadowing

I felt like the pacing was a little slower than the other two, but with enough mystery to keep you enthralled and full of old characters you love and new characters you find fascinating.

The sweet romance continues with just the right amount of caution to fit Hulda and enough sizzle to fit Merritt. She’s built their slow burn so well!

The ending leaves you both satisfied and anticipating.

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*4.5 out of 5 stars*

Our story continues!!! With the exploding revelations from Heir of Uncertain Magic, Boy of Chaotic Making tones it down a bit. BIKER is now essentially in Hulda's hands, Merritt finally gets to see his sisters, and Owein gets summoned by the Queen of England!

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a good turn of adventure of Merritt, Hulda and Owein from the first two books. It seemed a little slower but I think that's because the intensity of the first two books wasn't so present in this book. The plot was interesting and opened up to a bunch of new characters.

The highlight of this book was definitely the growing relationship between Owein and Merritt. Those were the scenes I was definitely most invested in. While Hulda and Merritt's relationship still develops, and I love them - this book had a heavier focus on Owein. I loved hearing his thoughts and feelings and can't wait to see how much more these characters develop.

Book 4 cannot come soon enough as I am intrigued for the next journey Hulda, Merritt, and Owein have to encounter.


*AUDIO REVIEW - I love these narrators. It's a lot of fun listening to these books in audio format. I think I like Hulda's the most because Amanda Leigh Cobb does such a great job of bringing her personality through.

**I received an advanced eARC and ALC from the publisher for my honest review. This review was completed using the ALC**

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