Cover Image: Boy of Chaotic Making

Boy of Chaotic Making

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Boy of Chaotic Making
By Charlie N. Holmberg

So happy to once again dive into this world and spend some time with these characters. I wanted something a little cozy to read over Christmas, and this was perfect 😊

Our found family has made their way to England this time and are confronted with something that may be too good to be true. But someone is trying to ruin the whole endeavor. Part cozy, part mystery, and part delving into the magic system: I continue to be enthralled by this series.

My only complaint is that some of the delays involved seemed a tad forced.

Thanks so much to @netgalley and @cnholmberg for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Sequels are hard. It’s not the easiest thing to keep attention over the span of multiple books, and few authors manage to do it without massive cliffhangers.

Thankfully, this is one of them.

I picked up the first in the series on Amazon first reads. I didn’t read it for nearly a year, but once I picked it up I discovered it was a nice change of pace from my normal romantasy books. The mystery and… well honestly, spookiness of the first book had me hook, line, and sinker. I loved watching the romance bud between Merritt and Hulda as well; it’s such an innocent development and just so sweet to read.

The second book continues the plot and leads you more into the twists and turns of the long term plot and successfully keeps my attention again. Lots of drama and rescue and fear in the second book, and of course we see how Owein becomes trapped in a dog’s body.

The third book starts a bit slow. I’m reading this around the holidays so not a lot of downtime and lots of interruptions. I still managed to read this fairly quickly, and honestly I enjoyed it, but not as much as the previous two. I pegged whodunnit fairly early, so the shocker wasn’t very shocking. I did thoroughly enjoy getting to know Owein better; his narrations are some of my favorite. It’s adorable to watch him grown and learn and make friends.

Hulda and Merritt also make for a heartwarming plot line, and I love how they elope for themselves back in a time where that was just unheard of. Some of my favorite bits of book are the parts showing how real their relationship is; the jealousy she feels over visions without knowing the backstory is truthfully so relatable. And Merritt’s reaction is just perfect. Honestly, Merritt is husband goals.

The second half of this book went a lot quicker than the first, but I enjoyed the entirety of it. I’m still struggling to figure out the dog at the very end, I want to know who that is pretty desperately. All in all, four stars because it didn’t quite compete with the first two.

Truthfully my only complaint is that whodunnit is kind of obvious (at least it was to me), and the level of mystery and drama is nowhere near what it is in the previous books. At no point did I fear for anyone’s life (except at the end for obvious reasons), but that kind of makes the book a little less thrilling and interesting to me. The first two books were definitely and fantasy love story, but there’s a level of thriller and mystery and procedural that just doesn’t quite follow through in this one. I love a good happy ending, but the pathway to it needed a bit more treachery. All in all, well worth my time.

I read this as an advanced reader copy and am grateful I was given that opportunity.

Was this review helpful?

A cozy read with mystery, magic and a little mayhem! I enjoyed this book very much. It was a perfect book to curl up to. As this book is part of a series I highly recommend you read the first two books. I can honestly say that if you like the Kitchen Witch then this series is for you.

Was this review helpful?

Boy of Chaotic Making is the final book in the Whimbrel House Trilogy. Our main characters, Merritt and Hulda, are finally engaged. Trapped soul Owein who used to be in the house has been transplanted into a dog and Hulda is even busier with work after her sudden promotion. When a sudden invitation arrives from England that could cut things forever, all three end up across the ocean to see a noble family with their own proposal of marriage.
Thank you to Netgalley and 47North for the chance to read and review this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book is cozy fantasy done realistically. I am giving this book 3.5/5 stars. This was such a satisfying conclusion for this series. I really enjoyed Owen and his journey in this book. Hulda and Merritt are a sweet and healthy couple that I have enjoyed reading and following through the entire series. While there is some filler in this book that I wasn't a fan of I think this one might be my favorite of the entire trilogy. I will definitely post about this book on my social media closer to the release date

Was this review helpful?

There are a bunch of things this book does really, really well. The characters are delightful and continue to grow and change as the series develops. My biggest qualm with the second book was how much of it was dedicated to them moving from place to place to fulfill their series of tasks, so it was nice to return to the format of "something weird is happening in this giant house," even though, in this case, it's in a British estate. I didn't necessarily mind the lack of deadly stakes in this one, especially since the epilogue makes it seem like the next one will be heavy on the magic cadavers.

My biggest complaint with the book was the balance between the whimsical and the silly/outlandish/ridiculous elements. The magic system and the antics can tend towards whimsy, even at its most sinister moments. I think the silly premise of this one - heiress does not want to marry ghost-turned-house-turned-dog - made it hard to switch gears into its serious discussions about grief and mortality.

Was this review helpful?

Boy of Chaotic Making is the third installment of the Whimbrel House series. This series is set in 1847 and it has more of a cozy mystery setting. In this book, we focus on Owein's story. I like the characters so much. Hulda was more confident in this book and Meritt and Hulda's relationship was so lovely to read. Druids were such a lovely surprise for me. I wish we had more time with them but maybe we read them in the fourth book too.  Overall, I really enjoyed this series and can't wait to read more. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a more cozy and low-stakes fantasy. Thanks to 47North and Netgalley for providing me with an early copy.

Was this review helpful?

What a fantastic installment in the series! Just when I thought they couldn't get any better, this one gets whipped out, thrown in front of me and devoured!
The change of scenery from Boston to London is refreshing as is the new host of characters. The introduction to the druids was interesting and I hope they will continue to be in the series from now on.
I loved the fact that this book centred around Owein like the others did on Hulda and Merritt respectively. The author has found a way to continue the storyline for a good many years (and sequels, I hope!)
The doses of humour are fantastic as are the new and interesting information about magic that the characters find out along the way.
Sign me up for the next one please!
This series has seen me become introduced to Charlie N Holmberg and as a result, a fan!
Thanks to Netgalley and the author and publisher for a temporary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

"Boy of Chaotic Making," the third installment in Charlie N. Holmberg's enchanting Whimbrel House series, invites readers into a world brimming with magical wonders and delightful eccentricities. The narrative seamlessly continues from the second book, immersing readers in the whirlwind adventures of Merritt Fernsby and his extraordinary uncle, Owein, whose spirit inhabits a mixed-breed terrier. When a letter arrives from Queen Victoria herself, proposing a peculiar royal match for Owein, the trio embarks on a chaotic journey to England filled with whimsical magic, mismatched marriage proposals, and unforeseen challenges.

Holmberg skillfully blends mystery, high stakes, and endearing characters, providing readers with an engaging and enjoyable addition to the series. The perspectives of Owein and Merritt add depth, and the impending nuptials between Merritt and Hulda introduce flirty banter, showcasing their charming dynamic. The story unfolds in a British upper-class setting, evoking a cozy mystery vibe that complements the series' unique magical elements. "Boy of Chaotic Making" promises not only a delightful continuation but also sets the stage for further enchanting adventures with the master of chaos himself, Owein.

Was this review helpful?

The boy who was a house, and then a dog, is offered the chance to be a person again. Boy of Chaotic Making shines for its characters and their relationships with each other, and that only deepens with each book. You do want to have read the first two books before this one, but it’s worth it. This series has been wonderful so far and a delight to read.

Note: arc provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for honest review

Was this review helpful?

I so enjoy all of Charlie’s books! This particular series is one of my favorites. Being able to return to Wimbral House is such a delight. Merrit, Owain, and Hulda are all well written, well developed characters, and I love the relationship between all three of them. I laughed, and I cried, and that ending! Well done, Charlie.

Was this review helpful?

'Boy Of Chaotic Making' is the third book of the Whimbrel House series, this one about Owein as anyone following the series might guess! We learn more about the world and the magic system as we follow Owein on a trip to London to explore the opportunity of being transferred to a human body again.

The sincerity of the characters, the novelty of the magic system and the straightforward writing - things that provided solid foundations for the first two books - were in this book obscured by contrived plots, prosy writing and age old elements like marriage contracts and insecurities. The book does not completely disappoint however, I was invested enough in Owein's story to read until the end to find out what happens.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publishers 47North and Charlie N. Holmberg for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

[Half a star for the premise and the whole book; Half a star for the characters; Half a star for the story; One star for the world-building; Half a star for the writing - 3 stars in total].

Was this review helpful?

This book was an enjoyable addition to the Whimbrel House series. The introduction of new characters and a new setting was a welcome change, as well as the focus on Owein as a character. The manor house and surrounding locations were well detailed, although the side characters were more one-dimensional. This did allow for more focus on Owein, Hulda, and Merritt, but I wished there had been more tension and rounding out of the suspects leading up to the reveal at the end. The introduction of the Druids was fascinating, and the world expansion was done very well overall. I will definitely read another book in this series if one is planned, as this seemed to improve on the previous books.

Was this review helpful?

Ebook received for free through NetGalley

Another incredible and amazing book by Charlie Holmberg. Love all her work and love following this story.

Was this review helpful?

4.5 stars. Thank you, NetGalley and publishers, for the ARC of this book. I loved the first 2 books and really liked this one. Though it didn't have the same vibes as the first 2 did, I still enjoyed it. It was fast-paced, lots of character development, loved that Hulda let loose a little and Owien! The ending made my heart happy and I can't wait to see what surprises Charlie has in store for us in the 4th book. I definitely recommend if you like magic, Victorian era(historical fiction) with a dash of romance, and mystery.

Was this review helpful?

Boy of Chaotic Making is the third book in the eccentric and fun Whimbrel House series. Picking up almost immediately where book 2 left off (this book does not work as a standalone), readers are thrown right into the action as Merritt and Owein receive a letter from none other than Queen Victoria. Thus ensues chaotic adventures in jolly old England featuring lots of magic, a mismatched marriage proposal, and a future for our beloved boy-turned-house-turned-dog.

BoCM is an enjoyable addition to this series, and although it's not dark as the previous installment, the mystery is fun, the stakes are high, and the characters are still so much fun. It was good to get more of Owein's POV, even if it's often filtered through Merritt, and I enjoyed the ending and the promise of greater adventures for Owein. Merritt and Hulda are true to form, and their upcoming nuptials create many opportunities for flirty banter--a first for Hulda! This couple is lovely to root for; even when Hulda's visions show events that could threaten their relationship, Merritt is steadfast and true and able to reassure Hulda of his love. I very much appreciate that their relationship avoids the miscommunication trope.

BoCM also gives readers new and exciting magics and a fun new cast of characters that feel real-to=life without overshadowing our main trio. Add in the British upper-class setting and personalities, and BoCM feels more like a cozy mystery, which is actually perfect after the darkness of Heir of Uncertain Magic. All in all, BoCM is a fun read, and I can't wait to see what's in store for our characters in the next book!

Was this review helpful?

Another great novel from this author and in this series. You certainly want to read these in order though, as this would be eh if read alone. As a continuation it was good. I missed the people and setting of Whimbrel House, but enjoyed this latest story of Owein, Merritt and Hulda.

Was this review helpful?

An amazing next step in the series! It brought an end to many of the ongoing storylines while bringing forth several new ones! The story brings a new location, new characters, and a whole new set of questions that I am dying to have answered! As always Charlie weaves a story that I am unable to put down, and leaves me yearning for more!

Was this review helpful?

I received an advanced reader’s copy from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinions.
I started reading this series Christmas a year ago, and it was everything I wanted. I loved the characters, the plot and the writer. It’s a bit steam punk, cozy paranormal- it’s perfect.
This is the third in the series, although this time most of the story takes place in England and not Bluagdone Island. The story centers mostly on Owein and him coming into his own- finding his own sense of place and belonging. A reconciling (if you will) of him not being a child, house or dog not really. This was every bit as lovely as the first two books, and I shed more than a few tears on behave of Cora and Owein throughout. I’m looking forward to the next one.
I had not read anything by this author before the Keeper of enchanted rooms -making this one the 4th of hers I’ve read this year. I’ve loved all of them and I’m eager for anything she writes!

Was this review helpful?

Charlie Holmberg has worked the most beautiful magic with words again. Everything she writes has a "something extra" quality, and all her characters are infused with life. I highly recommend picking up anything by her that catches your eye.

Was this review helpful?

Merritt Fernsby’s life changed dramatically the moment he inherited Whimbrel House. He went from being estranged from his family and feeling alone to having a tight-knit group all his own. Merritt also found love in his fiancé, Hulda Larkin, whose logical demeanor perfectly balances his whimsy. Merritt has also become fiercely protective of his great-times-many uncle Owein, who went from haunting the halls of Whimbrel House to the body of a terrier. It's this little tidbit that throws Merritt and the crew into a whole new adventure.

After receiving a letter from the Queen of England showing interest in Owein, the trio find themselves crossing the Atlantic. When they arrive, they discover that, due to Owein's powerful magical ability, the Queen is interested in getting him a human vessel and marrying him into the royal family. It has been so long since Owein had a body of his own, so he's quick to agree to the terms, but Merritt and Hulda have some concerns. Ones that only seem to grow when strange accidents start befalling them. It's clear that someone is against this scheme, but after 200 years of soul-drifting, Owein is willing to do whatever it takes to become whole again.

I'm starting to sound like a broken record with this series, but I adore it so much. It's everything I could want in a cozy fantasy series. Interesting magic system? Check. Fun, historical setting? Check. A found family I would die for? Check. I loved exploring a new setting and how it introduced new sects of magic users. I love how the magic is very give-and-take, and you see the different tolls each form takes on its users. Owein has always been a favorite character of mine, so I enjoyed how the plot focused on him. He has this interesting dynamic of being hundreds of years old while still a kid, and I liked watching him grow here. The other highlight of this series for me is Merritt and Hulda. Their relationship is everything. I didn't think I could swoon anymore over them, but I was wrong. My only slight complaint was that the plot was a little slow to kick off, but I was still engaged the entire time, and I'm crossing my fingers, hoping we get more.

Was this review helpful?