Tuesday, August 6, 2013

There's no Gene Kelly in this Scottish Highland...

I was recently set loose in a veritable shopping center of digital ARCs set up by publishers to showcase upcoming releases. In an effort to expand my genre horizons, I selected  Doon. At first glance it’s not all that different from what I usually read, falling into both fantasy and romance genres. However this novel is published by Zondervan, a  Christian publishing house. For the most part I’ve found the label of “Christian Fiction” to be a turn off when selecting books. I’m always afraid that the dogma will overpower the story, turning the novel into a religious tract instead of entertainment. Doon was not what I was expecting.

Mackenna  and Veronica, two recent high school graduates, are spending the summer in Scotland. While
they were hoping for a bit of adventure and views of handsome young men in kilts, they got a little more than they bargained for when they crossed the Brig o’ Doon one misty, foggy night and ended up in a land
seemingly untouched by time. Veronica is especially startled when she sees one of Doon’s princes, Jamie MacCrae, for the first time – he’s the super hot “Kilt Boy” she’s seen in her waking visions. How could that be? Mackenna is more taken with Jamie’s brother Duncan. With warm eyes and an easy, flirtatious smile, Prince Duncan is everything that his cold, suspicious, standoffish older brother is not. It’s not unreasonable that Jamie is paranoid of the girls’ appearance, though. Doon is constantly on guard against an evil witch, and the kingdom is at its most vulnerable when at the Centennial – just two weeks away. At that time the gates open and outsiders who receive a Calling come to Doon to live. It’s also at that time that the witch could sneak a cursed object in, or try to send in a spy or a member of her coven to destroy Doon and regain her full power. Veronica and Mackenna know that they weren’t sent by any witch, but with mysterious disappearances and signs of evil appearing throughout the kingdom coinciding with their presence, how can they convince Jamie, Duncan and the citizens of Doon that they are innocent? More importantly, how will Veronica be able to leave Doon in two weeks, when her heart has finally found its home?

Told by both Mackenna and Veronica in alternating chapters, there is plenty of teen angst in this novel, though most of it is Veronica's (it's really more her story than Mackenna's). While developing the characters the authors have done a wonderful job with solving the questions of Doon’s survival, imagining explanations for things that might have niggled at the back of reader’s minds (such as inbreeding). This is definitely a “gentle read,” but it is not overly preachy or even pushing morality. The majority of the faith-based discussions fit seamlessly into the storyline. Equally well plotted is the avoidance of actual sex or anything beyond heavy kissing. It would actually be jarring and out of character, in this novel, for Veronica or Mackenna to have taken that step.

Overall, Doon is quick, enjoyable read that will leave you wanting more. The ending leaves us ready for another book in the series, and I’ll definitely add it to my to-read list when it comes out. Meanwhile, you can enter to win a copy of Doon on Goodreads right now!

Author(s): Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Version Reviewed: Netgalley Digital ARC
Rating (out of five stars): 3 1/2 - 4 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment