*I received this book as an ARC from Blink Publishing for an honest review*
If you were lucky enough to attend this year’s Southern Kentucky Bookfest, you may have met Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon who both attended, selling their books and sitting on panels. They wore tiaras (awesome), and plaid in celebration of their books. I loved it, and also had a great conversation with them. Hopefully they will be back next year!
Shades of Doon is the third in the Doon book series which was inspired by the musical Brigadoon (with permission, of course). The first book, Doon, and the second, Destined for Doon, should be added to your To Read list immediately if you like Young Adult with some Fantasy thrown in, so that you are prepared for the release of the third installment. These books take place in the magical world of Doon, which was separated from Scotland many centuries ago, around the Renaissance. The clash of certain modern inventions mixed in with a Renaissance world is interesting. Though at first it took a while to figure out how a castle had plumbing, it all clicks eventually, and works most of the time.
The novels are told from the point of views of Veronica (Vee) and Mackenna (Kenna), best friends who traveled to Scotland, and wind up in Doon. In this third installment, Veronica and Mackenna finally believe that they have secured Doon from all evil, and are ready to begin their lives. Unfortunately, Addie, their nemesis and witch who they have been fighting, has yet another plot to enter Doon and become Queen. There are twists and turns in this plot that I was not expecting, and I greatly enjoyed both the pace and the events that take place.
One of the best things about this novel is the premise of Doon. People from all walks of live are called to Doon, every 100 years on the Centennial to bring to Doon things that it needs. The diversity of Doon citizens is amazing, and it looks like the world we wish we lived in today (minus electricity). Many different countries are represented by the various people who have come to call Doon home, and I had not realized just how many until this novel. I think it is a wonderful aspect of the novels and something we can all hope to aspire to in our own world. There are people from Italy and Australia, England, the US, and more. It is a mash-up of epic proportions.
As Veronica and Mackenna were until recently part of our world, there are many pop culture references to musicals, sons, television and books that bring the novel that much closer to its readers. It is fun to read, and I think it makes the characters that much more relatable. The characters are written well (Langdon writes Veronica, and Corp writes Mackenna), and have fun facts that you learn about them as the stories progress. One of the best things about this novel is that the characters are best friends, and that friendship molds their choices throughout the novel, often even above the romances they have found in Doon. Because you see the story from both perspectives, you see details you would have missed otherwise, and you see their friendship, what is has meant throughout the years to each of them, and what it means to them even now. Young adults (read teenagers) need more books that revolve around friendships, and perhaps less romance. Friendships last forever, often teenage relationships do not, and this book is a great example of what having a best friend can mean. And of course, it still gives us handsome guys to dream about!
On the note of relationships, I must say this book brought the maturity level of the relationships up. I like the fact that Mackenna does not want to rush into binding arrangements to her called soulmate, Duncan, even though she knows she loves him. The same goes for Veronica and Jaime. It gives the two a level of maturity that sets a good example for other girls reading the series. True love is wonderful, but it still does not mean anything should be rushed! I love that they get to know each other, that they fight and things get rocky, and that they know how much they love each other.
This book also delves into the backstory of Doon once again, and as the story progresses we learn more about the previous rulers, the Protector of Doon, and how things currently work. The backstory is essential to understanding what is currently happening in Doon. This aspect of the books is one of its strongest points. A story with a good backstory is always better. I believe that the authors have done well developing backstory and side stories for the characters. The side characters are as often as developed as the main characters, and I greatly enjoy that.
I do have one worry with this series, and that is to how many books there may be in the Doon series. There have been several series that were wonderful in the beginning and just became repetitive and upsetting in the dragging on of plot (read House of Night). I do not want that to happen with this series, whatsoever. The third book continues the growth of our main and side characters, gives us whole new characters to love/hate, and continues expanding the world of Doon and the magic that exists within (both good and evil). Nothing has become stale or overdone and I hope that continues to be the case.
Both Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon are active on social media and can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as their own http://www.doonseries.com website, where you can find maps drawn by the authors of the Doon kingdom! They also have a few interviews which can be found on the website or on youtube, which are informative and fun. Be sure to follow these authors, and sign up for their emails in order to stay on track of Doon news and new releases. A fourth book will be on the horizon…