Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Harvest of Dreams by Merrie Destefano

Ok.  First things first.  The cover of this book is just terrible.  Terrible.  It does not accurately reflect the type of story inside at all.  Look at it.  Look!  Wouldn't you expect this to be about one of those kickass urban fantasy heroines, who beats the crap out of the baddies and sexes it up with the dude on the cover?  Does the woman on this cover look like she is a divorced mom with a 9 year-old son, who's life is falling apart?  This is a typical urban fantasy cover but this is not an urban fantasy.  Instead it's a lyrical, darkly magical tale that feels almost like a fairytale.   

Feast by Merrie Destefano
(Harvest of Dreams, #1
ISBN 0061990825 
ISBN13: 9780061990823
Published June 28th 2011 by Harper Voyager
Blurb: Madeline MacFadden ("Mad Mac" to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she's always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.
But Maddie doesn't remember the dark parts -- and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area's terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the Harvest. . . the time to feast.
Once again Maddie's dreams -- and her soul -- are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during Harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own.

Merrie Destefano has created a mythology that is fresh yet feels like some distant story you've heard long ago.  There is a spooky quality to this book that is quite effective and the writing is evocative and at times, even lovely.  The story is told from multiple points of view and some readers might find this a bit jarring.  I was grateful that most of the chapters from the villain's point of view were brief, sometimes only a couple of pages.  I don't mind multiple points of view when done right but I dislike reading things from the villain's point of view.  Most times it comes across as gratuitous so I was happy we didn't have to spend much time there.

Destefano's Darklings are a bit creepy and, yet, enticing.  I wouldn't call them sexy but there is something seductive about them all the same.  They can change shape and wield magic plus they feed on the dreams of humans.  If the Darklings take too much, though, their prey will die. 
The story is set during the Harvest and this year, the hero Ash will be joined by several visiting family members to feast upon the locals.  It's against Darkling law to kill humans but not all feel the need to obey the law, namely quite of few of Ash's guests.  Not only is the heroine, Maddie at risk but so to is her young son, as well as the townsfolk.  What follows is a suspenseful tale filled with moments of dread and danger.  

What makes this tale stand out is the tone. There is a dreamy quality to this story that the best fairytales often have.  Like many fairy tales, though, its best not to look too deep.  Just as we accept Cinderella's evil stepmother, never asking "what's her problem?",  in Feast, the reader needs to do the same; accept the characters as written.   Feast is an eerie, enchanting tale that is also a quick read.  It's a good book to snuggle up to on a crisp fall night.



Where'd I Get It: from

No comments:

Post a Comment