“Shades of Doon” by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Writing Quality: 4 out of 5 stars.
How much I enjoyed it: 3 out of 5 stars.
After cheating death, Veronica Welling is determined to savor every moment in her idyllic kingdom with both her true love and best friend by her side at last. At the same time, Mackenna Reid is enthusiastically building her new life and a theater with her prince. But just as their dreams of happiness are within reach, the world Vee and Kenna have chosen is ripped away, leaving them to face their most horrific challenge yet—their old lives.
Thrust out of Doon, the best friends are confronted with tormentors from their past and no way to return to their adopted land. When the MacCrae brothers rush to their rescue, the girls’ situation turns from nightmare to modern-day fairy tale. But their happiness could be short-lived: unbeknownst to them, someone in their closest circle is aiding the witch of Doon in her bid to destroy the kingdom once and for all.
Thank you, Blink and Gwen Hendrickson, for sending me a review ARC of “Shades of Doon” by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. In no way has this affected my review.
I have mixed feelings about this book. A couple of years back Gwen had sent me an ARC of “Doon” by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon before its release in August of 2013, and I really liked it. “Doon” was a cute and new story, and I loved that it took place in Scotland, which is a place I have always wanted to visit; it wasn’t a life altering book for me, but I liked it and wanted to read the next boo in the “Doon” series when it came out. The following year I purchased “Destined for Doon” in the hopes that I would like it as much as its predecessor, but I think that I had changed a lot as a reader, so I didn’t end up liking the second book as much as I had the first. Despite that, I still wanted to continue in the “Doon” series, and so I pretty excited when I got approved for an ARC of “Shades of Doon.”
“Shades of Doon” picked up soon after “Destined for Doon” left off, so there wasn’t much to miss between books two and three; Carey and Lorie also did a good job of continuing on with the story while scattering reminders of what happened in book two throughout “Shades of Doon.” It had been a year since I read “Destined for Doon,” so some of it was pretty foggy, but after only a little while of reading this book, I was able to remember most of the second book before the plot of “Shades of Doon” thickened.
I have to hand it to Carey and Lorie for definitely getting more creative with their plot, and I was also happy to see that Mackenna and Duncan were more like themselves in this book. In “Doon” Duncan and Kenna had been my favorite characters because they were cute, funny, and they had history, but in “Destined for Doon” both of them became broody and they lost the lightheartedness that had originally endeared them to me. Obviously they had good reason to act that way in book two, but I still hadn’t liked it and was happy to find them acting more like themselves in “Shades of Doon.” I think that I’ve changed a lot as a reader over the last couple of years because, even though I was happy both Duncan and Kenna were back, I still felt a little distant from them in this book. Duncan and Kenna remained my favorites while reading “Shades of Doon,” even if I was a bit distant from them, and I thought that their relation was a sweet contrast to this book’s darker theme.
Sadly, besides Duncan and Kenna, I didn’t really feel like I cared that much about the other characters in this book. Veronica and Jamie have always irritated me a bit, even in the first book, and I wanted to like them in “Shades of Doon,” but I just didn’t care all that much for them or their romance. I almost wish that the “Doon” series was romance-less because then it would feel less forced; for me personally, the romance was what made me dislike reading these books, even Duncan’s and Kenna’s at times, and I wish it was more of an adventure and coming of age series rather than a romantic fantasy series. “Doon” is a cute series, I just really don’t like the romance in it.
Besides me not being a fan of the romance, I did find some of the twist in “Shades of Doon” to be interesting, and I thought it was clever of Carey and Lorie to have Veronica and MacKenna get thrown back into the modern world. I wasn’t a fan of how Kenna’s dad and Veronica’s mom were very distant, and I felt like it was an easy plot device to justify the two girls choosing to leave their families behind them without any warning when they first got transported to “Doon.” Absentee parents are commonly used to justify teens picking up and leaving their old lives behind, and I just am personally not a fan of that plot device to make it easier to explain. At one point in this book, however, Veronica saw her mom again, and so I was glad to at least see Carey and Lorie have their character say goodbye.
Overall “Shades of Doon” was a good book. Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon made the plot a bit more intricate and it did feel like their characters had grown a bit since the beginning of this series. It took me until about halfway through to into this book, but once things started to pick up, I enjoyed reading “Shades of Doon.” This isn’t a series I’ll reread a lot, but it is cute and clean, and I will definitely read the fourth and final book when it comes out. A good read that I would definitely recommend it to younger readers who like the fantasy genre.
P.S. I have a giveaway going for this book, so check it out by clicking on this link: https://booksandwonderfulthings.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/arc-giveaway/