As reimaginings go this is pretty good.
Had I been sitting around thinking “Someone really needs to retell Brigadoon as a YA fantasy series”… well um… no. But if I had this series would have met the expectations that I didn’t know I already had.
I am a theatre geek at heart and absolutely adored that one of the characters was also. Relating events to their musical theatre equivalent and constantly thinking of songs to suit the occurrences and mood really resonated with me. So I was a little disappointed that Kenna didn’t end up being the real focal point of the story – but the ending gives me hope for the next installment.
The real focus of the book is Veronica – Vee – a tiny slip of a dancer who has an appetite that I can appreciate.
The opening scene was a little rough and not quite completely believable. It is the only scene set in high school and it just felt awkward. Stephanie and Eric both seemed more like 90210 caricatures than actual teenagers. Thankfully, once removed from the school setting, the writing and characters felt much more natural.
Best friends Vee and Kenna end up in Scotland after their senior year because of a bequest from Kenna’s aunt of a cottage. As in any good YA fantasy story that is where ordinary ends. This cottage happens to be next to the “Bridge of Doon” (did ya catch that?). And there are 2 handsome princes ready to match wits with our spunky American heroines and work together to save the mystical land of Doon from an evil witch.
About 1/4 of the way in I really got used to the switching between storytellers. Some chapters are from Vee’s point of view other’s from Kenna’s. While I m not sure how the book was actually written – it certainly feels like slightly different writing styles take the lead for each of the characters chapters. Oddly this helped to really bring the nuances of each character into focus and provide what felt like two distinct narrators – without being confusing or muddling.
The literal princes of this story are Duncan and Jamie. And both are quite dashing and everything one could want in a modern fairytale-ish story. Luckily they both have distinct and intriguing personalities as well.
I would like to have seen some more of the supporting characters really fleshed out. There were hints of what they could be if fully developed – and it was tantalizing – but ultimately I was left unfulfilled. Vee’s mom and Kenna’s dad both fall into this category as do some of the denizens of Doon.
Overall a very worthwhile read – I look forward to the next installment.
I was provided a gratis copy for review.