Monday, August 13, 2012

On Karen Marie Moning's rerelease of "Into the Dreaming"

Happy Monday,

This week it’s all about a rerelease of a novella from my favorite author—Karen Marie Moning’s “Into the Dreaming.”

For this story to work, I need to here mention that I am legally blind and get my books through bookshare, which is a fantastic resource (tell all your blind friends) but, like most blind book resources, has a bit of a delay between when most books come out and when they are available.

Why do I mention this, I mention this because this story starts not with “Into the Dreaming” but “Fever Moon,” a graphic novel that centers around Mac and Barrons—the main characters of Moning’s “Fever Series.” (SIDE NOTE: If you like what I have to say about “Into the Dreaming,” check out my Yahoo Voices article about the “Fever Series.”)

Back on track, I saw “Fever Moon” in my July new releases e-mail from Goodreads (another awesome website). So, I flew to Bookshare, typed in Moning’s name, and found no “Fever Moon.” But, I found “Into the Dreaming” and read that instead. The novella was rereleased back in April and now, in addition to spoilers from “Darkfever” (the first book in the “Fever Series”), it includes a deleted scene from Moning’s “Kiss of the Highlander,” one of the books in her “Highlanders Series”), content from a romance novel that was never published, an alternate opening to Moning’s “Dark Highlander” novel, and a peek at art from the previously mentioned “Fever Moon.”

Before I continue, a bit of background. “Into the Dreaming” falls between the worlds of “The Highlander Series” and “The Fever Series.” Like the Highlander books, it takes place in Medieval Scotland and features a girl from modern times being thrust back in time. “The Fever Series,” by contrast, takes place in an Ireland beset by the Fae. “Into the Dreaming” features the Seelie Queen and Unseelie King—the rulers of the light and dark fae courts respectively. Both characters are lesser, yet key characters in the Fever world.

The novella itself tells the duel stories of Aedon MacKinnon (a Scottish Highlander in Medieval time) and Jane Sillee (a modern-day aspiring romance novelist). Aedon has been kept prisoner by the Unseelie king for centuries and tortured until no vestige of his former self remained. In a game of the Fae courts, Aedon (who knows himself only as Vengeance) is returned to his home. Meanwhile, Jane has had dreams about Aedon her entire life and when a tapestry baring his picture shows up on her doorstep, her dreams become a reality. She is brought back in time to Medieval Scotland and must win back Aedon’s heart before time runs out so that she may keep him and not have him return to the Unseelie King.

Can she do it?

Answer—I’d suggest you read the book, but because I’m not heartless, I will let you know next Monday. ;)

I would actually recommend that you read all of Moning’s books. I discovered the “Fever Series” at the beginning of my junior year of college. I fell into it so completely that I spent the entire second weekend of the semester shut up in my room reading it. I only emerged for meals and then ran back to my room to read. This is how into these books I was. When a friend called to say she was on campus and asked if I wanted to watch a Disney movie, only my sense of obligation to hang out with her because she’d taken her time to drive to campus (she was a commuter) brought me out of my room. We all know my love for Disney.

It gets worse. I finished the fourth book in the “Fever Series,” stared at my computer screen, and thought “That’s it? That can’t be it? She can’t end it there? There must be a fifth book.” Oh yes, yes there was a fifth book, and it wouldn’t come out for over a year. I was…you can imagine. I read the fifth book in the “Fever Series” the day it came out (bookshare was right on top of that one because the author was a best seller).

So, “Into the Dreaming.” It has a taste of the Fever world, which hooked me right away. It’s fun, sexy (Moning writes urban fantasy with strong romantic elements after all), and takes place in my second favorite country in the world, Scotland—Ireland is my favorite. Someday, I will go to Europe. I will visit Ireland, Scotland, and England—in that order—and I will be very happy. Until then, I will read everything Moning writes.

But, to stay with “Into the Dreaming,” Jane is a strong character, and I identified with her—the struggling writer. The story has just the right amount of paranormal elements to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Aedon (like all of Moning’s main male characters) is strong and gorgeous but also dark and mysterious. Notice, I said nothing about him being wholly good or generally a good person in there. Read her other works to understand what I mean. Moning flaws her characters and leaves me wishing I was a third as good at flawing mine. I don’t know how she does it.

A bit of advertising. “Iced: A Dani O’Malley Novel” and Moning’s newest addition to the Fever world comes out in October. Dani is a strong-willed teenage girl right out of the “Fever Series.” “Iced” promises more intrigue, more fae, and more action that will keep the reader turning pages. I await the release of “Iced” with growing excitement.

See you out of the box,

P.S. Please check back with my post about “Hazard Yet Forward”—the anthology to help a fellow writer battle cancer. I’ve added links to my posts of other writers who have blogged about the book. Check them out! Also, I did an interview on a fellow SHUer’s blog last week. Check it and her blog out here!

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