Kissing, mention of sex, references to magically coerced sex and pregnancy.
Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.
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.
From FEAST’s first chapter I was engrossed as much with the mythology expanding before my eyes as I was with the characters who had already won my heart. The balance of character development and world building excellence that was impossible to put down. With a dreamy quality that I associate with Charles de Lint or Nina Kirki Hoffman, and with a touch of her own urban fantasy style thrown in, Destefano transforms a piece of our every day world into something dark and magical.
That little piece of magic is the vacation town of Ticonderoga Falls and it’s inhabitants. It’s a getaway spot for humans, and, when the Hunt draws near, Darklings from another realm. The mythology of the Darklings unfolds slowly and organically, mixed in with the sad personal history of our hero, the ancient and damaged Ash. Destefano isn’t shy about painting Ash’s dark side, but it was that grittiness that made it so fascinating to watch him orbit and collide with Maddie and the locals, and created an adrenaline rush of fear and anticipation that accompanied each human/Darkling interaction.
While those moments of contact never came without a frisson of danger, there were also hints of long term symbiotic relationships, of love and passion that crossed realms. While I had a hard time imagining what a happily ever after would look like between Ash and Maddie themselves (never mind their blended families), I loved the level of detail and uncertainty Destefano lavished on her characters. Ash has lived numerous lives before, and Destefano deftly writes glimpses of his past even as she writes his present. Ash himself has doubts about a place for Maddie in his life, and his internal struggles leave the ending in question until the last pages, a delicious delay that never felt contrived.
All throughout FEAST, that artful uncertainty, when Maddie was vulnerable to other Darklings, and the entire town of Ticonderoga Falls is at risk for nightmares and heartbreak and death, I was cringing in anticipation and yelling at the pages. From beginning to end FEAST wrapped me up in it’s faerie tale, and kept me completely under the spell of Destefano’s dark dream.
About the author
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