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Doon Kindle Edition
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Another confession: I don't often hold Christian art in high regard (at least not since the Renaissance). We tend these days to be derivative. And I say this as a guy who had a Christian Music Recommendation Poster on my bedroom wall in high school. So after the Christian Harry-Potter-Haters had their 15 minutes, I felt sure we were destined for a glut of bad Christian knock-off fiction.
I'm pleased to report that DOON by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon breaks the mold.
Doon is the retelling of the legend of Brigadoon (yes, the one from the Gene Kelly musical). It's one of the launch titles for Blink, a new YA imprint from Zondervan. If Doon is any indication, Blink is publishing books that have a distinctively Christian worldview but tell stories for their own sake (not to preach or teach). But enough about that. How is Doon?
Doon introduces us to Veronica and McKinna, two girls who plan to spend the summer in Scotland. As they prepare to embark, Veronica begins to have visions of a man in a kilt. Since this is a YA novel (and, you know, there's a sweet castle on the cover), we're not surprised that they're transported into a magical kingdom shortly after they arrive in Scotland, or that the eternal fate of said magical kingdom rests squarely on their shoulders.
Doon is a great YA book. But is it good Christian fiction?
Fair warning: minor Doon spoilers follow.
Neither Veronica nor McKenna is a Christian. But the kingdom of Brigadoon is, explicitly. They attribute their continued existence to the Protector, a clear allegory for the Christian god (and since they're sort of medieval Scottish, what else would they be?) Though the point of the story isn't just to talk about God, the mystical nature of Brigadoon forces Vee and Kenna to confront their (lack of) faith.
But their spiritual journeys aren't artificial or forced. Nor do they resolve clearly (of course, we have been promised three more books). This is the power of fantasy: by putting ordinary teens into an extraordinary scenario, these conversations feel organic.
Since Doon is fantasy, teens thinking deeply about God is probably the most realistic aspect of the story.
More generally, the best part of Doon is the girls themselves. Vee and Kenna feel like real teenage girls. They have real insecurities and a real, strong friendship. As the Doon series gains popularity, we're going to see their friendship celebrated: far from the frenemy relationships we see in most depictions of teen girls these days, Vee and Kenna are each other's biggest fans. Far from exploiting each others' weaknesses, they complement each other, forming a team that's stronger together.
Speaking of which, Doon also deserves to be commended for its girl-power ending. Despite the fact that they're telling a modern fairy-tale, Vee and Kenna are no damsels in distress. They drive the plot, they resolve the conflict. They even save the beautiful dudes in distress.
Why should Christians celebrate Doon?
Because it's got strong female characters who model healthy friendship. Because it has believable, relatable teens thinking honestly and seriously about God. And because this is a story written by two Christians who put the story first and trusted the power of story (and their faith) to be compelling enough. Let's hope for plenty more where Doon came from.
Bottom Line: If you like YA, you'll like Doon. Let's hope it sets a new trend for thoughtful, engaged Christian literature.
It is well written, and the characters are well developed, but based on the description I thought it would be a little more adventurous as they explore the land of Doon, however it is more of a love story and other than some different customs the story could have been set in our real world and been predominately the same. I just wasn't what I was expecting or hoping for when I picked it up. There are more books in the series and maybe those dive a little deeper into the aspects of the story that I was hoping for, but I'll probably never know because I don't plan on picking this one up since it wasn't what I was looking for. If you like love stories though, then this one is for you.
I tried reading Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon when it first came out because I heard so many amazing things about it. I was only able to get halfway through it before I put it down and forgot about it and began reading something else. Fast forward to three years later and I finally picked it up again to read…and wow! I really regret putting it down the first time! Now I have so much catching up to do since Destined for Doon, Shades of Doon, and Forever Doon have been published.
The main characters, Veronica Welling and Mackenna Reid are best friends who have been separated. Mackenna has just accepted an internship offering for a Theatre production and Veronica is struggling to see her future. Veronica’s dad ran out on her and was a druggie and her mother comes home drunk with Bob the Slob every night. Eric, Veronica’s ex-boyfriend, just traded her for another cheerleader who’s Veronica’s nemesis.
Mackenna has planned a trip for her and Vee to visit her old cottage in Scotland during the summer. When Vee begins seeing visions of a dreamy Scotsman she becomes more excited and curious about where their trip to Scotland might lead her. Through a series of events told through both Vee and Mackenna’s perspectives, the lassies end up in the kingdom of Doon, a realm outside their own. Now, Vee must convince Mackenna that Doon is where they both belong as Vee searches for her dream boy and wards off an evil witch trying to destroy Doon.
I found myself wanting to spend any free moment I had reading this book as it pulled me into the story. Filled with romance and adventure, I couldn’t put it down! I wanted to be in Doon experiencing the same things Vee and Mackenna were and I wish I could’ve fallen in love with a hunky Scottish prince. *swoons* This was a very light and fast read for me and I thoroughly enjoyed its thrill. It ends with a cliffhanger that has left me wanting more so I will for sure be picking up Destined for Doon sometime in the near future. This is the first book I’ve read that has had multiple authors and I was skeptical at first but am glad I finally sat down and read it. The writing was good, the plot was well crafted, and each character was thoroughly developed. The only negative comment I have is about Prince Jamie. Why was he so moody? This was never really explained he just went from distancing himself from Vee to completely falling in love with her without so much as an explanation to his previous behavior. But other than that single flaw I absolutely loved the book and can’t wait to finish the series.
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