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Halloween is a bad time to return to the woods . . .

Madeline MacFaddin ("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 . . .

Published: HarperCollins on Jun 28, 2011
ISBN: 9780062092298
List price: $7.99
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On the surface, Feast has every element which fans of paranormal romance fiction would enjoy. It has otherworldly creatures with a mysterious past, a strong central female character, a gorgeous backdrop, mystery, tension, danger. Unfortunately, the elements are combined in such a fashion that makes Feast extremely confusing and just plain forgettable.In any paranormal storyline, the most important thing an author should do is to fully describe the supernatural creature. Unfortunately, Ms. Destefano fails to adequately describe the Darklings so that the reader is left not knowing who they are and why they are dangerous. With fangs, bat-like wings, and an ability to glamour, they appear to be similar to vampires, but they are not. With names like Ash, feeding on dreams, and an entire court system, they also have elements of the Fae, but they are not. Exactly what they are is never explained. The reader is left to put together a puzzle that is missing half of its pieces. This incomplete picture of the main dangerous element of the novel makes for lackluster tension. It is difficult to feel concern for the heroine when one cannot discern what the danger actually is.The entire novel feels undeveloped. Maddie's past is only briefly described, especially her fame and previous relationship which she is fleeing at the start of the novel. The curse that binds Ash is never explained at all. Neither is The Harvest, Maddie's powers, or an entire slew of essential elements of the story. While the premise is fascinating, there are simply too many holes or unexplained sections that make it difficult for a reader to follow the action and care about the characters.Where Ms. Destefano does shine is in her descriptions of Ticonderoga Falls. The outdoor scenes are some of the most fully described in the entire novel. As such, the reader gets a clear mental picture of the spookiness of the woods and the natural beauty of the area. These scenes are some of the strongest in the novel, even if the reader does not fully understand what is happening.My disappointment in Feast is only enhanced by the fact that the premise of it is so intriguing. Done properly, it truly could have been an excellent novel that stood out among its peers for involving a new supernatural creature. Unfortunately, the lack of execution only leaves the reader frustrated with the potential for greatness the story has.Thank you to NetGalley for my e-galley!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Harper Voyager; Original edition (June 28, 2011) My Rating: 3.5 starsGenre: Paranormal Fantasy**Review** Feast: Harvest of Dreams is the story, mainly, about Maddie McFadden who is a successful screen writer and graphic novelist who has been compared to Steven King and Neil Gaiman. Maddie, her son Tucker, and wolfhound named Samwise, return to Ticonderoga Falls twenty-five years after she spent the summers there with her parents. She is trying to find a way to release her writers’ block that has been nagging her since her divorce to her cheating asshat spouse. She figures Ticonderoga with its mysteries abound, will break the block once and for-all.Maddie remembers bits and pieces of her past, but nothing concrete. She does remember a kindly man named Ash, who she gets reacquainted with soon after arriving in town. She vaguely remembers creatures with dark skin and broad wings, shifting from one shape to the next. She actually thought it was all a dream, but now that she is back in town, she believes that it might have been real. What she doesn’t realize is that by being back in town, she has put herself into harm’s way from beings that she can only dream and write about.Our main male protag is Ash. Ash is a Darkling, and the guardian of Ticonderoga Falls. What is a guardian you ask, and lots of you have? He is responsible for not allowing renegade Darklings to feast on the dreams of the residents humans without his permission. Ash has been cursed to remain in this town after his wife was Lily was murdered by one of its residents. In a fit of rate, he not only cursed the family responsible, but he also cursed himself into remaining in town for as long as the curse remains in place.Ash remembers Maddie when his cousin tried to steal her away from him, and has vowed to protect her, or feast on her dreams all by himself. And, my does she have some nice dreams to feast upon! He also realizes that he is slowly falling into a funk that could harm the residents of the town, and cause him to become a Hauntings – a spirit that stays in one place too long, with bad intentions towards those around him. He still pines for the wife that he believes he allowed to be killed, while taking up with another and having Elsbeth who is part darkling and part human. There have been quite a few questions put out about this story like what are Darklings? What is Feasting actually? And, what exactly does a Guardian do? You as the reader must answer them yourself after reading the book. Not paying attention to rumors or innuendos or even reviewers which includes mine. Truly pay attention to the characters in the book and read what Feasting actually means. Does it mean that the Darklings are in fact Vampires as others have stated? Don't allow yourself to get confused by the change in POV's. Normally I don't care for the abrupt changes in the POV, but with this book, the chapters are actually short enough that it actually works for me.This is a paranormal romance novel as Maddie and Ash discover their attraction to each other, as well as the danger from the Darklings that are supposed to answer to him while they are in town but have their own hidden agendas.Maddie is a really good character, with no discernable flaws that normally come from urban fantasy or PNR novels heroines. Her imagination is what ends up saving the day from the villainous louse who calls himself cousin to Ash. She has the ability to ward off any attempts to steal her dreams which makes her a dangerous weapon.I'm curious as to the release of this book after Afterlife was released as part of a series. This appears to be a standalone release as the story really does wrap itself up. DeStefano could actually continue to a sequel, and I'm sure there would be those interested in what happens next.Recvd ARC via Netgalley.com. Pub Date: 06/28/2011read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.

Reviews

On the surface, Feast has every element which fans of paranormal romance fiction would enjoy. It has otherworldly creatures with a mysterious past, a strong central female character, a gorgeous backdrop, mystery, tension, danger. Unfortunately, the elements are combined in such a fashion that makes Feast extremely confusing and just plain forgettable.In any paranormal storyline, the most important thing an author should do is to fully describe the supernatural creature. Unfortunately, Ms. Destefano fails to adequately describe the Darklings so that the reader is left not knowing who they are and why they are dangerous. With fangs, bat-like wings, and an ability to glamour, they appear to be similar to vampires, but they are not. With names like Ash, feeding on dreams, and an entire court system, they also have elements of the Fae, but they are not. Exactly what they are is never explained. The reader is left to put together a puzzle that is missing half of its pieces. This incomplete picture of the main dangerous element of the novel makes for lackluster tension. It is difficult to feel concern for the heroine when one cannot discern what the danger actually is.The entire novel feels undeveloped. Maddie's past is only briefly described, especially her fame and previous relationship which she is fleeing at the start of the novel. The curse that binds Ash is never explained at all. Neither is The Harvest, Maddie's powers, or an entire slew of essential elements of the story. While the premise is fascinating, there are simply too many holes or unexplained sections that make it difficult for a reader to follow the action and care about the characters.Where Ms. Destefano does shine is in her descriptions of Ticonderoga Falls. The outdoor scenes are some of the most fully described in the entire novel. As such, the reader gets a clear mental picture of the spookiness of the woods and the natural beauty of the area. These scenes are some of the strongest in the novel, even if the reader does not fully understand what is happening.My disappointment in Feast is only enhanced by the fact that the premise of it is so intriguing. Done properly, it truly could have been an excellent novel that stood out among its peers for involving a new supernatural creature. Unfortunately, the lack of execution only leaves the reader frustrated with the potential for greatness the story has.Thank you to NetGalley for my e-galley!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Harper Voyager; Original edition (June 28, 2011) My Rating: 3.5 starsGenre: Paranormal Fantasy**Review** Feast: Harvest of Dreams is the story, mainly, about Maddie McFadden who is a successful screen writer and graphic novelist who has been compared to Steven King and Neil Gaiman. Maddie, her son Tucker, and wolfhound named Samwise, return to Ticonderoga Falls twenty-five years after she spent the summers there with her parents. She is trying to find a way to release her writers’ block that has been nagging her since her divorce to her cheating asshat spouse. She figures Ticonderoga with its mysteries abound, will break the block once and for-all.Maddie remembers bits and pieces of her past, but nothing concrete. She does remember a kindly man named Ash, who she gets reacquainted with soon after arriving in town. She vaguely remembers creatures with dark skin and broad wings, shifting from one shape to the next. She actually thought it was all a dream, but now that she is back in town, she believes that it might have been real. What she doesn’t realize is that by being back in town, she has put herself into harm’s way from beings that she can only dream and write about.Our main male protag is Ash. Ash is a Darkling, and the guardian of Ticonderoga Falls. What is a guardian you ask, and lots of you have? He is responsible for not allowing renegade Darklings to feast on the dreams of the residents humans without his permission. Ash has been cursed to remain in this town after his wife was Lily was murdered by one of its residents. In a fit of rate, he not only cursed the family responsible, but he also cursed himself into remaining in town for as long as the curse remains in place.Ash remembers Maddie when his cousin tried to steal her away from him, and has vowed to protect her, or feast on her dreams all by himself. And, my does she have some nice dreams to feast upon! He also realizes that he is slowly falling into a funk that could harm the residents of the town, and cause him to become a Hauntings – a spirit that stays in one place too long, with bad intentions towards those around him. He still pines for the wife that he believes he allowed to be killed, while taking up with another and having Elsbeth who is part darkling and part human. There have been quite a few questions put out about this story like what are Darklings? What is Feasting actually? And, what exactly does a Guardian do? You as the reader must answer them yourself after reading the book. Not paying attention to rumors or innuendos or even reviewers which includes mine. Truly pay attention to the characters in the book and read what Feasting actually means. Does it mean that the Darklings are in fact Vampires as others have stated? Don't allow yourself to get confused by the change in POV's. Normally I don't care for the abrupt changes in the POV, but with this book, the chapters are actually short enough that it actually works for me.This is a paranormal romance novel as Maddie and Ash discover their attraction to each other, as well as the danger from the Darklings that are supposed to answer to him while they are in town but have their own hidden agendas.Maddie is a really good character, with no discernable flaws that normally come from urban fantasy or PNR novels heroines. Her imagination is what ends up saving the day from the villainous louse who calls himself cousin to Ash. She has the ability to ward off any attempts to steal her dreams which makes her a dangerous weapon.I'm curious as to the release of this book after Afterlife was released as part of a series. This appears to be a standalone release as the story really does wrap itself up. DeStefano could actually continue to a sequel, and I'm sure there would be those interested in what happens next.Recvd ARC via Netgalley.com. Pub Date: 06/28/2011
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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