2.5 Stars/ Grade C
*Hard cover borrowed from library*
This new edition of the novella contains more than 100 pages of bonus material, including:
• a deleted scene from Kiss of the Highlander
• a proposal for a never-published romance
• an alternate opening version of The Dark Highlander
• a sneak peek at art from the upcoming graphic novel Fever Moon
For the first time in hardcover, here is #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning’s novella Into the Dreaming, a tale of Highland fantasy, star-crossed lovers, and the timeless manipulation of the ancient, immortal Unseelie king. This is Moning at her romantic, funniest finest. Free him from his ice-borne hell . . .
Stolen from his beloved home in the highlands of Scotland, imprisoned in the Unseelie king’s dark, frosty kingdom, Aedan MacKinnon endured centuries of torture before becoming the icy, emotionless Vengeance, the dark king’s dispatcher of death and destruction in the mortal realm.
And in his century you both may well . .
Aspiring romance novelist Jane Sillee has always believed that she was born in the wrong century, but she’s managed to make a decent enough life for herself—if only she could stop having those recurring dreams about a man too perfect to exist.
In the Dreaming you have loved him …
Haunted every night of her life by a devastatingly sexy Highlander who comes to her while she sleeps, Jane tries to write him out of her head and heart. As a child he protected her, as a woman he loves her.
Now in the Waking you must save him . . .
When an ancient tapestry bearing the likeness of her beloved Highlander arrives on her doorstep, Jane is whisked back in time to fifteenth-century Scotland, to the castle of Dun Haakon on the isle of Skye, where she is given one chance to save her dream lover . . . or lose him forever to the Unseelie king.
Caught in a deadly game between the light and dark courts of the Fae, Jane must find a way through the ice to the heart of her Highander. But will the love of one mortal woman be enough to defeat such ancient and ruthless immortal enemies?
Into the Dreaming is a short story set in Moning’s Highlander/Fever world originally published in the anthology Tapestry in 2002. I first read it in the spring of 2010 when I was on a desperate hunt for clues to discover what the heck Jericho Barrons was and trying assuage the pain of the wait for Shadowfever. Into the Dreaming then was a fun read, provided me with what I thought at the time were decent clues but in the end did not turn out to be anything but a sweet distraction. Once again I find myself in a desperate wait for Moning to publish her books. Fever Moon, which is a graphic novel with a new Barrons and Mac storyline is scheduled to be released on July 10, 2012. Like a good addicted fan, I have already pre-ordered it. Then there is Iced, Moning’s new spin-off series set in the Fever world, with Dani as the main character that is scheduled to be released on October 30, 2012. I have that pre-ordered as well. Like many good Fever/Moning fans, I own a variety of versions of her books — ebook, audio and hard cover. And that is for all of her books — I own and have read and listened (and re-read and re-listened multiple times) to all of her books. I bought both CDs released that accompany her Fever world. I am a semi-regular reader of her blog, I have posted at her forum and I have considered going to her new release parties in New Orleans. I write all of this so you will all understand I am a fan of her work. Have I proven myself?
Okay, so here it is — Into the Dreaming with bonus material is not worth paying the hardcover or new release e-book price. Get it from the library, look for the older anthology Tapestry and read the short story there. This book offers fans very little to justify the price tag. The short story “Into the Dreaming” itself is a decent read if fans of Moning’s writing enjoyed her other Highlander books. If you haven’t read her Highlander series, then I recommend starting with Kiss of a Highlander, which is the beginning of the highlander story arc and then moving on to the good ones in the highlander series which are Dark Highlander, Immortal Highlander and Spell of a Highlander. Note — I do not recommend starting with the first three in Moning’s highlander ”series”. The word series incorrectly denotes an ongoing story arc; between books 1-3 and 4+ in the highlander series, there is not an important story arc connection. The storylines are not connected to the latter novels and many readers (die hard fans like myself) find books 1, 2 and 3 not very enjoyable; I have known many Fever fans to start off the highlander ”series” with book 1 and lose steam before they get to the good books (4++), thus giving up on the highlander storylines. The paranormal and fae connection to Moning’s Fever world becomes much stronger and better written with book #4. How does this short story fit in? Into the Dreaming, the short story, is not connected in story arc to any of the highlander books and many fans read it last — after having finished Spell of a Highlander.
Okay, so why is Into the Dreaming with bonus material not worth the new release price tag?
No Substantive Material
There is the short story Into the Dreaming — but that has already been released in an anthology 10 years ago and as an ebook short by itself. If you have already read this, the new re-release is not worth buying the book to read again. If you haven’t, get it from the library. The short story itself hasn’t changed.
Moning includes a proposal sent to a publisher for a never published romance novel. Why is this interesting? I just don’t get it. Anyway, it is a waste of time to read.
Moning includes a deleted scene from Kiss of a Highlander. The scene is not great and I agree with the original move to delete it from the novel. It doesn’t add anything new to the storyline.
Moning includes an alternate opening to Dark Highlander that she scrapped because she (rightfully in my opinion) got the storyline wrong. She wanted to take Dark Highlander in a different direction, with a different heroine! The published version is better. Again, in my opinion the alternate opening is not worth the time to read. And Ms. Moning made a very good decision to toss this version and go with what was ultimately published. Dark Highlander is my favorite in the highlander series, so for me reading the alternate version was not enjoyable at all.
There is an excerpt from Dark Fever in this book, okay I am guessing that most people paying the new release price have read Dark Fever and if not — it is readily available elsewhere.
Moning includes a teaser of her new graphic novel Fever Moon, which is a graphic novel and the images are in black and white. Fever Moon is going to be released in July 2012 …. again, this does not make the novel worth the time or price tage.
From my point of view, the re-release of Into the Dreaming does not offer readers anything substantive that isn’t out there in one way or another. I am still a fan of Moning, I wish her the best and am excitedly waiting for Fever Moon and Iced.
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