Moonlight Dancer by Deb Atwood, finished reading on 16th December 2012
“A doll… a ghost… a love that transcends time.
Kendra JinJu MacGregor can resist neither the antique Korean doll in the dusty warehouse nor the handsome Hiro Peretti who sells it to her.
Once she brings the doll home, Kendra pays little attention to misplaced objects or her beloved dog’s fear. That is, until one terrifying night forces her to question her very sanity. Soon, the ethereal, brooding NanJu manifests herself, and Kendra begins her travels through time to 16th century Korea into a history of conflict and intrigue. For Kendra is about to discover the dark past of her ghostly visitor.
Now it’s up to Kendra, with Hiro by her side, to interpret the past and prevent murder. Everything depends upon Kendra’s success, even–she discovers to her horror–her own life.”
The Book starts with focus on a love story while I was expecting a Spooky paranormal story. It did take me by surprise. The romance was cliché and the ‘Damsel-in-distress’ heroine sometimes got on to my nerves. But once you cross that cliché part, you will be amused by the vivid and colourful picture of past and Korean set up drawn by the author.
The author does a very good job in portraying a vivid picture of Korean Culture and its long forgotten legends. It was interesting to say the least. I would say the soul of the book lies in this past journey and the its finesse. I loved that part and it needs special mention.
Story starts with an accidental meeting of the protagonists, Hiro, Kendra and the Doll, Who form a bond with each other. The story is almost told in this one sentence “I won’t hurt you. Her, I can’t speak for”. Premonitions did keep up the rhythm and Kendra’s first encounter with the ghost was really spooky. But then it takes a slow pace till the middle of the book.
The entire wedding track and Hiro’s family intro was kind of redundant, especially since the family reaction on Kendra’s hospitalization was missing. it appeared as a sharp edit in that story thread.
Then, the story, the paragraphs, even the words, seem to pick up a new beat in the second part where the Korean set up comes in. It was enchanting with all the rituals and MU initialization. In comparison with this second part of the book, the first romance part fell flat and looked lacklustre.
Kendra, The Heroine of the story and her scenes sometimes goes to the category of emotional overdose. Though the background story of being-forced-into-maturity-because-of-her-fathers-death and abandonment-of-family somewhat alleviated that bitterness later, a little of that initial image lingers. The character is weak and lacks growth in the story.
Nanju – is an interesting character and fares well in capturing your interest compared to Kendra. All the while, she come across as a strong willed woman who has a mind of her own.
Hiro – A perfect haunted-by-inner-demons Hero, who finally comes out of the shell and fights his own way to find his destiny. The way author connects his past, his love, his dreams, his guilt and finally his way of removing the chains of past – nicely plotted.
I would go with a 3 for this novel. ***