My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Actual Rating: 3.75
*Thank you to the author for providing me a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review!*
Avalon Dreams has an especially unique writing style that tells two stories at the same time, in small fragments. It fluctuates between the story of Vivienne du Lac, the regular girl, and Vivienne du Lac, a princess who lived during Merlin’s time. In the modern world, Vivienne’s mundane life is shattered when she meets Sebastien Dubois, who is much more than he lets on. What she doesn’t know is that she is the reincarnation of the Lady of the Lake, and that her past life is catching up to her. As Vivienne and Sebastian become trapped in a fight between good and evil, they realize that their love could save them or end them – but which?
The writing style for this book was very professional, and I give mad props to the author for being able to basically write two stories at once and not have them become muddled up or repetitive. The Arthurian fantasy scenes are written as flashbacks, in italics, that the modern Vivienne had, and I found that these scenes were always transitioned into and out of very smoothly. Not only was the writing style engaging, but the different settings were described with such unique voices that I was able to feel and visualize both and love them equally.
One thing about this story that I was a little hesitant about was that it was insta-attraction, and while I was reading it, I did feel a little bit iffy about how quick Vivienne trusted Sebastian. I understand that they had that connection because of their past lives, however, and I was very glad that their relationship was developed further. Because of this, Sebastian and Vivienne as a couple did grow on me, despite how doubtful I was of how they started.
Throughout the story, there were some instances where I felt like scenes were a little repetitive – one of them (mostly Vivienne) would run into trouble, and the other (usually Sebastian) would be there to save them. By the end of the book though, I will say that I saw clear character development, and it was a lot easier to see the different strength they each had.
I thought that the plot was very interesting, especially since it was basically two stories at once – the Arthurian myth and the contemporary fantasy. Both stories were equally as interesting, and I found that it was easy to follow both without getting lost, because they were both so unique. They were both definitely very action packed, especially the modern story, which makes sense considering it was the main plotline. There were definitely a lot of conflicts that Vivienne and Sebastian had to face along the way, and I would say that these different issues really allowed the characters to develop on many levels.
One last critique I will say is that I felt that the characters were a little limited. While I understand Vivienne’s situation, I wish that we had a stronger balance of the real world and the magical world while we remained in the contemporary setting. It felt a little like Vivienne’s only friend throughout the story was Sebastian and her talking demon dog, Alistair (who I adore, by the way – I think he’s my favorite!), and although Vivienne did start off with another friend, she turned out to be from the magical realm as well, and I was a little disappointed that Vivienne seemed to be completely friendless and have nothing of her old life once this was revealed. I thought it would be an interesting blend to see how the real world would have mixed with the magical, character-wise, but nevertheless, the characters that we did have were certainly developed very well.
Overall, I would say that this had been a terrific and unique read. It was definitely different from everything else I had read, and I am very glad that the author was able to pull it off!