The Dryad's Kiss by R. Scott VanKirk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was a little confused when I started reading The Dryad's Kiss by R. Scott VanKirk by the Indian lore at the beginning since by the name of it I thought it was about a Greek mythology creature called a Dryad. As I started reading I wasn't disappointed as it soon became clear that this story did include a Dryad as well as having sacred Indian burial mounds and so much more. It is a well written story where fantasy overlaps reality and had suspense, mystery, and even had me laughing at times.
I won't recap the whole story since you can read that for yourself but the main jest of it is about Ian Finn Morgenstern or simply "Finn" by his friends who is a bit of a geek. He enjoyed "gaming" and created this fantasy world where he and his friends would play. It was a world of magic but posed dangers as well. He made many things in his world including the "Dreamstone". The "Dreamstone" is really an amethyst crystal that his father had originally given Finn's now deceased mother on their wedding anniversary. After her passing he had given it to Finn so when he looked at it, it would remind him of his mother and how much she loved him. The only thing neither of them were counting on is the Dreamstone driving people into a psychiatric breakdown. Nor was any one expecting Finn's dream about the Dryad that lives in the big oak tree outside his bedroom window to be real and sucking the life force out of him or as he put it, using him as fertilizer, until there was no way to deny it any longer.
This story involved a lot more but as I said I won't recap the whole thing nor do I want to spoil it for those who didn't read it. I found this to be one of the books that once you started it you didn't want to put down. I was a bit disappointed when the questions raised were not answered but this is only the first book in a series so I am assuming the answers are in the following books. In the author's defense I think that is the whole object to a series, get you hooked on the first book and then make you want to read the next book. He definitely succeeded!
I really enjoyed the book and although there was sex between the Dryad and Finn it didn't go into any detail so Young Adults should enjoy this story of coming of age as well as adults. I think Young Adults can relate to this story even more so than I can but it didn't stop me from enjoying it one bit. Be warned, if your curiosity is intense as mine be prepared to put the next book in the series on your reading list.
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